Joined August 2019 Message
  • Explore, what other travelers do in:
  • Day225

    Annapurna Circuit I

    March 12, 2020 in Nepal ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    The Annapurna Circuit is one of the most famous hikes in the world. The loop around the Annapurna massif climbs from 800m through the wonderful Marsyangdi valley up to the 5416m high Thorang-La Pass. It's well-known for its amazing views, that's why it can get very crowded up there. But as Covid-19 stopped many tourists around the world from moving and many hikers decided to leave the country, I really got the most out of this trek.

    Along the way I shared many kilometres with many nice people, above all with Elija from Switzerland, Alieke&Peter, a Dutch couple, and Victoire from France. Technically the hike isn't difficult. However the high risk of altitude sickness makes it a challenging adventure. Furthermore this year the winter was way too long and half of the trek was covered in deep snow and ice.

    I really enjoyed the daily routine: go to bed early, have breakfast, hike amazing paths, have a break with breathtaking views, visit the tiny mountain villages with its monasteries, praying wheels, friendly locals and the most important to me: day dreaming of the huge Dal Bhat dinner waiting next to a bonfire in the evening. The nights got very cold, however during the day the sun literally burns your skin.
    It took me around two weeks -including days of acclimatization- to cross the pass and get into the Kali Gandaki valley. I will always remember the last climbing day. We started our ascent after a short cold night in 4500m at 5am in the dark. Every step took us hours because of the lack of oxygen. Finally with our hot cup of tea on top of Thorang-La Pass, we felt pure satisfaction.

    The same day we dropped down to Muktinath at 3700m on the other side. Here we wanted to relax and hang around some days. But plans changed. We received information from the government saying that they will soon “lockdown” the country because of Corona. So the same day we decided to hike down to Kagbeni, a beautiful village where we hoped to stay for some days.
    We just got comfy with this situation as the next morning the police issued us an ultimatum with two options, either to stay for ten days locked in the hostel or to take the unique opportunity to take a bus straight to Kathmandu. As we were sure that the quarantine will last even more days and the situation in Nepal could get worse, everybody decided to leave. Finally after a crazy adventurous twenty-four hours ride with many security checks (at this moment nobody was allowed to move in Nepal) we were back in the capital.

    In addition I followed the recommendations of the German embassy to register in the “Return to your country programme". Things speeded up so quickly that I couldn't really process what was going on. The same day I already received the information that I was on the list to fly back to Frankfurt the next morning. I spent the last hours of eight months of travelling by saying quickly goodbye to the others, I informed my family that I was going to be back tomorrow and the most complicated thing: I tried to understand what really was happening around me – impossible.

    On the flight back I got into a nostalgic mood. Watching out of the plane window I could almost see our whole trip passing by in front of my eyes in a few hours. Down there 10km below me all the beautiful countries with its even more fantastic people, so many memories, experiences, adventures in the last 8 months. So close but so far.

    I conclude: Maybe a special once-in-a-lifetime journey has to finish also in a special way :-)

    Namaste
    Read more

  • Day221

    Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park

    March 8, 2020 in Nepal ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    What happens when 2 crazy guys from Israel and Germany meet in Nepal? They'll have a big unforgettable adventure. The main driver for that unique hike was our ego not to pay the overpriced entrance fee of the park for only one day. That resulted in many extra kilometres through dense forests and even military zones. Our thrust in Shahel's military service skills and tools plus my sense of orientation let us break new trails.
    Unforgettable were also the marvellous sunset and sunrise views towards the Jugal Himal and Langtang Lirung mountains, as well as our way back at the back of a pickup.
    Read more

  • Day220

    Kathmandu city

    March 7, 2020 in Nepal ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    I had a fantastic time in the capital of Nepal. It was a long time ago I enjoyed a hostel stay that much like in Yog-Hostel with its fully equipped kitchen, its rooftop terraces overviewing the more than one million people city and further the many nice people I met here. Normally the air pollution does only allow little views, because of the smog. But everything changes if you are on a holiday or in days of Covid-19 in the capital. The most special day was definitely on Holi - the Festival of colours. Even the government recommended to stay back home because of the upcoming virus, many locals celebrated together next to the Durbar Square. Holi means: Colour powder, free hugs, people screaming “happy Holi” and music bands everywhere. It's a fun day.
    The rest of the days I prepared myself for the upcoming treks by buying loads of outdoor gear in the uncountable shops of Thamel. Normally I don't like shopping, but talking and bargain with a shop owner that climbed Mount Everest and other 8000m+ high mountains several times amused us a lot. Not to be forgotten the beautiful cultural sights of the old town, including Pashupati Mandir, the holiest site of the Shiva followers.
    Read more

