Take a cigarette lighter to burn off the leeches! There is a local plant, which if you take the leaves and crush and rub them over your feet (or any other place that might be bitten) will prevent leeches from biting you. It does turn your feet green, but is better than being bitten. Locals will be able to tell you which plant to use.
The leaf plate restaurant - local excellence!
The most delightful new restaurant on Lake Side goes back in time and tradition.
Duna means leaf plate.
Tappuri means small leaf-bowls.
With an emphasis on fish and traditional staples, Dunatappuri has taken local traditions to new heights.
On trips in India or visiting Newari or Brahmin families in Nepal you may have come across the leaf plates and bowls - especially when there are festivals and marriages duna and tappuri are used to serve the visitors, like a cardboard plate often used elsewhere. But very ecological. There is a romantic connotation to these plates and the name. So there you’ve got it!
You sit on floor mats at low tables.
Few Nepali restaurant kitchens are open to scrutiny, but here the food is prepared from raw materials through to the cooking pot to it lands on your duna and tappuri in full openness in a modernised traditional Nepali chulo stove. Dunatappuri gives you a rare chance to see cooking in progress as it is an open kitchen and they dare to show their art. Nice, clean and hygienic.
Finally also, the women are present in the restaurant, cooking as well as serving. Normally they are at home cooking for their menfolk who are cooking at restaurants… But women are better at it! Dunatappuri strives to offer genuine Nepali food, uncorrupted by fashion and tourist influence. The food you get here is genuine and very, very tasty. The menu is refined local, and that means rice, maize or millet as staple. The millet and maize has been made into varieties of deldho, like a porridge - very well done and tasty. A bit on the heavy side perhaps, but this is food for working people.
Then there is the fish, fresh from the lake, and pan fried, karahi fried or barbequed in traditionl spices. But not overcooked as is often the local way of doing it.
Meat and veggies are available as side or main dishes, too, but fish is to be preferred at this restaurant, with a view to the lake and all.
They start from scratch at the raw materials here, so unless you come in a bit earlier and pre-order, set in for a long snacks and drinks round while the sun slowly sinks toward the BhimPhedi ridge across the lake.
Like at Almonds, the roasted nuts with chillies were good snacks.
They offer a variety of traditional meals. The best for a small group is probably to order some snacks plates (small plates are tappuri) and one main dish for each person to be shared (duna).
I had a mix of things here and regret nothing that I chose from the menu. Two types of deldo and nuts and chilies and sukuthi snacks, plus the main dish that I chose, fish curry from Phewa, was extremely good. I do not exaggerate.
The downside? Far out of town, need perhaps a taxi after dark, and definitely takes a long time to get the food served as they start from the raw materials, live. If you are certain you will eat here, make an order beforehand or go there with plenty of time ahead.
Some village experience will help you to cope here, but you can also be thought all the steps from washing hands to eating and finishing.
When you come back from Peart's stupa you can swim boat to Pokhara. Lake is rather clear but don't swiming. There are snake in this lake. I don't know they name's but there are green, not big and not venomous snake.
After the hard climb, totally soaked and frozen we reached the viewpoint just to find all the mountains covered by haze. The viewpoint is located in an old Kot (hill fort), currently occupied by the army. There is a precarious map with the description of all the mountains we couldn´t see. After the deception we found a small hotel were we had a light breakfast and continued with our 15 kilometres trek to Kaskikot and Naudanda.
Hiking to Siklis - part 2
To get to Siklis from Pokhara you have three main choices: The bus from Pokhara to Kalikasthan or Thulaswara if the road is ok, or taxi to Thulaswara via Bijaypur Khola valley, or start walking from Machhakhet further up Bijaypur valley.
Walk fromThulaswara either down through dense jungle to Bhaise (alternative 1) or keep high northwards to Kaure (alternative 2).
Alternative 1 takes you along Madi river all the way up to Mailati where you cross the suspension bridge and continue uphill to Siklis. Past Bharabise the trail narrows and is getting a bit exposed, so tour groups will often push up the hill on a better trail. I followed the the trail along the river with no ill effects and saved a couple of hours. In Lamakhet there is an ACAP camp site on a grassy plain near the river, and porters' quarter and a kithchen area. The porters quarter has also beds, but given there is a chicken farm next to this building, it is downright unhygienic. I stayed there one night and three years later my sleeping bag still reeks of that place. The next stretch along the river is more pleasant, opens up and provides interesting views of the Annapurna II and the forests all around. One place here there is a rock bee hive area (Honey Hunters of Nepal - seen that book or the National Geography article?). Stop at Chasu for the ACAP checkpoint. Proceed in the same direction past Sodha (bridge) and into the terraced land at Mailati. Staying overnight in Chasu, Sodha or Mailati is preferable over Lamakhet if you have no tent. From Mailati you cross the suspension bridge over the river crashing down from above (west) and push on 900 altitude metres of flagstoned steps - up below Parche and enter the lower part of Siklis. The first significant house you will see in Siklis is the lodge to the right of the trail. Note that the owner and cook/operators don't live here and they have to be found first. Ask around. Just above to the left of the trail is the Siklis ACAP office, now abandoned due to maoist demands and terror threats.