FC: My Nepal Adventure Oct '09
1: Days 0 &1 : Kathmandu
2: It's the Day of the Hindu Dashien festival and the sacred cows are worshipped and fed all day long in the city's Durbar Square by people. | View of the Durbar Square from a Rooftop cafe: a hindu shrine with a tree groing over it, Hindu temples with pagoda-style architecture.
3: Left: a Hindu temple with pagoda style architecture beside a white, 'traditional' north indian-style temple. Below: Durbar square filled with pigeons
5: A Local, neighbourhood Stupa, spied through a laneway. | Local kids playing near the stupa - a milk-carton racing car ride for the li'l one: They were having such a blast! - was good to see...:)
6: Top: The Local Market selling everything from art and crafts to jewellery to clothes to groceries and vegetables! Right: A couple of Aussie girls that i met at the Kathmandu guest house:Kathy (R), Anna-lee(M), taking a break at a rooftop cafe. Kathy doing the Everest Base Camp tour(!) & Anna-lee, the Chittawan Tour from Intrepid.
7: Swayambhunath - the Monkey Temple | Idol of main deity - a mix of hindu/Chinese styles | The 'stupas'/tombs of the monks of the temple - with hindu carvings.
9: Climbing down the 365 steps from Swayambhunath Temple and the Buddhas' at end of the steps. There're Lots of monkeys throughout the temple premises and the steps (hence the 'local' name of 'Monkey Temple'.) - considered sacred and looked after at this temple, with a special swimming pool for them & everything! Facing Page: the Prayer wheels on the temple premises. Left - just to prove that I did climb down those steps!
11: At Boudhnath, we take in a Buddhist daily, mid-afternoon ritual of chanting and drums performed by the local order of buddhist monks and the high-priest who study and live here. The Group from Left : Kamal(City tour guide), Rachel,Chris,me,Jorge,Sonia.
12: Top Left: Me at Pashupathinath Temple (A Shiva temple) - now my 'Kedarnath yatra' undertaken when i was 5 in India is considered complete apparently. Top Right: Hari's lovely daughters who showed us around. Above: At Hari's sister's house on the day of "Tikka" (A brother/sister festival), with his brother & Rachel & I at lunch. Left: Chris & Jorge have a couple of Nepali 'sisters' now!
13: Kathmandu at night:celebrating Diwali, Nepali-style with street parades.
15: Day2: Nagarkot - Kathmandu's local 'hill station' at 2175m
16: Day 2: View of the Valley from Nagarkot Accommodation
19: Sunset at NagarKot
20: Day 3: Sunrise at Nagarkot
21: Day 3: Sunrise at Nagarkot
22: Day 3: Start trek to Bhaktapur City from Nagarkot
23: Day 3: Passing through terraced hills, a typical rural house with corn stored outside & a local village - with the backdrop of the snow-capped peaks - on our trek. A beautiful day for a walk!
24: Day 3: Trek from Nagarkot to Bhaktapur. Right - behind me, in the distance is our destination for the day.
25: Day 3: Trek from Nagarkot to Bhaktapur. Passing through someone's backyard in a village! Below - children on makeshift swings: one from a tree and the other made from bamboo shafts and rope - but boy were they having fun!!...:)
26: Bhaktapur: The "City ofDevotees", a 12th Century, ancient Newari city, established by King Anand Dev Malla. The City is preserved as-is from then and contains many World Heritage monuments showing off the hindua nd the buddhist architectures.
27: Walking through Bhaktapur's Main city Square:"Durbar Square". | Another vishnu temple in the Durbar square. | Small laneways of the city people live in these ancient buildings even today. | A Local 'raksi' house - this one was bad fer the tummy for all-xcept lucky me.
28: The ancient temples are still well-preserved. Facing Page: The Old and the New.
30: DAY 6 - NUWAKOT From Nuwakot accommodation which was a 17th century, renovated royal residence - now called the "The Famous Farmhouse". On the way up here after lunch, Chris talked me into riding on the rooftop of the bus for a while - which was amazingly fun as it wove thru hills and valleys!! - The views were gorgeous, the winds blew at us, the curves felt far more terrifying & we got 'hooted' and waved at by other buses/cars passing by, as I held on to the metal grid on which we were sitting, white-knuckled...:):). brilliant!!
