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 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,
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.
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