Friday, March 2, 2012

Nepal - trip 2

In the air again for round 2. This picture is on the way down from Kathmandu to Pokhara. You can see the lake in the distance and the Himalayas in the background.
In the tiny airport terminal you will see this map that lets you know where you are. It was the only thing to take a photo of while I was waiting for my luggage.
The main road in Pokhara, Lake road! :) That hill in the back ground is what I'm about to climb ~1500m so its the same elevation as at home in jhb.
This is my starting point at the bottom of the lake. This is a view towards my target...
... and is a view of the starting point and where I will end up tomorrow morning after para gliding down! :) If you follow the two telephone/power lines towards the mountain you will see a small spec on the other mountain which was more defined when I was there in person. That is the Piece temple which I will also visit.
A zoomed in view of the top again... and we see those para gliders!! :)
A bit of the way into the hike I asked my guide to take a photo of me, which he did... but he put me in the center of the photo... and I wanted a picture of me and the lake... so I've had to patch this photo together... you'll see the color of the rocks and sky don't quite line up... :|
Here is another view with out me in...
About half way up when I was passing a small village the two little village girls run up to me screaming BOTO!! BOTO!!! I had no idea what this mean but I decided to take a photo of them... The I realized that they were screaming PHOTO... PHOTO... because another girl ran up and the then they all did this pose you see... After they photo they all screamed... LOOK... LOOK... and pointed to the camera... so obviously they wanted to see their photo... which I showed them... thn they all scream PRETTY YES!!! and giggled... then they started screaming CARAMELLO!!!! CARAMELLO!!! so they wanted sweets... which I didn't have... so then they started screaming MONEY... MONEY... So I gave them each a few rupee coins I had...
I was hoping to reach the top of the hill before the sun started setting so that I could watch it set, but they sun seamed to be setting faster than I was walking up the hill! :|
Almost there, just some stares to where the lodge was:
Finally at the top, on the balcony of my room looking out at Pokhara city:
I had quite a good dinner that night! Local chicken which was so juicy and tasteful, mashed potatoes that were so sweet... I was wondering if the potatoes in Nepal are naturally sweeter than say India for example, because even the fried potatoes tasted better than those in India! else they were just cooking everything with sugar... But I think it was how things naturally taste. With the chicken and mash was local vegetables which were cooked - so I could eat them - and very very tasty! I'm assuming the Chicken was running around earlier today, the potatoes where in the ground this morning just like the vegies that were on my plate but now in my stomach. I was hungry and didn't take a photo of the food - so use your imagination! :)
I had a very early night - not like there's a lot to do on the top of a mountain/hill after the sun goes down and there is no electricity because of load shedding - plus I needed an early morning to watch the sun rise! :)

This is my first view of the Annapurna Himalayan mountain range. That big peak you see in the center of the photo is nicknamed "FishTail" and by law nobody is allowed to climb that peak. On the left is Annapurna I and on the right is Annapurna II - the peak I want to come back to Pokhara to summit. This photo is about 30 minutes before the sun comes into view over the horizon from the right.A picture of me just before the sun comes out:
Here is the day beginning:
The sun is just poking out the horizon!

The sun over the peaks of the Annapurna Himalayan mountain range.
Me with some the early birds:

Other early birds:
The sun light spills over the mountain peaks and fills the valley below.
Some people chose to do microlight flight over Annapurna!

Lucky lucky!!!
A zoomed in view of Fish Tail:
A zoomed in view of Annapurna 2.

The bed I slept in, very warm and comfy.
Toilet - and shower - no hot water unfortunately.
Onto a much better view, the view from just out side the eating area overlooking the lake:
Me in front of the lodge, I got my guide to take the photo - showing some support :)
I decided I could take a better picture of myself from the roof, so I did!
The roof was a good place to watch for eagles!
Here is my best shot:
I would recommend Super View lodge to anyone. It was a great experience!
Bags all packed, heading down the hill a little bit for another adventure.
Para-gliding! :D
Soon that would be me! Ready... :)