31: At nuwakot, Chris and Jorge played footy with the local kids, we had home-made 'raksi' at an old lady's home on her porch - in latte glasses - crystal clear and potent! - but this time, no side-effects !!.. Met up with a couple of melb girls at our accomodation. A very relaxing, beautiful place.
32: Days 6 & 7: River Rafting on the Trisuli River and River camping Our river camp-site - had a shower-shed & toilets & everything! Campfire under the stars on the river-side that night, where i learnt to count in German (& they learnt to count in Hindi/Nepali)!!
33: Top : Getting ready to raft! Bottom Left: End of day1 of rafting - I was wet from head to toe and loving it!..:) Facing Page - The Rafting Collage
34: Battling Rapids is hungry work! - and need to cool off a bit with a swim in the nice cool river!..
35: Top Left: We had a particularly difficult spot to cross - considered too dangerous for us novices to be taken through, the poor rafting team had to manually pull these suckers out and then put them back in again! Above: yay - we're on our way! - and Right: we made it alive through the rapids!!...:)
37: Days 7 & 8: BANDIPUR
39: Sunset & sunrise at Bandipur - A tiny li'l village with barely any electricity/phone lines but had a top-of-the-line internet cafe (yay!) that a li'l ol farm woman used to skype-call her son in the city! THAT's what technology's for! - helping people..:)
40: Sunset at Bandipur from a local, village hill-top
42: Early Morning Rays of the sun on the distant snow-capped peaks from Bandipur - the stillness and the peace this early in the morning and that view...
44: The SIKLES Trek - Route Map
45: Day9: Starting our trek from Pokhara to Tara-Top,a fully supported camping expedition with sherpas, porters and a cook! - A total 25 support staff for 5 people! when we were'nt walking, we were eating! Above: Lunch on the way, Below: making our way through paddy fields and the villages.
46: Day 9: Some sights on the way. Climb up took 2.5 days & climb down 2 days. Taratop is appx 3156m and on the way are a few villages & some spectacular Himalayan sights.
47: Day 9 Trek & campsite: The Machchapuchare ("Fish tail" coz of the pointed peak, it looks like a fin out of the water) comes into closer view. The gorgeous valley views throughout our trek up. The night is spent on this relatively flat area with not another human settlement in sight!
49: Breakfast with a view - a LOT of views! - and then ready for another day of hard walking up to the top.
51: TARATOP 3156m Ahh, finally! - at the top Clockwise: Sonia, Hari, Jorge, Chris and the Dinner tent behind them and the thatched roof hut is our Hill Top Bar"! - plenty to drink for everyone.. Above: the sun sinks into the cloud-filled valley. Right: the 'giants of the Annapurna ranges' we came to see
52: It got COLD that night: about -2C. A post-dinner campfire was a great idea & then we all got into our sleepingbags, wearing our warm gear (Right:the one with the hot tea-cup in her hand is me)..to wake up to gorgeous snow-capped peaks all around us(facing page)-i could get used to this!
56: THE CLIMB DOWN: Through ancient Rhodendron forests, alongside sheer cliff-sides, waterfalls and through tiny little moutain-side tracks that had slippery boulders with streams flowing over it - straight off the edge of the track and nothing to hold on to....close enough for me!
58: The Climb-Down: waterfalls, forests, terraced hill-sides...great weather for it all, too boot!
59: Left: Whew!! - I made it!!..Chris and Jorge welcome me to the camp Below - crossing the more 'sturdier' bridges.. Later, there'd just be bamboo logs strapped together with rope & raging river waters below!..
60: Above: One final good-bye to the Himalayan ranges & Right, taking a rest on the way down...
61: Our sherpa team coming through while we rest! - I'm in awe of their strength, efficiency,hardiness and positive,good nature - they just made it seem so easy!
62: Above, saying good-bye to our sherpa team and Right: they're already onto their next gig! Below: Getting back to Pokhara - the easy way!
63: The Final Dinner Celebrations in Pokhara That's our fab chef on the left who kept us so well fed all the way!
64: The End of a fabulous fortnight of fun & adventure.
66: ..But Wait - there's more! - In Kathmandu, I used my last day to go on an EVEREST FLIGHT to take a look at the 'main attraction' of this region:Mt Everest. This li'l plane carried us across the ranges right upto Mt Everest which we were able to view through the Pilot's cockpit! - awe-inspiring sight - never tire of those snow-capped peaks!
68: Mt Everest - From the Airplane
69: The Ranges around MtEverest