Blogs from Nepal, Asia


Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu Valley October 2nd 2020

I can’t put off writing this travel blog any longer. And I resent writing it now – as everyone who had fantastic travel plans and had to cancel them resents the way covid has changed the world. Though I should consider myself fortunate that covid has affected only my travel plans. I had a week in Nepal in November 2019. I went from meeting to meeting not leaving Kathmandu to establish collaborations and plan subsequent field visits for my research. Then two weeks in Nepal in February 2020 where I visited project sites in Kathmandu Valley and the lowland Terai region. The next visit in April was going to take me to the projects in the high Himalayas: in Mustang, in Far West Nepal, and around Tsho Rolpa Lake. From a research perspective, my project suffered ... read more
Langtang peaks from Shivpuri Nagarjun National Park
Swayambhunath Stupa (Monkey Temple), Kathmandu
Rhino in Chitwan National Park

Asia » Nepal » Pokhara April 21st 2020

Driving trip from Siliguri to Mustang, Nepal:- 1st March, Day 1: Drive along Asian Highway 2 across Bagdogra to Panitanki and crossed over the Mechi River bridge into Nepal. Obtained Vehicle permit from the transport office after paying INR 2200. Mercifully the system at the transport office has been upgraded to online, as such it was smooth and easy. Another temp road permits fro. Makeshift virta more office for INR 300 including INR 200 for the requested tip that we gave generously! I was surprised that we were asked by a transport official and 3 police personnel as to why we wanted to go into Nepal for 7 days. I told them this was the Nepal tourism year and should they be asking such questions instead if welcoming us. The going was good while the road ... read more

Asia » Nepal » Gorak Shep April 1st 2020

I always said "Why go to Everest Base Camp if you were not going to climb the mountain ?" I had previoulsy visited Nepal in the late 1970's when I had completed the Overland or Hippie Trail from the UK to Nepal on public transport, going through such places as Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, India and finishing in Nepal. I had seen the incredible scenery of the Himalayas, having driven from Pokhara to Kathmandu and gone up into the mountains around Kathmandu. So, in April 2018, I decided to change my mind and head to Everest Base Camp, or EBC, having booked a trek again with World Expeditions. The trek was for 17 days and after checking the sizes of their tents, decided not to pay the single tent supplement. So I arrive in Kathmandu and after ... read more
Alternate airstrip
View of Lukla Runway
Early morning view to wake up to

Asia » Nepal February 18th 2020

We met the French couple, Paulo and Enora, at Varanasi station; they were also headed to Nepal via Gorukhpur and I wasted no time in informing them of the latter’s delights. Fortunately there were no substantive delays to the overnight train and on our arrival we were able to catch a bus straight out of Hades. Yes, I admitted, it did - by daylight transit - seem merely grim... No funny business this time at the Nepal border and, indeed, we were not subsequently robbed en route from it . We rolled into Pokhara at 10pm and, hats off, these youngsters were totally up for walking the three kilometres to lakeside. Which we duly did. However, it being low season, much was shut up early and we had to take what crumbs we could both in ... read more
Barbeque with Mo and Jun
Fewa lake, Pokhara
House up on Sarankot

Asia » Nepal » Annapurna November 23rd 2019

Day 9 of the trek - November 11 - from Nepal Hiking Team itinerary. Bamboo to Jhinu Danda (1780m/5840ft. duration 6 hours. We shall hike the trail to Chhomrong, passing through Khuldighar where the people have established an experimental sheep farm, the journey paved with the abundance of our national flower, Rhododendrons, blooming in colors of red, white and pink, contrasting to the primary of glaucous green of the bamboo forests. From Chhomrong, the trail descends steeply to Jhinu Hot spring where you can respite in the naturally salubrious hot spring and have an interlude and rejuvenate yourselves. The second to last day and although we are still descending, we know there is an uphill slog from the suspension bridge after Sinuwa to Chhomrong (see day 5). 2550 stairs on this section alone! It would be ... read more
The long suspension bridge