This was awesome! Annapurna in the background...
The lake in front of me...
Para-gliding is such an amazing feeling! Its like floating on air - you wish you could stay up there forever!
I don't know of a better place on earth to have a first time para-gliding... look at that view!
The truck that took me back into Pokhara town.
Back at the para-gliding office paying for the video the pilot took. It was $100 to do 20min of para-gliding and $20 for the video and pictures...
The view from around the office was Sarangkot hill which I hiked up yesterday and para-glided off of today.
Next up, World Piece Stupa (Temple)
On the way up, another view of Sarangkot and Annapurna.
I'm not too sure what this is about, but here it is:
World piece stupa:
View from the bottom of the stairs:
View almost at the top:
Me at the top. Your not allowed to wear shews at these temples:Walking round in a clockwise direction these are the icons you will see:
A pause for the view from the world piece stupa:
One more round but with me goofing around this time...
A scenic view on the way down - about to go on a boat across the lake - via a jungle decent:
The jungle was hot and humid:
Almost at the bottom.
If you lent too far to one side the boat would tip
Later that evening, back in Kathmandu - having a beer:
@ the Funky Budha
Eventually I was joined by a Polish working in the UK and a German working in Oman.
My room at the Budha hotel. More money than I wanted to pay! $20 per night:
Western toilet:
Standard cold water shower:
360 view in the morning... Another sunrise
On the way to the monkey temple, the main river passing through Kathmandu!!! Filthy!!!
I'm trying to hold my breath because the smell is so powerful. Nobody pays taxes so nobody cares about keeping the city clean. Such a shame!
On route to Monkey temple passing by a stupa...
At the base of monkey temple - Swoyambhunath
Its a long way up!
Still further...
And more...
At the top:
Monkeys everywhere
Very strong stink - Its amazing that people can "worship" which such a smell present...
Another Buhda
It was a long walk up all these stairs... now its a long walk down:
I'm better at up hills than downhills
At another temple: Some monks on the way down dotted my head against my will and then made me paid them each for their blessing which I didn't want...
Another temple... these temples are all the same, once you've seen one - you've seen them all! This was near Kathmandu Durbar square.
Meet Martha from the UK. We were on the same para-gliding trip in Pokhara the previous day... Martha was doing volunteering work. I had been looking for the mistical $4/night place to stay... Everyone I had asked had told me that was in the "Red light district" in Kathmandu where all the druggies are and that I was better off not looking for such places and that I should just be happy paying $7+ - $20 a night... Oh no... Martha showed me the way!!!
Look at these beds... nothing wrong with them...
Normal looking western toilet
Standard basin and shower combo
And the name.... I should have guesses this and just gone straight here long ago...
Another place I should have tried:
Moving on to the holy land...
This is holy land... In the background you can see some barbeque's being set up...
Holly man
People throw money into the river for good luck... he collects the money...
There was a lot to see here, but I didn't have time:
Almost human barbeque time:Prep work:

An interesting experience:
On the way to the airport - for a 5 hour delay - lets summarize this experience:
Flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara and back to Kathmandu = $ 170.
Half day trek (2hrs) and the guide = $ 90
Paragliding = $ 100
One night at Budha hotel = $20
Airport pickup and transfers = $20
In that 5 hours I met two very interesting Polls Kasia and Pawel who just did and amazing EBC (Everest Base Camp) trek on a budget!
Together they paid Rs 35 000 for a 12 day trek to Everest Base Camp!
KTM-Lukla-KTM - $ 240
Hotels ~ Rs 100-200 per night
Water ~ Rs 100-300 per bottle
Meals ~ Rs 200-600 per meal
Charging batteries ~ 100-300 per hour

Things I would need:
  1. Down jacket
  2. Down sleeping bag
  3. light water and wind prof jacket
  4. Polar fleece
  5. 2 thermal shirts
  6. 1 normal shirt
  7. 1 thermal pants
  8. pijamas
  9. 1 walking pants - not too warm
  10. 2 thermal socks
  11. 1 sleeping socks
  12. gloves
  13. hat
  14. walking sticks
  15. small torch
  16. EBC map
  17. Sunscreen cream
  18. toilet paper
  19. wet wipes (30-50) - no showers for 12 days
  20. medicine
  21. Water bottle
  22. Put the water bottle in my sleeping bag at night else it will freeze in the morning
  23. TIMS CARD in KTM - 2 photos


-- There are NO ATM's so draw all the cash you will need before.

  1. Get the first flight of the morning. KTM-Lukla --> Benkar (5hr) or Monjo. Benkar - waterfall hotel.
  2. Benkar - Namche Bazar (5hr) Namche - the nest at Namche
  3. Namche - Acclimatisation day needed (Trek to Everest view hotel and Khumjung 4hr)
  4. Namche - Tengboche (4-5hr) Tengboche Guest house
  5. Tengboche - Dingboche (5.5hr) Dingboche valley guest house
  6. Dingboche - Acclimatisation day - trek to Chumjung 4hr
  7. Dingboche - Lobuche (4.5hr) Lobnche - Peak XV (You can leave your bag and take only what you need for the next day)
  8. Lobuche - Gorak Shep - Everest Base Camp - Gorak (3hr + 4hr) Gorak - Buddha Lodge
  9. Gorak - Kala Patthar-Gorak Pheriche (3.5hrs + 3.5hrs) Pheriche - many hotels
  10. Pheriche - Namche (8hrs)
  11. Namche - Lukla (7hrs) Lukla - Khumbu Resort
  12. Lukla - KTM - first flight in the morning!

Thank you so much for this information!!! It makes this so much more accessible!

:) Its obvious what the next plan will be for next time... ":)

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