Nepal, India, Sri Lanka · 67 Days · 29 Moments · October 2017

South Asia- Nepal, India, Sri Lanka

23 December 2017

We had to relocated to Rock Fort Hotel further up the beach for Christmas. But the views from this hotel are amazing. We had lots of fun taking sunset photos. We visited Galle a quaint little town built inside an old Dutch fort.

19 December 2017

We spent the last few days on Unawatuna beach at the Villa hotel. We spent our days scuba diving through Sun Divers, Kiera and Erin got open water certified! Somehow between all the sun, sand, and sea we managed to visit a turtle hatchery. There they rescue the turtle eggs, then once they hatch release them into the sea.

18 December 2017

Went out on safari at Yala National Park. This park is known for one of the largest populations of leopards in the world, unfortunately we didn’t see any. But we saw water buffalo, jackets, deer, elephants, and crocodiles.
Took a scenic train ride to Ella today, it ended up being very crowded so we sat out the train doors. Up at Ella we hiked up mini Adams peak to watch the sunset. Then hit the town for Erins 21st birthday!

16 December 2017

Spent today visiting the tea plantations of Nuwaraeliya. Also, the many stunning waterfalls and even took a dip in one. We visited a gem store and got mom a new wedding stone, Sri Lanka is famous for its gems and is the only place know for moonstones.

15 December 2017

Busy day today, Dad’s birthday and we tried to visit basically every temple in Sri Lanka. First stop Sigiriya or Lions Rock. This ancient fortress was built on a rocky hill and the royal palace atop a giant stone. Next stop, Dambulla Caves a buddhist temple built into the caves. Then into Kandy for a traditional dance show complete with fire eating and walking on hot coals. Ended the evening visiting the Buddha Tooth temple in Kandy and waiting with the devotees to see the silver shrine that houses the tooth. I somehow managed to keep up with these dedicated travelers sick with a stomach bug.

12 December 2017

Negombo, this little seaside town is largely Christian and full of many churches. There is one Buddhist temple we visited, and the local dish market. Fishing is the primary income for this area and the beaches are covered with people displaying their wares or drying fish. We took a boat cruise down the small channels inland and saw lots of monitor lizards enjoying the fresh water.

11 December 2017

Colombo, this giant city is beautiful. As my first glimpse of Sri Lanka, I think I’m going to like it here. The city is so quiet compared to the constant honking of horns I’ve been used too. Though I am only in the city one day I visited the Gangaramaya Buddhist temple. This impressive temple shows the wealth of this faith as they have rooms filed with gold and ruby Buddha’s, even a giant white jade Buddha with diamonds incrusted. Rooms full of antique cars and jewelry. In the main temple every inch of wall is covered with sculptures. Nearby is a lake temple, that stands in contrast with the many skyscrapers surrounding it.

10 December 2017

9 December 2017

Madurai, this city is home to the Sri Meenakshi temple. This ancient Shiva and Parvati temple is massive. It includes 1000s of granite pillars and a golden temple. Every evening a ceremony is performed to bring the Shiva and Parvati figures together. This temple was also visited by Gandhi on this travels and nearby the Gandhi museum houses his personal artifacts and recounts the story of India’s fight for independence

8 December 2017

Cliffside paradise, varkala beach is the perfect ending to India. Spent a few nights enjoying the sea with new friends (Antonio, Lili, Monica). Treated ourselves to fresh seafood and sunshine

5 December 2017

The tea plantations of Munnar, at 3000m the beautiful rolling hills and bright green plants are the perfect treat. Plus having new friends to explore with makes it all the more fun. We rented some scooters and explored the plantations, waterfalls, and even had a little petrol mishap.

30 November 2017

Mysore, city of palaces, this beautiful clean city is known for its many beautiful palaces and is the yoga capital of the south. Explored the beautiful Mysore palace and St. phenomena cathedral. Visited the busy Bazaar full of flowers, oils, and silks. Finally, a pilgrimage up 1000 steps up Charmundi Hill, devotees place colored powders on each step to mark their passage. Along the way you pass the giant bull Nandi. We even managed to find a local fair, complete with a life size replica of the Whitehouse.