Asia » Nepal » Annapurna November 20th 2019

Day 4 of the trek, November 6 - from Nepal Hiking Team Itinerary - Chuile to Chhomrong (2020m/6625 ft) Duration 5 hours. We shall descend down the precipitous trail leaving Chuile; and continue through the riotous woodland and forest as we reach Gurung, the village of the Gurung people. A clear morning meant chilly temperatures but it was worth if for our first really clear view of Machhapuchhre (or Fishtail). In the grand scheme of mountains in this part of the world (where to be considered a mountain, it has to be over 6000m), fishtail was relatively low at a mere 6993m. The day is memorable for a lot of down followed by a lot of up (but we were generally descending as part of the whole acclimatization plan). Long pants and warm layers were quickly ... read more
Mules have right of way

Asia » Nepal November 17th 2019

November 1. From Nepal Hiking Team itinerary : Kathmandu to Pokhara (910m/2985ft) Duration: 6-7 Hours by private vehicle. After breakfast, you shall be driven to Pokhara, the second largest city of Nepal. The drive will present you with the opportunity to see the wonderful landscape of terraced farmlands- green and wet with the sowing of rice and barley by the farmers, the frisky rush of the meandering rivers by the highway and the isolated valleys low-lying among the gargantuan hills and rocky gorges. The journey from Kathmandu to Pokhara takes about 6 hours, and upon arrival at Pokhara, we shall check into a hotel, which the city has an abundance of. In the evening, you shall be able to enjoy the respite of a beautiful boat-ride at Fewa Lake and on a clear day, you can ... read more

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu November 2nd 2019

It was a long summer of lots of hiking, stair climbing and general hill practice in preparation for a 10 day trek to Annapurna Base Camp (also known as Annapurna Sanctuary) in the Himalaya - something that has been on my bucket list for years. It was originally planned as a 60th birthday destination for Vera but unfortunately a hip injury derailed her. So the gang of four became myself, 2bob, Angie and Jeff. For me, just getting to Kathmandu was an exhausting adventure in itself which was somewhat due to my decisions. On October 21st I chose I work for the Canadian Federal Elections as a poll clerk which was a long 16 hour day followed by 4 hours sleep then flying to Montreal for 5 days for some volunteer activity with CSCT. Sunday October ... read more

Asia » Nepal » Pokhara October 21st 2019

Bij het ontbijt werd het wel duidelijk. Pokhara is voor Nepal wat Benidorm voor Spanje is. Ongelooflijk veel groepen toeristen. De één al onbeleefder dan de ander. We moesten bijna vechten voor een tafeltje, want het was enorm druk, maar al bij al viel het goed mee. Het eten was verder weer niets op aan te merken. Om 9u30 moesten we klaar staan om te vertrekken. We ontmoetten onze nieuwe gids. Een zeer vriendelijke mens die ons in de auto al heel veel over de regio kon vertellen. Karen had het ondertussen al wel gehad met het gepamper en wou haar rugzak zelf dragen! Onze gids heeft het dus geweten. :) Sindsdien vraagt hij eerst of hij moet helpen. :) Je zou voor minder. Onze eerste stop was de bekendste en oudste tempel (uiteraard) van Pokhara. ... read more

Asia » Nepal » Annapurna October 21st 2019

Dag 13: Lichte trekking vanuit Dhampus: vanochtend vertrokken we om 8u30 na het ontbijt weer de bergen in en na een goeie 3 uur rijden over wegen die eigenlijk enkel bedoeld zijn voor een 4x4, kwamen we aan bij ons hotel. We settelde ons in de ruime kamer, trokken onze wandelschoenen aan en vertrokken op een trektocht richting Australian Camp. De Gids zag het eigenlijk helemaal niet meer zitten met ons aangezien we gisteren al kapot waren na de trappen van de grot (weliswaar opgehoopt tussen pelgrims en toeristen in die muffe, vochtige grot). Hij raadde ons dan ook enkele keren een andere wandelroute aan :) Maar dat was buiten ons gerekend. Wij zouden naar dat kamp gaan. Het was maar 1,5 uur de berg op wandelen, dus wij konden dat. Onderweg hadden we vele prachtige ... read more

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