Some photos, part 1.

There has been a pretty big delay, I know. However, here’s some of our holiday snaps. It’s hard to pick out my favorites, but I guess here’s some highlights. I’ve gone through my photos while in Kathmandu and the first couple of days trekking and picked out a few to share.

colourful dyes at market stalls, Kathmandu

steps through abandoned shrines at Pashupatinath,which is a holy site with a river running through it. This photo was taken behind the main area, with the shrines that are no longer used. The main area has much more going on, including cremations and funeral celebrations, and was crowded due to the day falling on a festival day in which people honoured their ancestors.

holy man, outside a small shrine. There’s a prayer wheel there with him, and people were inside playing music and singing.

Bodhnath Stupa, one of the largest buddhist shrines in the world. It’s pretty impressive, but it was also pretty crowded with tourists!

Another temple! This one was the monkey temple. We caught a taxi there and arrived just on dusk. It has a great view over the city, and plenty of monkeys running around. There was also a rather healthy and friendly looking dog who joined our party at the base of the steps and accompanied us most of the way up to the top.

family of water buffalo in a pool in the middle of the road. This was our first day of trekking.

houses along the way, on our first day of walking

We climbed a rock!
This was at our first lodge, at Syuali Bazar. The lodge was by the river, and so was this rock.

I loved this sign. Who counted the steps?

having the first tea for the day in Gandruk. this was the second lodge we stayed in, and the first realisation that we really were up in the mountains of Nepal.

after this warning at a teahouse (i.e. “buy our stuff because it’s the last you’ll get for 2 hours”), I was so amused I regularly referred to getting “sneckers for trekkers”.
as a side note, snickers when you’re trekking are amazing.

this is when we started to get into the harder stuff, above Tadapani (fourth day of walking). It was steep, with narrow paths, and I had a tendancy to get a bit dizzy if I looked around without stopping, just because of how much you have to concentrate on where you are walking.

So that’s some of my photos, which makes a good start. I’ll try and post some more tonight. There are way too many to post all of them, and about 50 million of the same mountain from different angles and light, but I’ll pick them out and see how I go!

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We have returned.

We have returned from the heights of the Himalayas.

I loved our trip. We have many stories… I got quite sick (common cold) in a rather inconvenient place (camping 4,200 metres up and sleeping in -6 degrees C.) and our group changed its plans (I was not the only one who got sick).

Our guide was wonderful, as were our Sherpas and porters. Our change of itinerary only meant that we spent more time in rainforest and hotsprings, and a little less time freezing our butts off in the altitude. Having said that, we made it to our highest camping spot, and walked a little higher than that. We ate so much delicious food, including a celebration chicken curry for one of the festivals in the mountains (apart from that the trekking menu was all vegetarian as it is forbidden to kill animals in the mountians, apparently. Except for on festival days.)

We met many people. We saw amazing mountians and forests and landscapes. We gazed upon the deepest gorge in the world (allegedly) and the highest peaks. We walked paths known only to locals (and our tour group). We danced – even Gary. I gathered bruises as a television set gathers dust. We learnt the wisdom of merry taxi drivers. We rode ancient yaks through the mystical breath of the cloud, high above the realms of ordinary men… ok that part was a tad fanciful. And completely made up. We didn’t ride any Yaks. We did, however, watch them come home out of the fog, seeking shelter from the frosty night.

A (much more accurate) detailed account is in order, however I am much too tired for that now. I also need to go through my ridiculous amount of photos.

For the moment, here’s one of my favorites:

Yak and the mountains from Khopra ridge (3660 metres)