Reflections on Nepal

Lucy Nameste Nice Nepal. Nepal is full of exciting and interesting culture and many different nice people. We went for a 12 day hike into the mountains. We walked many, many, many kilometres; ate many chocolate bars; and told many, many stories. When we returned back to Pokhara, Daddy had to leave to get his Pakistan visa just before his birthday. We made friends with two other sets of Overlanders, it was good to meet other people driving around Asia. I loved going to the cafe next door, The Bee Charmer. Upstairs there was a little boy called Babu, he had the sweetest baby chicks and everyday we played with them together. I went to Babu's birthday party. There were 3 sweet dogs nearby. One was a stray dog we named Foxy because of her ears were like a fox and she had the nicest orangey fur. Alisha and I wanted to adopt her. Bye bye Nice Nepal. Alisha Nepal was an instant relief after crazy India. We found that Nepal was less nuts then India but a bit far off a European country. Kathmandu is about four notches less on the crazy scale then Varanasi, an Indian city. (To be honest it might of been five but who cares) but the rest of Nepal was pretty (it was more than pretty actually but I can't spell baeutiful or is it beautilful you see, I can't spell it). The Himalayas were awesome. I know most people say " Oh the only reason I went to Nepal was to go trekking" but there is a lot more to Nepal then that. It's a whole form of culture on it's own. Most people look over Nepal, they prefer to go to Tibet for the Himalayas. Even if they go to Nepal they only look at the mountains not at the culture but they should it is really interesting. I bet Mummy or Daddy will write about the amazing mountains and the scenery and blah blah blah. I enjoyed meeting all the different people on the mountain, there was a lot of people who where all very friendly and I beat a lot of them at cards;) When we spent two weeks in Pokhara that was fun I got to go and buy vegetables on my own (when you don't have a permanent address and you can't go anywhere without a grown-up it's a big deal) the local shop owners got to know me and always smiled and waved as I walked towards them. They where always super friendly and never once called me baby (whooooohooo). Gilly We only left the mountains a couple of days ago and already I miss them, especially as it is 38°C in the lowlands. Our two treks in Nepal: up the Kalaigebdiki Valley and up to Mardi Himal Base Camp, were all we had hoped for and more. Both teahouses treks, the first gave us not only amazing mountain views but also a glimpse of village culture. The second was mostly through uninhabited forest but the highlight was the final days views from above the tree line and Steve and I getting up to the Base Camp. It would have been nice to have done it together but I'm so pleased we were able to do it, and we didn't have to drag the girls up that high. I'm amazed at how much they enjoyed the trekking too, they deserve credit for how well they did. They rarely complained about the walking and loved the novelty of sleeping in new places, meeting new people and hours of telling and hearing stories. The big earthquake, 2 years ago, has left it scars. We saw lots of rebuilding in Kathmandu which added a lot of dust to the already horribly polluted atmosphere. The Nepali people stoic, warm and welcoming and everything was working although sadly for them tourist numbers are way down. Education seems to have a big focus with kids smart in the uniform setting off every morning for school. The children who lived around the area we stayed in Pokhara, were all enthusiastic and spoke some English. Although sadly, we did see some instances of child labour, many were just helping their parents out but some appeared to be working independently in businesses. We loved our 7 1/2 weeks in Nepal so much that we have already decided what to do when we come back, another trek into a more remote region. We would have happily stayed for longer but after so long in one place the road beckons. Steve I loved Nepal. It's a friendly country with some of the most amazing scenery on the planet. After the chaos of India, Nepal felt so much more relaxed. Not that it didn't have it's own chaotic places such as the traffic in Kathmandu but once out trekking that all just faded away. The culture and the sights of the Kathmandu valley made for an interesting week but the highlight for me was the two treks we did that took us high into the mountains. It was good to see we were all pretty fit and that we managed the altitude well so that we could enjoy the breath taking scenery. I just could not get enough of the views and I am keen to come back to do some more trekking. Heading up to Kagbeni and glimpsing into Mustang has me eager for more. Pokhara was also a pleasant relaxed place to hang out and a great place for the family to stay while I had to head back to England for a visa. We have a lot of driving in front of us so it was nice to leave the truck parked up for a while and to use our own two feet to get around. The treks were amazing. It was not just the scenery but the simple life of moving from tea house to tea house. Meeting other interesting travellers as well as engaging with the owners of the tea houses. We soon settled into a daily rhythm and the worries of the wider world just faded away. Sitting looking in awe at the mountains just seemed to make everything so insignificant.

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