Nepal · 21 Days · 22 Moments · May 2017

Namaste Nepal!

6 June 2017

Our tired legs were grateful for the rest in the bus. As it's been our last day we want to say thanks. Thanks to all the guesthouse owners for welcoming us after long days of physical exhaustion. To all the cooks which provided awesome meals. Thanks to the guides and porters who make trekking a special experience to everyone who doesn't know their way around in Nepal. Last but not least we want to mention the porters who delivered every guesthouse on the way by foot(!) with cooking ingredients, big gas bottles for a hot shower, snacks and several other supplies which were desperately needed by trekkers. They provide small luxuries which made us realise how spoiled our lives actually are. Dhanyabad to all the hard workers and locals. In the end it's been them who made this trip possible and enjoyable!

4 June 2017

Today was our last day of trekking. Yesterday we made it from Bamboo to Jhinu Danda where we spent the day in a hot spring. It was so relaxing! Unfortunately Liams shoes got pinched over night and he had to make is way back down in his slides...luckily it went alright. At one point tho we got lost in the bamboo woods ๐Ÿ˜„that hadn't happened the entire trek, so of course it had to happen on the last day! We finally made it to our last destination: Siwa. From there we caught a bus to Pokhara. Pokhara is a beautiful big mountain village with a lake. Here we will spend our last week before we go back home. The food is amazing and cheap and we also have a massage booked in for tomorrow. This week is gonna be relaxing and very rewarding ๐Ÿ˜Š

3 June 2017

Today was my real birthday present. Steff cleared the sky for me so we had an epic view of part of the Himalayan range. We got really lucky with the weather, the last week it had just been pouring with rain. So thanks Steff ๐Ÿ˜˜ Adding the Annapurna base camp to the trek was definitely worth it. It provided one of the best views of our whole trek. We stood at the base of the 10th highest and most dangerous mountain in the world. For most of the people the trek ends here but for some, they carry on up the mountain to stand at 8091m. After taking it in and having breakfast, we flew back down the route we struggled to climb yesterday. We arrived at a place called bamboo and decided to spend the night. We arrived early, so had a relaxing day of chilling, playing cards and then a nice dinner. We are fried rice with Cheesey Tibetan bread... carbs carbs carbs ๐Ÿ˜ it was delicious, although a little spicy after the lid came off the Chili salt ๐Ÿ˜“

2 June 2017

June 2nd: Liams birthday ๐ŸŽ‰ ๐ŸŽ‚๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽŠ! It was a special day as we made it to Annapurna base camp today. This is our last major destination on the trek. From here we are the closest to the Annapurna range as you can get. You are able to see the summits of Annapurna I (the most deadliest mountain in the world with a 35% death rate), Gangapurna, Annapurna South and Machhapuchhre. We had some awesome views today and being on 4130m makes us feel really close to the mountains. Luckily we feel fine in this altitude because we already completed the circuit and acclimatised at greater heights. Others have to be careful who are only doing the Basecamp. Just a couple of days ago a guy ascended to quickly and had to be rescued by helicopter. It took 3 days due to bad weather. The weather has gotten nicer now and we are hoping to have some nice views at sunrise tomorrow ๐Ÿ˜Š

1 June 2017

We started walking today at 7:30, headed for Deurali, the 2nd last stop before Annapurna Base Camp. Today's trek featured lots of steep ups and downs, which simply sucks. The day started off badly. We descended from Chomrong for about 10 minutes, straight down stairs. We realised we had forgotten the power bank to recharge the phone. So liam sacrificed his legs and ran back up to the top to get it, while I had a nice rest ๐Ÿ˜ We saw a lot today; a hen with its chicks ๐Ÿฅ , rice fields, jungle, bamboo and rhododendron forrest, deers, monkeys ๐Ÿ’ and lots mossy rocks dripping with water. It was beautiful. All together we ascended 1200m and arrived at Deurali exhausted.

