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April 23rd 2013
Published: May 16th 2013EDIT THIS ENTRY


This is our fearless guide. He would like to marry an American woman if anyone is in the market:)
Many couples, when 'honeymooning' might have some basic desires: like a double bed, or a hot shower, or maybe even a cocktail once in a while. Turns out that 19 days hiking through the Himalayas, sleeping in our little single beds (usually in a private room, at least), sharing a pit toilet with sometimes much of the village, and suffering cold showers or none at all at 10,000 feet was somehow just the honeymoon (part II) we were looking for. We rarely ate anything besides Daal Bhat (rice and lentils), let alone ate a piece of fruit or a blended a cocktail on the beach.

Yet our trek through northern Nepal, in the Manaslu conservation area, and into Tsum valley was definitely one of the more memorable experiences of our lifetime. We were both physically challenged perhaps more than we had ever been, hiking seven to nine hours daily--both gaining and losing elevation throughout the day. The scenery was unbelievable. Seeing 8,000 meter snow covered peaks looming above you while already standing above 10,000 feet is unbelievable. Hanging out with both Tibetan and Nepali people in their villages in the hills was a memory that won't be soon forgotten.
UPS, Nepal styleUPS, Nepal styleUPS, Nepal style

Dropping off hundreds of pounds of rice, beer, and soda. We got out of the way when they were on the trail, as they've been known to be a little push (and stubborn).

There was no automobile access for all but the last two days of our hike. It was likely that most had not seen a car in person--goods were transported primarily by donkey, and by yak or horse near the border of Tibet. Buddhist monasteries and nunneries were everywhere in the Tsum Valley region. Tsum Valley has been a 'no kill' region for over 90 years.

The people seemed mostly happy and healthy. I would imagine they are a little malnurished, as there is very little greenery to be eaten and even less fruit. We were dreaming of salads and smoothies on day two. Our meals tended to be all mostly the same color, or colorless for that matter. White rice, lentils, and curried potatoes prevail two out of three meals a day in the mountains, with milk tea or yak butter tea to wash it all down.

Pictures will do this blog more good than words: but for those interested in the route, we were hiking mostly in the Ghorka region, in the north central region of Nepal, in the Manaslu conservation area, just south of the Tibetan (Chinese?) border. We took a detour up the Tsum valley,
Water buffaloWater buffaloWater buffalo

He reminded us of our dog, Oscar.
which is almost entirely Tibetan with a strong Buddhist influence. This valley only opened to foreigners four years ago--we felt lucky to be in the high mountains of this area.

Additional photos below
Photos: 29, Displayed: 23


Suspension bridgeSuspension bridge
Suspension bridge

We crossed a bunch of these. And rarely looked down.
Sherpa PhilipSherpa Philip
Sherpa Philip

This thing weighed about 100 pounds. The porters in Nepal are pretty amazing.
Chum LingChum Ling
Chum Ling

The big mountains emerging as we entered the Tsum Valley.

The barking dog at night never ceased to keep us awake. The dogs in Nepal were in better shape than much of Asia. We even had one accompany us for several days (we named her Sheila).
Washing upWashing up
Washing up

Philip and the little one washing up before breakfast.
Rachen Gumba.Rachen Gumba.
Rachen Gumba.

This is a nunnery in the Tsum Valley. They ate this concoction of barley porridge and yak butter tea for breakfast and dinner daily.
Beginning the school day.Beginning the school day.
Beginning the school day.

Singing the national anthem before the school day begins. (This was after a 6am prayer service, breakfast, more praying, and chores).

You can tell the difference because of the bushy tail, and smaller, stockier bodies. We ate yak curry at our high camp before the pass. It was the first meat we had eaten in weeks--very delicious.
Mu GumpaMu Gumpa
Mu Gumpa

A monastery at 10,000 feet. The last place to stay before the Tibetan border.
Catapillar hunting!Catapillar hunting!
Catapillar hunting!

These catepillars ar worth their weight in gold in China. They apparently heal everything from infertility to cancer. Although the Nepalese tear up the high tundra to find them, their sales do boost the local economy.
Clear morning in Mu GumpaClear morning in Mu Gumpa
Clear morning in Mu Gumpa

After a late night touch of snow, we woke up to this in the morning.
Family tripFamily trip
Family trip

To hunt for catepillars. We saw many families packed up and on the hunt.
From Manaslu mountain basecamp.From Manaslu mountain basecamp.
From Manaslu mountain basecamp.

The 2nd 'hardest' mountain to climb, behind K2, due to avalanche danger. We saw several expeditions delivering gear by helicopter and getting ready to summit.
Out of Tsum Valley.Out of Tsum Valley.
Out of Tsum Valley.

Back to the Manaslu circuit.

16th May 2013

Love the pics and post Jen and Phil. Looks like you made it far, far, far from the beaten path on this one. Thanks for sharing.
From Blog: Nepal
17th May 2013

Looks amazing. I would expect this little trip will stay with you both for quite a while. Beautiful. Phil has finally found his orange people :)
From Blog: Nepal
21st May 2013

What an adventure! Thanks for sharing your trip and all the photos. You are so blessed to be able to experience that together!
From Blog: Nepal
22nd May 2013
Heading toward Larke Pass.

We want to go to here! ;) Think I could do it with a baby in tow? xo
From Blog: Nepal

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