On our final, twenty-fourth, day of trekking we walked for three hours, mostly on the road. As we descended towards the highway the temperature rose and the intensity of human activity increased. We completed our walk at Naya Pul, a town on the highway that was the historic terminus of the Annapurna Circuit before the more recent road construction. From Naya Pul the highway to Pokhara does have a bit of pavement on it, but it took 2 1/2 hours in a bus without shocks to negotiate the short distance.
Due to time constraints we spent only one night in Pokhara. It is a surprisingly touristy town, with hotels, restaurants, shops and bars stretching for more than a kilometre above the lakeshore. I did buy a few gifts for Ruth.
The next day we took a tourist bus to Kathmandu. Tourist buses cost 40% more than ordinary buses, but they are in better condition and include amenities like shocks and comfortable seats. It took 8 hours to cover the 200 kms to Kathmandu, including three washroom and food stops. After the beauty of trekking in the mountains, the drive to Kathmandu was a dismal passage through the usual viewscape of the developing world: dusty, chaotic, and strewn with garbage.
At our hotel in Kathmandu we were reunited with Rick and Don. While we were trekking they visited Pokhara and Chitwan National Park, where they saw rhinos, crocodiles and other animals.