  • Day215

    Indian flashback in Nepal

    March 2, 2020 in Nepal ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    After a long minibus ride I was back in the “Terai” - the lowlands of Nepal. In Janakpur I was welcomed by very hot weather and the typical Indian-style ambiance of a city: traffic, noises, smells, pollution, colours. What a craziness after the peaceful days in the mountains...
    But with every step I took in the city I could enjoy more this flashback close to the Indian boarder. Surprisingly Nepal's population has about 80% people following the Hindu religion, only 10% Buddhist. The amazing Palace of Janaki Mandir, the super friendly pilgrims (“can I take a picture with you?”), as well as the Gurus and Sadhus in the streets create an incomparable atmosphere. Besides in the evening many private street parade, including their own music band, celebrate the wedding of many young Hindu couples. Fascinating.
    Read more

  • Day212

    Hile and the unknown east

    February 28, 2020 in Nepal ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

    Most of the typical 1-month trekking tourists don't see the east of Nepal. For me the days in and around Hile gave me a nice introduction into the local way of living. People were extremely friendly in spite of the rough mountain life. The day starts with a delicious milk tea (chai) and some hot water. Throughout the day the Nepalese often don't eat more than two times, but then a lot of Dal Bhat (Rice, lentils and seasonal vegetables). In this region the Lumba people use to have a Tongba (a fermented millet alcoholic beverage served with hot water and a straw) in the evenings.
    I enjoyed the amazing landscapes on my first hikes around Hile. I will never forget the views throughout the Arun Valley towards the Makalu range with its 8485m high peak, or playing in the snow with local lowland tourists on top of Pathivara. Visiting the NARC - Agricultural Research Station was another highlight where I could learn about the regional challenges in the field of mountain agriculture.
    Read more

  • Day211

    Last but not least: Nepal :-)

    February 27, 2020 in Nepal ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    Finally Nepal: Home of the highest mountains of the world, landscapes that I always dreamed of to see one day in real! What I didn't know was how particular the boarder crossing would be. For the first time in my life I had to search an immigration office in India as well as in Nepal. Locals cross the bridge between the countries without any checks and tourists are quite rare at this boarder. For the first time, I also had to bargain the final price of a Visa, as the officers didn't want to accept my Indian Rupees and I only had some dollars left. But I could already feel how much a smile would help to have a nice time with the lovely Nepalese. Sunny weather and a recovered stomach that allowed me to test the culinary delights again, made it a great start.Read more

  • Day207

    Mindfulness in Bali

    February 23, 2020 in Indonesia ⋅ ☁️ 28 °C

    Bali is the place where superficiality and spirituality meet. To me, Bali meant the stop between the east before going back to the west, a place to allow myself to mentally reflect all the amazing experiences lived during the last months and to physically recover from my illness. It was time to stop travelling in the outer world to start go within.

    I spent one week in a very nice hostel in Canggu feeling very weak from the already suspected parasite that had been living inside my stomach for a month. Early meditation and yoga helped me being patience and focus on recovering.

    It was really cool to meet Elo after haven't seen each other for 6 years, an old colleague from aviation. She helped me recover giving me rice and sharing some laughs with her lovely children.

    I visited the island during Galungan, a beautiful Hindu celebration during 35 days that marks the time when ancestral spirits visit the island. It's very nice to see that families have different specific places to put their offerings and they will continue doing so for generations.

    After Canggu, a short stop in Ubud followed and visiting the holy temple Tirta Empul was kind of magical, because it is said that its water has a healing power. And it worked! I believe that was the power of my mind though ;) After Ubud I felt good for 4 days and I took the chance to do a diving course in Amed with Jaume, and I met Ivàn. We shared our travel adventures and sang karaoke. It was so much fun to speak Catalan again after so many months!

    I spent my last days chilling at the beach with myself, enjoying my own company, talking to local people and meeting some awesome French people, to remind me that there are indeed really cool French people hahaha

    During all this time on my own in Bali, I couldn't stop but being grateful to have lived this 7-month-adventure and thanking the universe for making my dream come true. But the adventure isn't over, it has just begun :)
    Read more

  • Day206

    Darjeeling

    February 22, 2020 in India ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

    Whilst I'm writing this text I'm enjoying a nice cup of Himalayan Tea.
    Darjeeling "the mother" of all hill stations:
    Known for its delicious tea in the entire world, it's far away from the hustle of big cities. With its stunning but often cloudy views through tea plantations, it's my door to the Himalayas.
    I will always remember the morning I saw the first time the Kanchenjunga range. As kid I dreamed to see the highest mountains. Now it was time, the first 8000m mountain of my life. Breathtaking.
    I arrived at Darjeeling in an aweful condition. The diarrhea didn't let me leave my bed for days. Luckily Family Rai took care of me and I'm sure the local tea helped to heal myself. After I recovered I visited the little Himalayan Zoo (with its lovely endangered Red Pandas) and the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute with its homage to its founder Tenzing Norgay Sherpa who lived and died here.
    In a nutshell it was the perfect place to recover and gain new energy before entering Nepal and say goodbye to India after 3 months!
    Read more

Join us:

FindPenguins for iOSFindPenguins for Android