We arrived in Kathmandu on the Saturday, the connections within Nepal aren´t reliable so landing a day before flying allowed us to meet up, grab some food, nose around the madness that feels like Katmandu before getting our early flight the following morning into Pokhara.
If you wern´t entertained by the monkey temple overlooking Kathmandu for sunset or the chaos of the town roads then our internal flight into Pokhara was to be breathtaking.
It´s only an hour long flight with fifty seats and a view of some of the largest mountains in the world.
We were met by our guide, Adam HIll at the airport and shown our hotel for the forthcoming days. We grabbed a quick bite to eat, a briefing and an afternoons flight overlooking the lake in Pokhara.
Pokhara was to be our base for the next three days, theres a less frantic vibe in Pokhara as the mainstay of tourists are walkers or trekkers or paraglider pilots. Its a big town for sure but not too big you can´t wander around by yourself, it´s perched on the lake, has a plethora of stunning restaurants to choose from and your back drop to breakfast will always put a smile on your face.
Each day we´d forage looking for better coffee or differing breakfasts before heading up various hills for what we felt was appropriate to conditions or the group. Not a flight went by without you having to pinch yourself to remember to soak every image and smell in. Nepal is simply breathtaking.
We flew the local Sarankot take off a couple of times and ran up the ridge ten k to explore the valley over looking the lake. We flew a sweet site called Toripani and hung out with the local vultures for an afternoon. One of the many classic routes is a flight from a hill behind town up and onto the Green wall, a whizz along its 6,000ft ridge then a return leg back to Pokhara and Sarankot Launch and a flight into the landing field for some freshly squeezed juice..well in truth you would have happily gone home happy after that day...but there was more to come.
Our guides knowledge of the are was stunning, with me as back stop and Adam in the lead it felt like we could fly everywhere in Nepal.
Our next Journey was up the road by 2 hours to Babu´s lodge in Sirkot...I sought of don´t want to tell you about but no matter as the pictures, my words and the flying will never still really demonstrate what a blinding spot to spend some flying time it is. From the accommodation to the view each morning we were as a group smitten by the site. Our digs were on top of the mountain we were to fly off each morning. Following a leisurely morning waiting for the cloud to disperse from the valley we´d have a brunch lunch, walk up to launch and embark on various stunning flights either out and returns, circuits of the immense valley or as on our final day a 30 k xc back to Pokhara over some quite thrilling terrain.
We stayed another couple of days in Pokhara if anything just to catch up on the adrenalin we used up in Sirkot and then onwards to our final destination before goiing home... Bandipur.
For every place we visited there was a surprise, Bandipur was just one of them, we stayed in a beautiful old House in the town, now a hotel. A rabbit warren of brilliant rooms, terraces, intriguing corridors and mind blowing vistas.
The flying site itself was stunning 4,000ft series of bowls overlooking some fantastic terraces, it was a mix of great thermalling and some chilled evening flying, depending on how long you fancied playing for. It was certaibnly different flying i Suppose, it was at the end of stunning trip and we made no interest in going Xc but on the right days like they say the worlds your oyster.
The food...I suppose i should mention something about that...I´ve not been on a long haul flying trip and eaten so well apart from South Africa, every day I´d eat a curry at some point but I didn´t have too, Pokhara has more variety of cuisine than most large towns in Blighty, it was fresh, brilliantly tasty, no one went crook, breakfasts when we brought them were cheap , in fact all food and drinks were cheap and the locals....they were some of the most gracious and friendly people I've ever met.
So surprise surprise we are going back next year, dates are confirmed numbers will be limited to 12 plus myself and Adam. You want to have some thermalling under your belt so say 30 hrs airtime and be reasonably current. Drop us aline to get your name down.
You can go with less hours but you´ll enjoy it more with more experience. If your chomping at going somewhere and you have less thermalling time check out our page for South Africa. We are also running a trip to Colombia