Archive for the 'South Asia' Category
TotalAdventure flew from Colombo,Sri Lanka to Kathmandu, Nepal on March 14th. It was a comfortable 3 hour flight, almost entirely over smoky India – hard to see much from the air.
I was greeted at the airport by my colleague and guide Shahadev Shrestha – CEO of Everest Pioneer Trek Nepal Ltd. We met at the Adventure Travel World Summit In Anchorage, Alaska in 2016. I was planning a trip to Nepal in 2020, but of course worldwide lockdowns and border closings made that impossible. Now ,in 2023,TotalAdventure finally arrived. For the next 9 days I would explore the ancient cities of the Kathmandu Valley and climb thousands of meters on the challenging stair trails in the high hills leading to the Annapurna Range.
The first day was spent in the city. Monkeys are city dwellers also.
Nandi The Bull. Nepal is both Hindu and Buddhist.
Gods Are Omnipresent – Kathmandu is a city of lively prayer. WATCH THE VIDEO .
One of the Nepali national dishes is Momo. This special Momo, a type of dumpling, has chicken and is extra spicy. Nepali food has more meat than Indian, but cow beef is forbidden.
Monkeys Love Ice Cream ! The extreme cold causes them to eat it slowly.
In Old Bhaktapur – What lies behind these mysterious doors ?
Lord Buddha is ever calm and wise.
Ancient palaces have been restored over the past two decades.
A life of prayer and piety lead to desirable conditions for reincarnation.
A visit to the Burning Ghats sees reincarnation in action. When a Hindu departs, they are cremated within the next day, if not sooner. The ashes go into the water ,while the spirit rises into the Heavens, soon to return in a new life.
The oldest son prays before his Father.
A Holy Man reads scripture.
The price list translated from the original Nepali.
In Kathmandu TotalAdventure stayed at Kathmandu’s most iconic hotel – the Yak and Yeti. It was originally a palace.
The pool is spectacular. In addition there are clay tennis courts,a state of the art gym and sauna, as well as world class international restaurants and bars.
Manager Robinson Maharjan with Shahadev Shrestha.
Though quaint, i t’s nice to read an old fashioned local English paper, even though we can get the same news 24/7 on our electronic media.After your passport, your phone is now the most important travel item.
Now, it was time for the adventurous part of the Nepal Adventure. We boarded a 25 minute flight to Pokhara. The drive is 12 to 15 hours due to major road contraction, even though it is only a little over 100 km.
We stayed at the Mount Kailash Resort in Pokhara. One can see this beautiful Himalayan view on clear mornings.There is a great swimming pool and spa to recuperate from a strenuous trek in the nearby Himalayas.
The trails in Ghorepani Poon Hill are nearly vertical – sometimes a 60 degree grade. Instead of rods, because the grade is impossible for cars, there is an extensive network of stairs . All transport is on the backs of humans and sometimes small agile horses. SEE THE VIDEO ! There are many simple guest houses in a network of villages. Your morning eggs and coffee was carried up on someone’s back. As a result prices are higher than the lowlands, but still quite reasonable.
Mt.Fishtail 6,993 Meters 22727 feet – has never been climbed. It is extremely dangerous and the Nepali Government does not grant permits.
TotalAdventure’s Permit, secured by Everest Pioneer Trek.
TotalAdventure details and routes.
Annapurna – 10th highest mountain in the world – 8,091 Meters, 26,545 feet. Nepal has 8 of the 10 highest mountains in the world. Mt.Everest is farther Northeast and takes 2 weeks just to get to base camp – remember – cars are not an option.
The proprietress of our lodge with Shahadev and our porter Raj Kumar.
The snow lasts all year at higher elevations. It actually snows more in the summer, as that is monsoon. At our level around 3000m ,we had some light snow in the early mornings.
Mt.Fishtail In The Clouds.
The videographer at work.
After 3 days of climbing – from 2200 meters to 4000 meters , it was time to return to Pokhara. After a day of relaxation – we returned to Kathmandu – where I flew on to Qatar and the USA
We had a farewell dinner at the Yak and Yeti before I caught my 2 AM flight to Qatar. Pictured are Shahadev’s family, wife and daughter, along with an old college colleague of mine, Beth Brewster. We first met on a school trip in Mexico over 40 years ago. Beth has been in Nepal over 25 years. and is in charge of Giving Asha. The organization provides help to marginalized women and children in Nepal. Nepal has a great tourism industry, but there are still many poor. Please donate on the page.
Everest Pioneer Trek just launched three new adventures on TotalAdventure.Travel Click in the top left page of TotalAdventure Magazine or directly link to the trips from these links :