31 May 2017

Another early start this morning, up at 4am to climb Poon Hill for sunrise. We missed out yesterday due to heavy rain. It was a 400m climb from our hotel to the top at 3210m. We hoped for a clear sky but once again we had bad luck. There were too many clouds and we didn't have a great view but it was enough to get a picture with our travel companions, Sam and Callum. We then headed to Chomrong to begin the Annapurna Base Camp trek. It was one of the nicest days of trekking we've had so far. Most of the day was spent trekking through the jungle and rhododendron forest. The path also ran along a river where lots of travellers had made rock stacks. Because there was so much flowing water, the landscape was pure green. It was a long day of trekking nevertheless, and we finally arrived in Chomrong. We found a nice guest house and made some new friends. For dinner there was a cheese bean burrito and chicken kofta with rice and Tibetan bread, washed down with hot chocolate. It was yum.

28 May 2017

From Muktinath we made it to Ghorepani. After we walked from Muktinath to Jomsom, which lead us through a huge dusty part of a dried out river and covered us in dust, we decided to catch a bus from Jomsom to Tatopani. If you head to Jomsom the wind picks up to 60km/h as The valley gets low and really narrow which forces the wind up to that speed. It was very unpleasant to walk that day. After we caught the bus to Tatopani, we stayed there a night to recover. The day after we walked to Ghorepani. It was more walking up stairs than anything else. The walk took us 7 hours, we walked 3000 steps with incline of 1700m ๐Ÿ˜ต It was one of the sweatiest days we had so far, but we didn't suffer alone. We had nice company: Sam and Callum, two English guys we met along the way. Finally arrived in Ghorepani we shared a huge thermos of hot chocolate and destroyed a lot of cookies over our favourite card game; shithead!

27 May 2017

Muktinath is a big village compared to the others we have passed. It is well known for its spirituality. The Nepalese believe that only here the 5 elements come together. Many come to Muktinath to pray at the monastery and to experience the spirits. When we finally arrived at muktinath we treated ourselves to a pot of tea and played some cards after the long trip. Wearing our foot cosies made our feet feel nice and warm. We also had our first shower in a few days and it was hot, thank god ๐Ÿ™ later on just before dinner we had a beer with some people we met. Then it was dinner time where we again treated ourselves; one yak burger and one yak gnocchi bolognese. It was delicious, our best meal of the trip.
Up at 3:30 ๐Ÿ˜ณwe started trekking at 4:15. Pitch black and wet, with only a phone torch, we made our first ascent to High camp. It was 500m above Pedhi and almost vertical. The more we ascended the happier we were to be wearing our full gear; it was freezing. What started as rain and rock soon became snow. It was crazy. Unfortunately the clouds decided to hover over the pass today and we had terrible vision. We could barely see 20m ahead of us. Most of all we missed out on seeing the beautiful views from the pass of the surrounding peaks. However, we claimed some photos from friends who had done the pass yesterday ๐Ÿ˜ although the weather wasn't great, it still made for a nice trek as it was more challenging as we could hardly see the trek marking poles. Finally we arrived at the top, 5416m. It felt great but couldn't stay long as it was so cold, and we had no views. We headed down and we're flying, it descended rapidly to the next town, 1700m below; Muktinath.

25 May 2017

We left base camp again at 11. Originally heading to Shri Kharka which was 2 hours away, we still felt good when we got there so we decided to continue on to Yak Kharka. This meant that the side trek to Tilicho lake only added 1 night to our trek whereas it added 2-3 for most people, just in case you forgot we are badass hikers. We had to walk back through the landslide area where the paths were sometimes nonexistent. Once we made it back through we were walking through grass and shrubs again. Here we saw some baby yaks with their mummy. They were so cute. It nearly made us feel guilty for eating their cousin ๐Ÿ˜ We also passed through an old village that was just ruins now. It was interesting to see. The further we got the more we started regretting committing to Yak Kharka. We realised we fucked up at 2, when we saw the path descended about 300m to a bridge only to go back up 300m on the other side. This hurt especially after doing the lake that morning. But once again, we made it!
Breakfast was at 5:30 so we could leave for the lake by 6. Ain't gonna lie, the climb was the worst we've done so far. Luckily we only had to take one bag with just the necessities, as we would pass back through the base camp. It was a 1000m altitude gain to the lake over about 3-4km; it was steep! We had some amazing views up the top. We could see back down the Valley with views of all the peaks of the surrounding mountains. It was breathtaking. When we arrived at the lake it was frozen, but still impressive. It was 4km long and 2km wide. The walls of tilicho peak joined the surface of the lake. As it got hotter we could hear the ice breaking. We didn't stay long as it was freezing and because of the altitude. Whilst the way up took us 2:15, the way down only took 1 hour. We ran most of it as it was easier than to fight the gravity. When we got back to base camp we had a pot of hot tea and a much needed hour break. We still had a loooong day ahead of us...

