A day in Pokhara (with a trip to the hospital too!)
We woke up this morning to the sound of the Buddhist monks drumming at the Peace Pagoda, and it was such a beautiful way to wake up! Outside our window I could see the still, almost glass like water of Phewa Lake, and the light of the sun slowly rising from behind the mountains.
After breakfast, the first place we visited was Devi's Fall. Just a short stroll off the Main Street, Devi's Fall is named after a woman who was swept away by the water and died while bathing in it. We threw some coins into the Wishing Pool, and then walked across the road to Gupteshwor Madahev Cave.
As we made our way down the stairs to the cave entrance (yes, lots of stairs like everywhere else), we saw a young woman who was making her way down also, but was being held on either side by loved ones. She looked to be quite fearful and upset about something (whether she was scared of going into the dark, or something else, I'm not sure. I dare say it was due to much more than a fear of the dark) but her legs were weak, she was crying and moaning, and was clearly distressed about something. Most of the way down was dark and wet, and I really felt for this woman as she got closer to the temple that stood deep inside the cave. We were prohibited from taking photos, as this temple was so very sacred.
Once we made it to the temple, this young woman threw herself to her knees and began chanting and throwing rice upon herself and ringing the bells that surround it. This temple was in a cage-like structure and the guard that stood nearby opened it for her. She went inside and continued to moan and cry as she crawled around around the small temple. We wanted to give her privacy, but before we moved along, I found a piece of rose quartz I'd had in my bag, and asked the guard to please give it to her from me. I placed my hand on my heart and said, "it's for love". I don't know whether he ended up passing it along to her; I hope he did, but I said a little prayer for her anyway as we continued along.
A few more levels of climbing down rocks and we were there inside the main part of Gupteshwor Madahev Cave. I could just feel how very sacred a place this was, and stood for a moment, watching the waterfall crash against the rocks in this dark, yet powerful cave. I tried to take many photos, but the lack of light inside meant that each photo was unclear or blurry (I did seem to capture a couple of orbs though).
After we climbed back up, we visited the Mountain Museum. In here there was an abundance of information, which Yagya helped us to understand. He seemed completely in his element as he gave us information about the mountains, the people and cultures, and many other things. We had originally taken the museum off our list of things to see, but Yagya encouraged us to see it, and I'm glad we did.
My hand was now getting a bit sore and swollen from last night's fall, and we had already decided it would be best to have it checked out, so we made our way to the Namaste Hospital in Pokhara. Immediately upon entering I was seen by triage, and the whole thing was such a surreal experience. It felt like something out of an old movie, because everything was so laid back. The nurses gave me a shot of something in my bottom (a painkiller) and a tetanus injection (even though I'm up to date- better safe than sorry). The doctor who came around with his little girl in tow wanted blood tests and an X-ray done, and so I can waited for the results of those to come through. When the doctor mentioned that if the infection in my hand was too serious, I would need to be admitted, I prayed that this wouldn't be the case. Visiting the emergency department for a couple of hours, and being admitted to s hospital in a foreign country with regular power outages, are two completely different scenarios. Luckily, the X-ray came back ok, and my blood count; while a little high which meant my hand was infected, I wouldn't need to be admitted. I was told to be very careful, and was given a script for some strong antibiotics, and we were done. I was considering calling my travel insurance company, but when I saw how much the bill was (for services, medications, injections, X-rays), it was only a total of around 7000NRP (which is around $85AUD). My excess would have cost me more than the total bill, so I let it be.
By the time we got out of the hospital, it was after 2pm, and we were all very hungry. The taxi driver dropped us off out try front of a restaurant called Boomerang, and so we thought, what better place to eat than here? This restaurant was right on the edge of the lake, and it was very peaceful to sit and watch the boats and paragliders. After a delicious meal we took a paddleboat over to Bahari Temple, which is on an island on Phewa Lake. The sun was setting while we were there, so it was just gorgeous.
We got back to our room around 7pm and after a very quick bite to eat, we just needed to sit, so we spent a little time on our balcony, then headed to bed early, ready for a big drive ahead tomorrow to Nagarkot.