"Sarangkot? I take you to Sarangkot?" called the taxi drivers each morning, greeting us as jetlag roused us from our beds and sent us out to explore the dark, quiet pre-sunrise streets of Pokhara. Sarangkot, a village of 5,000 on a mountainside ridge, is famous for its panoramic view of Himalayan peaks. On day three, after a quick negotiation, we took them up on the offer.
Pokhara valley at dawn, waiting for sunrise
At Sarangkot village proper, people crowd together on roofs to watch the majestic interplay of stone and water and light. Fortuitously, we never made it that far. Having set out slightly late, our taxi driver pointed us up a set of stone steps, to a grassy outcropping below the town. Same view; fewer people.
Shades and layers of the new sunrise
The earth rotated. The sun rose.
The mountain tops, standing far above the darkened valley, were picked out by the sun and painted in golden hues.
And then the valley too was basked in light. The morning mists began to rise, slowly obscuring the giants behind a curtain of white.
The other people on this little overlook, watching the sun rise over the Himalayas, happened to be a Chinese group on a photo tour. We helped them take a group photo (many group photos -- every person wanted one with their own camera), entertained the usual range of questions as Chinese-speaking foreigners, and then asked one of them to take a few photos of us. The whole group joined in, paparazzi-style, directing us to pose and kiss and jump.