24 May 2017

Definitely regret thinking day 3 was hard. Today we really started to feel the altitude, even after a rest day. Every incline had us puffing and in need of a short break. We reached 4150m, where our guest house is. The highest we reached today was 4400m, there were lots of steep ups and downs. We are at Tilicho base camp now, the last stop before tilicho lake. For breakfast we had porridge again and tried the local Nepalese juice called seabuckthorn juice. Fuck knows what's in it but it was nice.. and sweet ๐Ÿ˜ We passed by heaps of yaks chilling on the cliffs eating grass. The landscape changed once again to gravel trails and rough looking plants, except 2 types of pretty flowers. Because we were so high today we had awesome views of the entire valley and could see all the towns we passed through today in the distance. We crossed through a dangerous landslide area. Walking on the edge of a cliff, sometimes without a path, only gravel that had slid down the mountain. But we made it!

23 May 2017

Today was our well deserved rest day. Everybody does this in Manang to acclimatise. While other people went on short day treks we only left our beds to eat, it felt so good ๐Ÿ˜„ We slept in until 8.30 and had apple and chocolate pancakes, a mushroom omelette and hot chocolate/milk tea for breakfast. For lunch we went to a nice bakery, something Manang is known for, and shared a cinnamon roll and had hot chocolate and coffee. After that we had a nap and then it was dinner time. Tonight we shared a ginger garlic yak steak with yak cheese on top and a chicken pizza. Manang is also known for their tasty yak dishes so we wanted to try them. We finished our night with a game of cards with some friends we made two nights ago. We played shit head and old maid. Tomorrow we will interrupt the Annapurna circuit with a side trek to tilicho lake, the highest lake of its size in the world. It sits at 5000m. We are excited!

22 May 2017

I discovered a dish called tsampa porridge, which is a Tibetan porridge and reminds me of polenta. Mixed with honey it's a great start for a long day of trekking. After breakfast we heard a noise sounding like thunder. We stepped outside and saw a huge avalanche coming off the snowy peak of the mountain far in front of us. It was the most powerful, intimidating and stunning thing we've seen nature doing๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ณ Still stoked from what we have seen, we started our trek and especially for me it was the hardest day so far. Every small ascent made me feel tired. Liam was a great support except that one time, when he thought I look like an old blind person because I had to get the trekking poles out. We took long breaks and realised what happens when your body has to work with 20% less oxygen. Our bodies felt heavy and tired and our faces were sunburnt. We arrived in Manang where we will have a rest day to recover and treated ourselves to yak burgers and apple crumble, it was yummy!

21 May 2017

We made it! We aimed to make it to 3300m today and our guest house sits at 3470. We are at Upper Pisang and have a view you would normally pay a fortune for. At this altitude it becomes dangerous to trek more than 500m a day, so we need to be careful from now on. Today trekking was quite mellow, although we ascended 700m, it was spread out over 20km. Along the way the landscape changed a lot. What was jungleish to start, turned into a pine forest, and then into dusty, gravelly trails. The forest was nice to walk through as the path was soft, covered in woodchips, old pine cones and pine tree leaves. Again we made some friends along the way. Arriving in upper pisang, a stunning view of the snowy peaks welcomed us. We chose the highest guest house in the village and finished our day off with Dhal Baht- of course ๐Ÿ˜ This blog is a day late. The wifi up this high isn't the best ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

20 May 2017

Not gonna lie, today was tough, but we did it cos we're badass hikers! We hiked 20kms and ascended 1350m. Shit was fucked, particularly the last 2km which had a 600m climb. Now we are at 2750m above sea level. From here we can see snow on the surrounding mountains; it's impressive. We crossed many bridges today over the river that has been our orientation since we started the trek. Along the way we passed through the "fields of marijuana", it seemed to be regularly harvested ๐Ÿ˜. We also made a number of friends who left us a trail dung... a lot of dung. We finally made it to the Manang district and passed through 4 villages before we arrived at Timang. We found a nice guest house and even had a hot shower, our first of the trip. Once again Dhal baht was on the menu with a refill of course and Tibetan bread. Now we are having a ginger tea, which is said to be good for acclimatisation. It's gingery to say the least. We'll soon find out if it helps as we aim to reach 3300m tomorrow.

