Because You Can’t Be This Close To Mt. Everest and NOT Go Trekking…

Disclaimer: I didn’t actually see Mt. Everest. Well, I might have, from the plane. We saw lots of mountains from the plane, their peaks just above the clouds. I tell myself one of them was Mt. Everest, though I can’t say for sure which one it was. They were all tall.

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By the way, this is what our plane looked like. Biman Bangladesh airlines clearly gets all the rejected planes from the 70s… (GE engines though! I saw the swirl!)

A trip to Nepal just wouldn’t be complete without a trekking experience. I mean look at these mountains! I can pretty much guarantee you (unless you’ve been to Nepal, Tibet, or northern Pakistan) that you’ve never seen anything taller than this.

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Annapurna Range – The left most peak is Annapurna I – the 10th tallest mountain in the world (and the tallest in this range).

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Annapurna III and a helicopter!

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Again, leftmost one is Annapurna I, the really pointy one is called Fishtail, and the one to the right of Fishtail is Annapurna III. You aren’t allowed to climb to the top of Fishtail because it’s a sacred mountain. Probably for the best, since this range is one of the most dangerous to climb (up there with K2 and Everest, in height and danger).

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Obviously, this calls for an action shot!

 Of course, we didn’t trek around these mountains. I think after being basically at or below sea level in Dhaka, it would have taken us weeks to acclimate to the altitude, not to mention the time it takes to get there, walk around, and come back. So we decided to take a short day trek around the Phewa Lake in Pokhara. (Side note: I WILL be going back to Nepal sometime soon and I WILL do a longer trek around the Annapurna Range. Garrett and Lauren, are you in?!)

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Kayaking on Phewa Lake

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Canoes for rent!

 The issue is that to do any trekking, it is recommended to have a guide. The trails are not well marked… actually they’re not marked at all. Sometimes there aren’t even trails. You just trudge around the farming steppes. Your options for a guide are to go with an established trekking company (some of which charge you “tourist prices” and take a large cut for themselves) or find an independent guide (kinda tricky, I mean do you just go up to any random guy who looks Nepali and ask if he’s a guide?! What if he tells you he is, but actually isn’t?!).

 Luckily, we didn’t have to deal with such a decision because as Krista and I were wandering around the hills and forests at the outskirts of Pokhara, we asked a guy named Indra for directions back to the lake. This guy happily pointed us in the right direction and invited us to his house for tea on the way. He just happened to be an independent guide who was coming home from a trek and showed us some pictures of a trek he previously led to Annapurna Base Camp. (Another side note: Indra’s wife makes the BEST tea I have ever had the pleasure of drinking. Apparently it had ginger and cinnamon in it? And even though it was ridiculously hot outside, somehow this hot tea was still refreshing.)

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Indra, his wife, and us at their house. Their house is up on a hill overlooking the lake. Pretty much the most perfect spot for a hammock… or to live forever.

 So of course, the next day we hired Indra to be our guide and take us up to the World Peace Stupa and then around the lake on a short trek. He was great. He answered a plethora of ridiculous questions about his life, Nepal, and the mountains, and then even took us back to his house after the trek to have lunch and more delicious tea prepared by his lovely wife! I’m going to hire Indra to take us around the Annapurna Range when I go back and if anyone reading this blog ever visits Nepal and wants to go trekking, please let me know and I will give you Indra’s phone number and email to set something up.

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World Peace Stupa (Buddhist Temple), graciously given to Nepal from Japan!

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All around the Stupa were different statues of Buddha.

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We were fortunate to have a clear day and more views of the big big mountains!

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Typical village homes with farming steppes and little haystack “garages” used to shelter animals, crops, or other things.

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More steppes and a view of the lake. There were lots of farmers out tilling their fields to get ready to plant maize.

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Trekking. Phewa Lake sort of turns into a bog/swamp area on the opposite side from Pokhara City. As soon as the monsoon rains come, rice is planted here.

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Walking through soon-to-be rice paddy land, though at this point, it felt more like walking to Mordor with the hot sun and this view as far as you can see on all sides.

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Old, hand-carved, wooden boat.

photoOn a completely unrelated note, I know you’re not supposed to go swimming in bodies of water that have no health and safety controls on them (or ones that have buffalo and cows swimming in them all the time). If I’ve learned anything in Public Health, it’s that water can contain worms, snails, protozoa, amoebas, bacteria, and other goodies that can give you all kinds of bad stuff. But seriously, how can you resist jumping in the water in this setting on a hot day? That’s right. You can’t. So far I’m still alive, so hopefully that means there weren’t too many nasty things in there. Updates to follow…

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3 Responses to Because You Can’t Be This Close To Mt. Everest and NOT Go Trekking…

  1. Dearest Mommy.... says:

    Beautiful country…..and should I give Dr. Howard a head’s up for an antidote to whatever bad stuff may have been in that water? Hopefully not!

  2. Garrett says:

    Nepal is very high up on our list already, and may have just gotten a bump due to these pictures :-) . Thanks for posting!

    P.S. We always swam in the Drakensburg mountains, South Africa, and are just fine! (Sometimes drank too in the higher reaches, which may not have been so well advised….)

    • Corey Luthringer says:

      Awesome! Nepal it is then! Now, we just have to figure out if we’re going to do a Nepal trek before or after we bike across the country… so many decisions!

      About swimming in the water – good to know you’re fine. I also swam in a lake here in Bangladesh a few days ago… so we’ll see what happens! So far, I’m fine!

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