28 November 2017

Exploring the rocky ruins of Hampi, this medieval civilization once housed 500,000 people. I spent a few days hiking around these ancient ruins and enjoying a break from the busy cities. I stayed at a local climbers hangout and slept under the stars on the hostel roof.

26 November 2017

Palolem was truly paradise. This white sand beach is the perfect balance of a tropical oasis and a taste of India with the many cows roaming the beach. Braved the roads on a scooter to visit Agonda Beach. The trip to Hampi from here was a bit of an adventure as the bus windshield shattered, but no worry’s they just brushed it off and continued on.

18 November 2017

Hyderabad, it was a spur of the moment decision to visit but I'm so glad I did. This city has so much history and between visiting Golconda Fort, Charminar, and Birla Mandir I met some great people. We went out for an amazing traditional lamb dinner- which is a giant leg of marinated lamb on a giant metal plate and everyone digs in with their hands.

16 November 2017

Mumbai, what a beautiful city. Visited the Gateway to India and got drinks at the Taj Mahal Tower hotel site of the terrorist attack a few years ago. Explored the beachfront and took on some towers of Kingfisher beer with hostel friends. And had to end the experience with a Bollywood play- Balle Balle.

11 November 2017

Varanasi, this 6,000 year old city is the holy site for Hindus. People bring their loved ones who have passed away here to be cremated and the ashes placed in the river. Each night ceremonies are performed to honor the Ganges river. This ancient city feels so lively and you can spend days exploring its many winding alleys. Unfortunately, this is where my traveling companion Daniel and I part ways as I head on down to south India.

9 November 2017

Visit to Lumbini, birth place of the Buddha. We wandered around the beautiful gardens and joined the lines of devotees visiting this sacred site.

7 November 2017

Amazing views of the Annapurna Mountain Range from Pokhara. We hiked up to the World Peace Temple and explored the small town around Phewa lake (second largest lake in Nepal).

4 November 2017

Amazing visit to Chitwan, we saw so many rhinos, and the rare charial crocodile. We went on a walking safari and a came upon a rhino that ran right past us. One evening as we were eating dinner a Rhino just decided to walk right through the middle of town.

2 November 2017

Kathmandu, this busy, dusty city is so full of energy and life. Hidden around every corner are amazing temples and stupas, these old buildings stand in contrast to the many phone and IT shops that line the roads. Signs of the 2015 earthquake are everywhere, but so are signs of progress and repair. We visited the Hindu temple Pashupatinath where many funerals were taking place along the riverside. Also, we stopped at one of the largest stupas in Nepal- boudhanath. And of course we visited the famous Durbar square. We were even able to squeeze in a day trip to Nepals old capital Bhaktapur.

28 October 2017

Down to Lukla, where we will wait to try and catch a plane back to Kathmandu. We say goodbye to our porter and Lakpa invites us to his home to have tea. It has been such a journey, it's hard to believe how far we have come in 10 days

27 October 2017

17km today, but we finally reach Namche Bazaar again. We celebrate the hike with Everest and Sherpa Beers.

26 October 2017

Heading back down now, which makes for long days. We stay at Pheriche a very windy little village.

23 October 2017

At 4,900m we reached Lobuche after an 8km trek. This is a common place for people to suffer from altitude sickness but so far we have been lucky. Small rock stupas line the trail as they are used by sherpas to mark the path.
Dingboche, along this route you can't see Everest as we started to curve around Mt. Nuptse. But the stunning stupas along the route show the heritage and devotion of the Sherpa people.

22 October 2017

Another long 13 km day but we are now at 3,960m at Pangboche. Along the trail here you can see all the damage done by the 2015 earthquake. Bridge’s lay destroyed at the bottom of the hills and the stones of home toppled down the cliffside.

20 October 2017

After an exhausting 10 km hike uphill we finally reached Namche Bazaar. This busy mountain town, was lively with celebrations of Deepavali. We had our first view of Everest from the mountain tops here, and it is truly amazing.

18 October 2017

Started our hike up to Everest base camp with a terrifying flight to Lukla one of the most dangerous airports in the world. The runway is only 150 meters then straight off the cliffside. We met our guide Lakpa and porter at Lukla. Then started a three hour hike to reach Phakding.