Whether waiting for your trek to start or relaxing afterwards, paragliding in Pokhara is an amazing experience, not to be missed. There are a number of companies to choose from, with pilots from all over the world. It takes about 20 minutes to drive to the top of the local mountains and with perfect flying weather nearly all year round, soaring for hours is not a problem.
It costs from around $75 which may seem expensive compared with the price of everything else on your trip but its worth bearing in mind that this is below average cost to glide in Europe or America where conditions may be below par and I doubt you will get the curious birds of prey around you and such breathtaking views. (prices increase depending on flight length or alternative routes) The three largest companies in town all can be booked in Lakeside and charge similar prices for a basic flight.
Frontiers Paragliding - First paragliding company, british, runs a hawk/raptor rescue centre and the opportunity to fly with trained birds of prey - www.nepal-paragliding.com - www.parahawking.com - www.himalayanraptorrescue.org
Sunrise Paragliding - Nepali run offshoot of Frontier - www.sunrise-paragliding.com
Blue Sky Paragliding - Swiss/Nepali paragliding partnership - www.paragliding-nepal.com
Sarangkot Paragliding - a newer company, ive heard may offer discounts if you find your own way to the launch site - www.sarangkotparagliding.com
Try their Nepali Thali meal !!!
One day we were very tired after visiting the places, so we tried the room service of Hotel Dharma Inn. We had Nepali thali for lunch and suop and bread for dinner. Munu had a Mexican pizza. All were very tasty and excellent. Pricewise they were cheaper than the Restaurants outside. Worth trying!
Make a wish!
Within the park surrounding Devi's Falls is a small well containing an image of Manakamana Bhagawati, the wish-fulfilling goddess. You can swap Nepali rupee notes for coins (hardly used as currency today), and attempt to throw one onto the statue - more difficult that it looks, hardly any of the Nepali tourists we saw managed it! If you succeed.... maybe your wish will be granted...
Hike toward Mardi Himal
This trek (4-5 days to the end and back) is well described in guide books. Tent etc. needed.
This photo visualises the route. You get up through the villages on the western side (far left in the photo) of Sethi Khola (cross at the Mardi khola first), up past the higher village and to the top at the spur end of the ridge. Follow the ridge toward the lower snow peak on the ridge (Mardi Himal) just left of and below Machhapuchhare. From the Kharka called Khorchon below Mardi, go down to the right side into Sethi Khola Valley again and return perhaps via the eastern bank of Sethi Khola gorge for a variation.
Hiking to Siklis Village - part 3
Trail alternative 2) takes the higher path from Thulaswara, following the ridge top through Thakurgaun, Tilahar up to Thak, and from there on thenimmense slope past Taprang and Phimro/Kaphalgari. From here you can choose to descend to Sodha and follow alternative 1 to Siklis, or push into the side valley west to Chipli and keep high on the slope further past Khilang and Parche villages before reaching Siklis. Note that there are many variations and deviations possible along this route. Alternative 2) is longer, but I would think much more interesting.
Perhaps you can walk in on the lower and out on the high trail? Or return via Tangting on the other side of the Madi valley?
You can do this trek to Siklis in one day from Pokhara, or 1 1/2 day, or like us, two slow days with many discoveries on the way. Pure lodge trekking is not possible, but a lone or a few trekkers will be able to stay at peoples' homes along the way.
Please note now that the security situation has deteriorated to the point that most of this area here talked about is under firm maoist control, and that you may be stopped and asked for "revolutionary fee" or "donation". Donate the extortion money or turn back... There has been some sporadic fighting in the area, and maoists controlling Siklis will probably not like your presence there - but let it pass. Our night quarter in the lodge was stoned at night - rocks hit walls, windows, beds and light bulbs - nobody hurt, but the signal was clear, even if nobody in Siklis presumably never ever heard, saw or knew anything about the affair. Siklis has also become "dry", the maobaadis banning alcoholic drinks. Altogether a very subdued mood there for the time being. If you don't feel like going now, certainly keep it in mind for later.