I know it has been a while but the post is here now.
My friend Gaumaya and I visited Rara Lake, the biggest lake in Nepal in late November 2014. I shall try my best to write as little as possible. We flew from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj (regular flights) and from Nepalgunj to Talcha Airport (irregular flights – basically if you miss one flight or a flight doesn’t come, you’re screwed). From Talcha Airport the walk to Rara Lake is simple, straightforward and easy. It’s a three hour walk which is signposted well – basically follow the path. We still took one dai along with us, just in case. Around Talcha Airport there really isn’t much apart from few houses and few local shops that pretty much sell the same thing. Rara Lake only has one accommodation for visitors and that is the Danphe Guest House, next to the army camp. The room is around Nrs 700 per night, sleeps two people. Food is basic – daal bhat and kodo ko roti etc. Boating is allowed but you have to write a short letter of permission, buy tickets at Nrs 10 each and then hand it over to the army for their approval. It all depends on the mood of the army folks, sometimes apparently they take people for a longer boating session. Ours lasted maybe 15 minutes max – if you’re not Nepali then you cannot go boating due to insurance/safety, etc.
It would be better knowing someone who works in an airline company that flies to Talcha Airport or to have your return tickets confirmed, paid and ready. We had ours confirmed and paid but because of our own doing, we got there just a few minutes late and they sneakily let other people through instead of us. That basically led to us being stuck in Talcha Airport for three days which I tell you, is a very long time. I managed to read three books, ate tonnes of cooked wai wai and uncooked wai wai. NCELL is basically non-existent there. Few folks had motor biked up to Talcha Airport (there’s a fairly new road which connects Jumla to Talcha – no buses etc, just tractors sometimes) and their bikes weren’t in good condition.
Our wait for the airline to return to Nepalgunj really spoiled this trip. I would love to go back but after a really long time OR when I can charter my own helicopter and fly there and back. Rara Lake is beautiful, it is better than the photos and so much more than what I had thought of it. I didn’t feel like I was in Nepal. It’s a gem and I am so happy that we got to see it and experience it.
PS. When we went – the night and morning would get VERY COLD. Thank goodness I carried my own sleeping bag. We didn’t have enough time so we didn’t go to Murmatop, viewpoint from where you get a birds eye view of the lake. If I go in the future then I’d make sure I have a lot of free time and I’d probably go via Jumla, bus to Jumla then trek and maybe fly back from Jumla or something similar. ALSO – back in 2001 a helicopter carrying former Princess Prekshya Shah mysteriously crashed into the lake, ask the locals what happened, everyone has a different story and it’s not a favourite topic to talk about either.
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