Enjoyed Nepal very much and our friend Shadan even came to visit us there!
Old posts from my very first travel website and my first backpacking trip (a year in 2000-2001)!
We arrived Oct 2 and Nepal so far has a great feel to it and the weather is really nice. Can’t wait to get out and about and see more of the country. Everyone here is super nice and they speak a lot of English which makes it easy.
Nepal (Never Ending Peace And Love) is the first country we’ve been to that does not have a McDonalds! The culture is the nicest and most interesting so far. We have had a blast and Shadan came to visit us which was wonderful! We made the mistake of going on a couple of package tours which we knew better than do a package, but were lazy. The trekking package was good, but other than that we just ended up spending more money than we should have, and did not get to do exactly what we wanted.
Here’s a quick recap of what we’ve been up to. First we went to Royal Bardia Natl’ Park in West Nepal where we went on awesome jungle treks. With our guides we tracked wild tigers, rhinos, and elephants. Didn’t see any, but saw tons of footprints and other signs that they had been there recently. Really exhilarating!
Royal Bardia Park - went looking for tigers and found this. That's close enough.
Also visited the local Tharu village during the country’s biggest festival. They let us have some of their food and moonshine and we watched their traditional dance, etc.
One village we stayed in happen to be having their local festival by the river.
This guy dressed as a woman and danced and everyone had a good time.
Typical daily life using elephants.
Then went to Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha.
Lumbini - where the cows can do whatever the heck they please.
Where Buddah was born in Lumbini
Then up into the mountains to Tansen, a beautiful little town with cobbled streets. Checked email from there (barely) and found out that our friend Shadan was landing in Kathmandu that morning! We immediately hopped on a bus to a major town of Pokhara where he could meet us and since it was festival time, the bus was so crowded that we had to ride on top in the luggage rack with about 40 other people and two goats (who were on death row due to the festival :-(. A little squished and very dusty, but the view was fantastic and it was probably a bit more comfortable than being crammed inside. Drove along the river, through valleys, and had views of green mountains while on a small bumpy dirt road on the side of a cliff.
The bus was too full so we rode on the roof!
Met up with Shadan in Pokhara and went on a bitchin’ 6 day trek with our guide Tek and porter Em. The path is well established in parts and is also used by locals to carry very heavy loads (of I don’t know what) on their backs with straps on their foreheads. We also had to make way for herds of big horned sheep and trains of donkeys with big bells on them. Hiking for 6 hours every day was tiring, and we weren’t even carrying a large pack. Again, totally beautiful. Great views, small villages, etc.
Pokara - pretty lake town.
Trekking in Nepal is much easier than I though! LOL Especially when you have a porter to carry your bag.
We stayed in the prettiest spots.
Poon Hill at sunrise with The Beach Reporter from Redondo Beach
The donkeys wear these giant bells that dong dong dong all over the mountains.
Kind of beautiful
This is typical. LOL
These guys carry heavy loads strapped to their foreheads along dirt paths in nothing but rubber flip flops.
Our river hotel one night
On the top of a bus again!
Then the guys went rafting which was fun, but not as good as expected, and I went to Royal Chitwan Park, also not as good as expected but I saw a wild Rhino. Then back to Kathmandu for a morning mountain plane ride (courtesy of Shadan - thanks again!) by Mt. Everest. The mountain range is so enormous, it’s just breathtaking. We have seen the highest point on the earth!
Harvesting some sort of grain
This landslide help up my bus for many hours when I was heading back to Kathmandu to meet back up with the guys.
Buzzed Mt. Everest!
Sad to see Shadan leave, so we tried to cheer ourselves up by renting a motorcycle for 5 days and driving to the Tibetan border. Stayed in some small towns along the way, and even showered with the locals in Tatopani where the hot spring is the only shower in town. Really cool cycling through god’s country, braking for cows, goats, chickens, or whatever else happens to be in the road.
Tibet! That's as close as I can get.
Stopped at a random small hotel with the motorcycle.
Now we’re back in Kathmandu again and it’s time for another festival. There are candles lit all over the streets at night, and people dancing, singing, and keeping us awake by lighting firecrackers. We partook in the dancing on the street last night and look forward to more festival tonight.