What can I say? I was really looking forward to visiting Pokhara so that I could go to Sarangkot and witness 'God touching the tip of the world'.
As the sun rises in the morning, the tips of the Himalayas turn a golden colour and I've been told it is a spectacular view.
I arrived in Pokhara on Wednesday afternoon, and it was pouring with rain. The forecast for the next day when I was supposed to be doing Sarangkot, followed by a full days tour of Pokhara, was good, but the manager of the hotel who was organising the trip for me advised that I do it on Friday instead. "It will be better", he told me. "are you sure? I leave on Friday morning?" I asked, "Yes, that's no problem. You go to Sarangkot early morning, come back and have breakfast and then leave for bus. NO problem."
I left it in his hands, he is the expert. So on Friday, I rose at 4:30 am ready to leave at 5. The drive took about 15 minutes, and when I climbed to the viewpoint at the top of a long climb, I found that I was the only one there. The taxi driver who was waiting for me had told me I needed to come down for the ride back at 6:30 so that I had time to catch the bus. That meant I had just over an hour. It was pitch black still, only the full moon visible.
After a while, still pitch black, I was joined by another body, and then slowly more came. By the time I'd eventually leave there would be between 50 and 70 people in the small space watching the sunrise.
I waited for what seemed like hours, but was only about 45 minutes, and finally to my right, behind the hills, there was the slightest hint of an orange streak appearing. I looked at my watch. It was just gone 6... I looked ahead to the mountain range and it was still dark. Would this work? Would I have time?
Slowly (far too slowly), the sky behind the mountains ahead turned blue, and then to my right, the sky was getting more and more orange. But still no golden peaks.
Eventually, it turned 6:30 and I HAD to leave. There was no way I could afford to miss my bus, so with a heavy heart I battled my way through the throng of people and headed down to my taxi. As I sat waiting for him to convince the other taxi's that had blocked him in to move, I could see the top of the sun just peeking out behind the hills. Within five minutes, as we were driving down the hill, I could see the tips of the mountain range start to change colour. It did look spectacular. But soon they were out of my view.
I was so looking forward to taking pictures of this sight, and my disappointment was great. I arrived back at the hotel in time to wolf down a quick breakfast and rush off to catch my bus. The taxi driver had been kind enough to inform me that "Yesterday's sunrise was a beauty too. You should have done it then."
Yeah, thanks for that.