March 14, 2012

A Killer Combo in Pokhara

Together, Hotel Fewa and Mike's Restaurant create THE prime location on Pokhara's beautiful Fewa. I stayed here during the first years of my "Nepal Decade," until we finished building Ramesh's house.

There's a Small Hotel
In its Nepal edition, Lonely Planet describes Hotel Fewa this way:
In a town with little variation between lodgings, Hotel Fewa gets full marks for its rustic mud/stone cottages set right on the lake. A long-time favorite, the cottages with loft make for a memorable stay, and include a fireplace and Buddhist motifs.
I've stayed in several of these lakefront cottages, but this time I got to try a new one. It's more modest than my room at the Kantipur Temple House in Kathmandu,  but this place has its own unique charms.

Here are two shots of my first floor living room:

Up the ladder we go -- to my bedroom in the loft. As you see, the hotel maid had not yet arrived:


As a bonus, I have a porch off the bedroom...

...with a view down to the lake.

And then, there's Mike's Restaurant
Even after I began staying at Ramesh's house instead of Hotel Fewa, each morning I would take the lovely half-hour walk down to Lakeside and Mike's Restaurant for “American breakfast” (and American brewed coffee, not the instant coffee one usually gets). (For photos of this scenic walk, see an earlier post.)

But the restaurant's setting has always been the real magnet for me. I often sit here for hours, savoring the view -- the closest I’ve come in my life to experiencing real serenity.

It was especially clear and beautiful this morning, after yesterday afternoon’s freak storm with thunder, lightning and high winds.

I'm ready to dig into my omelet and drink the first of several cups of coffee.
 

Looking across the table, I enjoy the view:

It's hard to see here, but the pointed structure on top of the hill across the lake is the World Peace Pagoda, built by Japanese Buddhist monks to promote world peace. On an early visit, I took a taxi up to the pagoda and walked back down to the lake, where I hired someone to row me back across the water to Mike's. 

The first wave of the school kids from across the lake beach their row boats and then walk to school. 

During earlier visits, after the school kids had arrived, the water buffalo would show up for their morning swim and bath. They’d amble slowly down the main street of Pokhara, turn onto the lane leading to Mike's and the lake, and head into the water. Sadly, the recently completed public pathway has cut off their access to the lake.

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