guides us through Nepal!
Kathmandu, Pokhara, Nepal
Dec 28, 2003 05:01
superb view of snow capped mountains, adventurous
Nepal was spectacular! We had really looked forward to this part
of the trip, and it exceeded all of our expectations. It certainly
started off on the right foot -- we arrived and met our good friends
Mark and Bridgett at the hotel, as we had planned. They had flown
in from Houston to join us for this part of the trip, and on their
first wedding anniversary to boot (they spent their honeymoon climbing
Mt. Kilimanjaro). The next day we all took an Everest flight on
a tiny plane -- definitely a highlight of our trip. I don't think
I will ever forget rising out of a sea of clouds and watching as
what looks a string of island -- really 8000+ meter mountains --
get bigger and bigger. I think we took more than fifty pictures
on our hour long flight, and every one looks they could be a postcard.
After a day or two in Kathmandu, we started our four day trek near
the Annupurna range. This was the part of the trip we were nervous
about. There have been weekly, sometimes daily, reports of fighting
between the monarchial government and Maoist rebels. Trekking in
particular was a bit iffy, as rebels regularly demand bribes from
trekkers and, although there have been no kidnapped or killed tourists,
we weren't eager to start a trend. However, our guide told us we
would be fine, although he did insist we tell people we were from
Canada instead of the US. As he was named Ganesh, i.e. the elephant
god of good luck in Hinduism, we figured we would be fine. And we
were. The trek was great with lots of super views of snow capped
mountains everywhere around us. We hiked 8-10 hours a day up and
down, and had a great time just spending time with good friends.
Ganesh may have worked his magic as well, since we didn't encounter
any rebels, and as we later learned the rebels had reportedly stopped
asking trekkers for money a day or two before we got there.
Our trek then rolled into our three day white water rafting trip
down the Kali Gandaki, a fine river with good class 3 and 4 rapids.
The Kali Gandaki is one of the holiest rivers in Nepal, and we saw
at least three or four cremations occurring on the riverside as
we rafted down. That was certainly a first.
Anyway, after a week and half with Mark and Bridgett, we had to
say goodbye in Pokhara as they continued down to Chitwan National
Park to hang out with the elephants and rhinos. Since we had already
done that in Africa, we headed back to India to continue our trip.