19 May 2017

Breakfast was at 6:30am and we hit the trail at 7:30. We wanted to leave earlier but Rohit insisted on playing cards. We couldn't say no! It was our first day of trekking and we were unsure how far we'd get and what to expect. We wanted to make it to a village called Tal, but after hiking 19km and ascending 500m, that was it. The worst part was that we would make a steep climb up, then go down, only to go back up. It was tiring but the views of the river, waterfalls, mountains and valleys definitely made it worth it. We tried to capture it in photos but they don't do it justice. It was all mind blowing, some of it doesn't look real. We finished our trek at a village called Chamje. We found a nice guest house and had a massive dinner. We ate Dal Baht, a common Nepalese dish. It is rice, spiced potatoes, lentil curry, and some greens. Nepali people wear shirts saying Dal Bhat, 24/7 power. It's true, it's full of carbs and they offer free refills. We're full and ready for bed, at 6pm ?
Our first morning in the mountains! Little Rohit kept us company during our morning routine and is a great adviser for his local area. He even introduced us to buffalo tastes interesting ๐Ÿ˜„

18 May 2017

So our plan for today was to catch a bus from Kathmandu to Bhulbhule and start our trek from there. We felt ready to go after we bought a detailed map, our trekking permits and tonnes of snickers. The bus trip took 12 hours instead of 6. We got stuck for 3 hours because rocks had fallen from the cliff onto the road... we got stuck for another 30 mins because another bus got stuck in the middle of the 'road' with one wheel turned sideways and we had to wait for another hour for road works. The rest of the time we lost because we randomly picked up and dropped off people from the side of the road whenever it suited the bus driver. It all sounds pretty horrible but I have to admit that the long, shakes and scary bus drive was worth the experience and offered us some awesome things to see, plus some really close to death experiences ๐Ÿ˜„ After we got off the bus we hiked until dusk to a place called Ngadi 930 m above sea level. Here we found a nice tea house and family with great food!

17 May 2017

Today Liam and I took some time to get a better impression of Kathmandu and saw some interesting things. On our way through Thamel, the busiest part of Kathmandu, we found everything from young guys whispering in our ears 'smoke?' to open door butchers, people carrying 60 kilos of goods on their back/head and bicycle Rikschas. The best event was when a random guy with a huge hose made his way through a open space area to spray water everywhere to kill the dust on the roads. But if you look a little closer you still see some damage of the earthquake which destroyed heaps of the city and mountain area 2 years ago. Most of the reconstruction has been done already but every now and then you see some rubble or just an open space in between a row of houses, where some collapsed.

16 May 2017

We finally made it to Kathmandu, after 2 days of unfortunate events; delays, cancelled flights and flushing money down the toilet. BUT, here we are! Kathmandu is loud, busy and dirty, but charming. We won't be staying long, as we are in Nepal to hike the Himalayas. Fortunately, after 2 days of hell, things were looking up. We met a couple on the street whilst browsing for trekking gear. She was about my size and he was about Liams size; it was meant to be! They offered to sell us their trekking gear for even cheaper than the shops here sell it. Of course we accepted! Thanks to Eike and Alice, we are now head to toe in knock off North Face gear ๐Ÿ˜ ready to conquer the Annapurna Circuit. At this point we decided we deserved some dinner. We went to a restaurant Eike recommended where we had our first traditional Nepalese meal. We ordered Chicken Thukpa, Chicken Khana, Alu Paratha, Lassis and Marsala Tea. Yummy! Our first day in Nepal was awesome, we can't wait for the next to come!