Pokhara. After the sensory overload of India's cities with their pollution, noise, smell, hustle and bustle, and constant need for readiness, Pokhara was like heaven. Nestled next to a smooth crystal blue lake, it was surrounded by sub-tropical forest, foothills and the grandeur of the snow-capped Annapourna mountain range. Beautifully tranquil. The tourist spot where we stayed had clean, cheap hotels and safe food, and the traffic was minimal save for bicycles. So we hired a small boat, swam in the lake, ate fresh grilled fish and felt like we were extras in 'Swallows and Amazons'.