What do you do when you want to see the Himalayas, but you don’t have enough time to trek to them?
This was my dilemma when I visited Nepal. Due to work commitments, I had only seven days which is, believe me, nowhere near long enough to do any justice to this beautiful country. As time was tight, and there was simply no way that I would be leaving without visiting the mountains, we headed to Pokhara: a small town in the foothills of the Annapurna region, where we had booked an hour-long mountain flight with Avia Club Nepal.
5.45am: It was very dark and very cold. Sleepily, we stood outside the guesthouse waiting for a taxi to take us to Pokhara’s tiny airport for a 6.30am check-in. Not fully knowing what to expect, I hoped and prayed that the day would be clear enough to give us a decent view of the famous Himalayas.
If I could get just one good photograph…
6.30: Slowly, the sun crept over the horizon, but low-lying early morning haze continued to obscure the mountains from view. Still, it looked like the day would be clear enough for the flight to proceed.
7.00: The check-in process was reasonably straightforward, and before we knew it we were heading onto the airfield to meet our pilots. My heart was racing with terror and excitement, torn between a debilitating fear of flying and my immense love for the mountains.
7.10: I was taken to a very small, very red, two-seater plane and strapped myself in. Having been pre-warned that it would get cold, I had wrapped up accordingly. As the pilot prepared me for take-off, he explained our route: we would head directly towards the mountain range and approach the ‘fishtail’ mountain to our left. We would then pass through a small gap in the mountain range and see the mountains up close and personal.
7.15: All of a sudden the plane was speeding down the runway; and my heart was in my mouth. Not only am I afraid of flying in general, but flying over mountains, in particular, terrifies me (I watched the movie, ‘Alive’ too many times as a teenager), yet here I was about to take a precarious flight right over the mountains. And not just any mountains: the Himalayas! But as the plane rose higher and higher, I looked ahead to the horizon where jagged white peaks were beginning to appear over the haze and the excitement of the moment erased my fears.
I am not going to describe the rest of the flight; my pictures speak louder than words! And believe me when I say, that the hour I spent on that flight is the highlight of my travels.
You can see my snapchat story of my time in Pokhara – including the mountain flight – here.
Omg!!! Your photos are absolutely incredible and this is for sure an added must do to my bucket list. Thanks for sharing your experience!!
Thank you 😀 It was definitely as incredible as it looks!
Wow!! What a wonderful way to view the Himalayas – I definitely would want to do it this way!
Thank you! I will go back another time and trek, but it was amazing to get such a close view with so little time.
Wow! What an adventure! Your photos are amazing and I loved the video!! You are brave, but it obviously proved to be worth the anxiety it caused!!
Thank you! I was quite scared near the end when the propellor looked like it was slowing down and the pilot seemed twitchy. I asked him if everything was okay and he said so – however, I lived to tell the tell, so all was well! I was so cool!
Amazing photos! I love this – totally a different perspective than you normally read about visiting the Himalayas! Very cool 🙂
Thank you. I am so happy that I managed to get a few good pictures!
Great photos! I liked the snapchat too. Flying over the mountains seems like such a cool experience.
Thank you. I’m so happy you liked the snapchat (sorry for the poor video quality). The mountains were so beautiful.
Runaway Brit recently posted..A Weekend in India’s Wine Region
How amazing, and once in a lifetime opportunity for sure. I love your photos, so stunning. Was it expensive if you don’t mind me asking?
I don’t mind at all. We paid quite a lot because of the fuel strike, which had driven all of the prices up. The website is saying that it costs around $270 to do what we did – I don’t know whether this is factoring in the fuel strike or not. We splurged because we would not have seen the mountains otherwise.
Your images are amazing!! I remember the first time I saw the himalyas vivately. It was such a miracle seeing those snowy peaks in front of me. I can imagine you had the best time of your life! When are you going back ?
They are crazy beautiful, right?! I would love to go back to Nepal, but I don’t have plans to just yet. Maybe in the next few years.
It looks just incredible. You are lucky having seen that. It must be a very special feeling seeing all that by your own eyes. Thanks for sharing. Visit my website
Yeah, I do feel pretty lucky – not everybody gets the chance to do things like this.
Your pictures are incredible! Nepal is at the top of my list and I’m so jealous! I can’t get over those views! Thanks for sharing (:
Thank you for commenting. I hope Nepal doesn’t remain only a bucket list item for too long – it’s a great place 🙂
That’s amazing that you were able to get such great shots! I don’t know how you did it. I love flying though, so I would die to go soaring over the Himalayas!
We were so close to the mountains that I didn’t need to zoom in. It was quite frightening being so close – the pilots are very skilled!
It pumped my adrenaline. Flight over the Himalayas of Nepal is a lifelong memory. How much does it cost?
Inspiring pictures of the Himalayas and very informative description about Mountain flight. Thank you so much for sharing it.