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Nepal

Curious what backpackers do in Nepal? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
  • We made it!
    It was a gruelling day, buffeted by icy winds so strong they blew you over. 8 hours of walking time so we are all feeling rather pooped.
    Everest is the little brown triangle above my head in the last photo.

  • WE MADE IT!
    124kms
    250000 steps
    2 sore feet
    We started the day with beautiful weather and ended walking the last 3 hours in the snow.

    I couldn't have done it without the support of lots of people, so here is a shoutout of thanks to my family, my walking buddies, the child minders, house sitters, taxi drivers and all those who offered support.

  • Apparently I did not do enough squats or lunges in my preparation. Today was gruelling, over our last 3 kms we climbed 800m altitude! Consequently I am feeling tired and sore.
    Plenty of stunning scenery and some crossings of massive suspension bridges.

  • An early start from the hotel turned into a very late start from the airport with delays after delays.
    The plane trip was awesome, at times flying over the tops of smaller mountains by 100m and then landing on a tiny runway that ends straight into the side of the mountain.
    From Lukla we walked about two and a half hours to Phakding and our first teahouse. It is much more substantial than I expected.Read more

  • It was good to be back on the trail again. 3 hours of solid hiking followed by two hours of really hard slog up to Tengboche.
    Everything is so beautiful: forest trails surrounded by towering mountains. Ice and snow on the ground that hasn't melted by the afternoon.

  • Today was a good day. I woke up early about 5am when I heard others in the house get up and start their daily routine. I slept soundly through the night in my own little room, the sleeping mat that Mom bought me really does the job! Felt like I was at home on my own mattress. Could be I was also very tired :) I wrote a bit, unpacked a bit, and then joined the family. I spent the morning observing and just taking it all in. I hope that they soon I will be able to help out around the place and earn my keep ;) There are 2 adult + 2 baby goats, 2 adult buffalo + a baby, and a number of random cats and birds.

    Breakfast was served about 9am and we had a their typical meal, very similar to dinner last night: rice with vegetable curry and baht as they call it. You mix all three together well and then eat. I need to learn how to eat with my hands as they do! They make it look so easy but I feel as though I would just make a mess. Can't hurt to try thought. After the curry and baht is finished then we add buffalo milk to the remaining rice as a kind of pudding, mixing in banana if we like! For breakfast we also had a sour yogurt that I assume was also from the Buffalo?

    After breakfast we walked down to the local school which is only about 10 minutes away. The children there were very curious and spent some time looking at me, touching my hair, exclaiming over my height, one kid even commented on my muscles.. Lol. There were maybe..... 30 to 60 students? Ranging from near toddlers to teenagers. It was hard to keep track everyone was moving around. They are preparing for a festival so no formal learning was taking place, all rehearsal of songs and dances. They tried to get me to dance but... Well you know me I don't dance though maybe I'll take this opportunity to learn. The school is a series of rooms, no glass in the windows, no lights, electricity through very skeptical means (wires running from a breaker to a power bar...) There is one computer there that the teachers use and otherwise everything is by hand. But the students were very proud to show me their school and work, it was really nice to see. I made the mistake of bringing out my phone at one point and I was swarmed. At first they wanted to see pictures of my home but then it was "what games do you have" and I thought for a moment I wouldn't ever see my phone again. The students are very curious about Canada, they keep asking about my family (Mother? Sister? Brother? Father? Married? Boyfriend? How old are you? Oh too bad.) I showed them pictures of all you guys hope you don't mind ;) Overall a great day, just wish that I could remember all the names that I heard today. I think I have two down.... Horrible. Especially because some kids keep asking m if I remember their names :( It will come I'm sure!

    After school was done I walked back to my home and nearly got lost. Thankfully someone noticed and showed me the way ;) Just sitting around now wishing I could do something to help but doesn't seem to be much that I can do... We'll work on that ;)
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  • Today was a "holiday", a day off of school. So I spent it by walking into Bhotewodar with Satya. She had a bust to catch back to Chitwan, back to reality I suppose! We chatted on the walk down and didn't rush too much. When we got into town we visited with someone Satya knew with whom she had also left some items she needed to bring to Chitwan with her. During our conversation we made plans that I will visit her in Chitwan, a large nature park in Nepal where I'd be able to see some wildlife. I'll have to figure out how this will work; debating skipping Singapore this time around so that I might visit her. It will all depend on if I can even change my flights of course.. Anyone have any thoughts?

    After Satya caught her bus I wandered around a bit but didn't get too far. I was uncomfortable with everyone staring at me and just wanted to be alone for a while. I picked up some sugar, oil, and chicken for Beda & Babita, and a beer for myself before walking back up. Round trip was just over 8km with almost 650m of elevation gain. When I was close to the top I stopped at a lookout point where I enjoyed my beer and listened to some music. It was a perfect way to spend the afternoon, I really enjoyed the downtime and haven't felt happier in a long time! Eventually I decided I needed to head back to the house and made the final climb which was the most intense part of course.

