Nepal is magic
October 2, 2014
I’m nearing my 4th week in Nepal and now have a difficult question to answer. Do I stay longer or do I continue on? I’ve barely touched Nepal and in doing so I’ve had some of the most amazing experiences of my life.
I’ve spent time in Kathmandu, Pokhara, Muktinath, Beni, and dozens of villages between. From the highest holy lake in the world to the highest large lake in the world. I crossed the worlds highest mountain pass at over 17,000 feet and ate a delicious Yak cheeseburger. Drank glasses of local roxy (rice wine) while staying with a family and had my stomach nearly explode from food that locals would not let me stop eating. I danced my heart out surrounded by friends, sang music, cuddled, and met amazing people who I hope will be in my life in some way or another for years to come.
Travel is always a big adventure, it always seems to deliver incredible unexpected experiences. Like a gust of wind from nowhere on a hot day that brings a smile to your face because it’s exactly what you needed. When those gusts come open your arms and flow, let them take you with a smile and an open mind and watch as the universe whirls your existence in ways that leave you in awe.
The last 3 weeks have left me in awe what feels like every other day. Even now I’m recovering from a night I thought would be a lonely one, the friends I had made moved on leaving me for the first time since the day I arrived in Kathmandu alone, a bit sad, only to go out for just a drink and before I know it it’s 3am with complete strangers in a hotel room having deep conversations about life, travel, and the universal love for western rock music. You never know what door will open next, sometimes multiple doors at once all leading to fun and excitement. Travel likes to do this and in Nepal this has been especially magical.
When I first arrived in Kathmandu I stayed only long enough to figure out my permits for trekking, in that short time I met many faces, some of which would pop up again and even again while I traveled around. When I arrived in Buhbule to begin my trek I was approached by a local who asked me where I was from, upon learning my intent to trek the Annapurna circuit he asked me if I would stay at his guest house in Nadi Bazaar, a small village near where I would officially begin my walk. I agree and spent 3 days with him and his family visiting villages few foreigners have high above the valley that would soon fill with the foot traffic of tourists as they too began the circuit. I ate traditional local foods and drank the homemade rice wine taking in the incredible beauty.
Ready to begin I made one quick run back to civilization to find a phone charger and on the return bus ride I met 3 travelers who would soon become my companions for the adventure ahead.
Vojta from Czech, Sigrum from Germany, and Nir from Israel. Together we walked and talked for hours sharing rooms and meals in the villages as we wondered higher and higher into the Himalayas. We experienced leeches for the first time, a moment I’ll always remember do to the humor that usually accompanies the first time shock of a leech stuck to your leg.
As time wore on our party thinned till it was only Vojta and myself. We were both aggressive hikers and Vojta had a time frame he had to adhere to that was a little too aggressive for our other companions. In 3 days we had climbed over 9000 feet up and down the beautiful valley’s surrounding the great Annapurna range. Through the abandoned village of Upper Kangasar, over countless suspension bridges, and by literally hundreds of waterfalls.
On the 7th day we crossed Throlong Pass, the world’s highest.
We spent time in lower Mustang, a very different world from the green lush landscape of the opposing side. We spent hours on a bus that forded rivers you wouldn’t think possible inches from cliff edges that would give anyone butterflies.
We eventually officially ended the trek in Pokhara (the Switzerland of Nepal) a beautiful lakeside city I’m finding difficult to leave. Here I rafted and rented scooters discovering the waters and hills of the valley.
I can’t put everything in words, I lack the talent, so I’ll let my pictures do the talking.
What to do next? China? Indonesia? Ugh. I’m almost sad I started in Nepal, I don’t think I’ll enjoy other countries as much as I have enjoyed Nepal and it’s people.
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