    When I got back home I had a "shower" with a bucket of water. Really makes you realize how much water we waste when we shower at home. We could definitely be more conservative! But, that doesn't change the fact that I'm looking forward to a proper shower again ;)
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  • After the good fortune of getting a whole exit row each we made the most of the extra legroom while waiting for delays at KL to change a tyre on the plane. Coming in to Kathmandu we got out first hazy glimpses of the mountains.

  • Not really a rest day instead an acclimatisation day.
    How do you acclimatise? By hiking up another 300m to introduce your body to it, then returning down to sleep.
    We hiked to the Everest view hotel with no view due to clouds, experienced our first snow fall and I found where the monks from Age of Empires have been storing their relics!

  • Fair warning: this post is a bit of a rant...

    Alright Kathmandu. I think I'm about done with you. It's a great city filled with amazing buildings, culture, and friendly people. But some of your people are driving me insane! I don't mind the hustle and bustle and packed streets, though I do still prefer the quieter areas. What is driving me nuts is the number of people who try to scam money out of me! The number of times I've heard the last few days "I'm not looking for money" or "I just want to practice my English" or "I'm just a friendly person" and then you turn around and ask for money? It's frustrating! It makes me skeptical talking to the people who are genuinely just nice people looking to chat. And, I did meet a few of those nice people today, and those nice people are the reason I don't totally hate things right now, the reason I'm still happy and had a great morning. But the rest of you are giving your people a bad name in my opinion. And maybe I'm seen as an easy target because I'm a white woman travelling alone, apparently have a friendly face, and am "innocent", but boy do I wish that you'd stop following me down the street continuing to talk when I say "no" or blatantly ignore you. Since when is saying "no" in a firm voice and walking away without making eye contact an invitation to keep talking?! I swear, I feel as thought I've been very rude to people today yet still they continue to pester me. And again, it's not everyone, and I won't judge based on a few select individuals (some of whom I have come to recognize and avoid on the streets actually...) Because I had a genuine conversation with two people today.

    One was a student who was legitimately curious about Canada and just wanted to hear about my country. He didn't ask for money or for me to buy him food or feed me any sad story; he showed me to the old part of town out of the goodness of his heart. He showed me the tooth God, the holy tree, the locals market, some old wooden houses carved from individual trees, explained the temples again (walk clockwise for good luck, ring the bell to wake up/bring mental alterness/notify the gods), and talked about why his faith was so important to him especially following the earthquake that left lots of people living in fear.

    The second was an older gentleman who recognized me as Canadian from the hoodie I was wearing (Whistler woo!) I stopped to talk to him because of that alone. I discovered that he was married to a Canadian woman once and lived in Calgary for a number of years. He's back in Nepal now to continue making jewelery but still visits Canada occasionally. We shared a cup of tea and talked about home and families, it's clear he misses Calgary quite a bit and was happy to hear about the country. He invited me to meet his wife and children but I declined. He also put me in touch with another solo female traveller from Holland, but being that I leave tomorrow I don't think that I'll get the chance to meet up with her. Again, a genuinely nice person that didn't try to sell me anything though I did ask to see his shop and saw something that I really liked. My decision there, no pressure.

    So, it's people like them that make me love the Nepalese culture and that's how I'm going to remember Kathmandu. It really is a gorgeous place, I love it. I'm just feeling a bit bitter right now towards all the scam artists. I'd still recommend a visit if anyone were to ask ;) Though I am ready to move on to the country side where perhaps there will be more authentic people and less folk trying to get money out of me. Afterall, I'm a poor student as well! Although not by their standards I know.

    Anywho, I'm back at the hotel now because I just couldn't deal with it anymore. I did find a nice cashmere sweater though along the way that will hopefully help with the cold. It's frigid in the mornings but warms up significantly as soon as the sun comes out! I also bought some tea because my hotel has a kettle and I keep thinking I need to go out and get some.. Maybe I'll try that after I finish the beer I bought myself before returning to the hotel ;)

    I'm not sure what this afternoon holds for me. I'm meeting the volunteer coordinator this evening to get more information about the placement I'm leaving for tomorrow. Maybe I'll try to find a place where I can meet some fellow travellers and see what their thoughts on the city are...
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, Nepal, Nɛpɔl, ኔፓል, نيبال, Непал, नेपाल, Nepali, নেপাল, བར་ཡུལ་, Nepál, ނޭޕާލް, བལ་ཡུལ, Nepal nutome, Νεπάλ, Nepalo, Nepaal, نپال, Népal, Nèpal, Neipeal, નેપાળ, Nefal, נפאל, Նեպալ, ネパール王国, nepal, ნეპალი, នេប៉ាល់, ನೇಪಾಳ, 네팔, نیپال, Nepalia, Nepálɛ, ເນປານ, Nepalas, Nepāla, Nepala, നേപ്പാൾ, नेपाळ, နီပေါ, Nephali, Sańghīya Loktāntrik Gaṇatantra Nepāl, ନେପାଳ, Nipal, नेपालदेशः, Nëpâli, නේපාලය, Nebaal, நேபாளம், నేపాల్, ประเทศเนปาล, نېپال, Nê-pan (Nepal), Nepalän, Orílẹ́ède Nepa, 尼泊尔, i-Nepal