You are invited to my hopefully somewhat long blog post about Nepal.
Interested? Keep on reading!
It started some time last year, when everybody at school had the chance to go to Nepal and trek for 10 days. Only 15 girls took that chance, including me. We held meetings in a chemistry lab every month or so, but at the beginning none of us were extremely excited. It was mainly giving the teacher (who I will call Dr R) our passports, photos etc. We found out that the headmistress would be joining us, which potentially could’ve been a bit odd, but she made it a great experience and I’m certainly thankful that she came. Her husband came as well (?) but both of them told us such great stories about their lives during the trek.
The flight was on 2nd April, a day after we broke up for the Easter Holidays. Most of us had packed well in advance but I’d only done bits and pieces and spent the morning of the 2nd adding more and checking everything thoroughly. At 15:00, my mum and I went to the school and we all said our farewells, taking several pictures in our Nepal hoodies (a bright blue, and very baggy). Then we got on our coach to Heathrow Terminal 4, where a wait until 20:45 awaited us.
We checked in, everything was fine, and we went through customs. We went shopping for a little while, then began the long walk to Gate 25. Even there, we had to wait, until we finally boarded. Dinner was served soon after the flight took off, and I watched: Captain Phillips, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, a French film and a Chinese film. I slept for a little bit.
21:49, Wed 2 April “We’ve been on the plane for a while now 🙂 We waited for quite long at the airport but it was relaxing and there wasn’t a rush. I don’t know if I’ll sleep tonight! I hope I do… I’m just a little bit worried about turbulence. It’s fun but a bit frightening. My seat is 32E. I don’t know if we’ll swap seats later but I’m settled for sure!”
We landed in New Delhi later and waited there for a couple of hours. I lost my cute travel scissors at customs and found it very saddening 😥 I slept for a little while despite being paranoid of the public looking at my sleeping face.
10:36, Thur 3 April “The flight was fine but my legs ached a lot >_< At the end of ‘The CC of BB’ I couldn’t stop crying 😥 I slept around 1 hr 30 mins total. Now we’re in Delhi International Airport. It’s very hot! I think I will have my snacks in a minute. Maybe I’ll sleep too!”
Two hours later we were in Kathmandu, ready to be picked up by Binod, our trekking guide. His daughter gave us beautiful orange flower garlands, which I still have (!). There were two minibuses to take us to the Godavari Village Resort, where we would stay the night. I drifted in and out of sleep and was woken by both the headmistress and the girl next to me as we reached the hotel. We were given drinks to welcome us and we sorted out sleeping arrangements. That evening, we ate dinner at our guide Binod’s family house. We all had seconds it was so good!
20:50 Thur 3 April “We’re now in Kathmandu, staying in a really nice hotel with lots of pretty flowers 😀 I fell asleep quite a few times at Delhi airport, as well as on the tourist bus from Kathmandu airport to the Godaweri Village Resort. The whole hotel resort is huge – we were pretty much all separated. I had a three-or-so second shower with the scalding hot water before going to have dinner at our guide’s house. The food was very filling – I think I will sleep well tonight!”
After that, we went back to the hotel and went to sleep. The next day would be a long one. The morning was spent touring the temples and ancient palaces of Patan right in the hot, sweltering sun. We walked around Patan a little, then took the minibus to the airport to get a Buddha Air flight to Pokhara.
14:36 Fri 4 April “I am writing this on the 25 minute flight to Pokhara. The plane we’re flying on (Buddha Air) is really small. I haven’t been on a small plane before but I don’t really realize the difference. I get to sit by the window 🙂 I see some snow topped mountains! I wonder if Mount Everest is nearby… I will write in the evening, after shopping 😀 -> Turns out those snow topped mountains were the Annapurnas…”
When we arrived in Pokhara, again two minibuses whisked us away to the hotel Meera. Although it was a basic hotel, it was comfortable and a relaxing stay. There were several power cuts throughout the stay that meant I couldn’t charge my iPod 😦 We went shopping nearby on a street full of alluring shops, and I bought some small things for myself and my family.
19:23 Fri 4 April “I’m in the dark >.< but I have my powerful torch here so I can live 🙂 I’m peacefully packing, maybe I’ll have a shower. In fact I was just about to have a shower when the toilet light went out :O Whilst shopping I bought: pencil case (75), 3 keyrings (300), a purple bracelet (120), glue (40) and cedarwood oil for dad (100). For some reason I am missing 50 rupees 😐 I don’t know ^^'”
Dinner was at eight, and in the hotel restaurant a couple seconds walk away. It was a buffet and for pudding there was chocolate brownie with ice cream 😛 I read for practically half the time we were there (Does Anything Eat Wasps?) and chatted with our guide for the first time. Dr R asked if anything DID eat wasps, and I showed him the page. He read it out to the headmistress and her husband, as well as the guide and his wife. After dinner we retreated to our rooms to sleep.
Breakfast was simple but filling. We were prepared to begin trekking after a relatively long and bumpy coach journey.
09:35 Sat 5 April “Right now we’re waiting in the coaches. Hopefully we can start trekking in around an hour 🙂 Looks like we’ll be leaving in a second! Last night I slept relatively well but when the lights went on it was really noisy and I couldn’t really be bothered to turn them off. It was apparently too unclear this morning scenery wise, so no one got up at 6:30. Even so I went up on to the roof at around 7:15 and saw the lake very well.”
The cow count began on that coach journey, as well as the goat count. We saw a monkey very briefly as we journeyed through the villages. It was very hot but we couldn’t open the windows for too long because of the dirt that spread from the ground into the air. We got off the minibuses and topped up on water before beginning our trek. That first trek was very tiring and I think we were all very happy to arrive at our campsite!
17:16 Sat 5 April “We finally reached our tents! There was quite a lot of uphill today… very strenuous. We were just playing snap (year 9s) and it was SO loud! Right now it’s raining a little 😐 Since we got here. We’ve played a few games, washed and, played snap >_< There was a stall just by our tents and I bought some gum from there. I think the toilet tents were very good and private. It’s efficient as well. Earlier I had a conversation with our guide, Binod. I was really hot and sweaty – but when we were chatting I didn’t notice anything, or notice how far we walked. This morning there were ants in the hotel bathroom >_< “
That evening we tasted our first trek dinner. It was great 🙂 In fact all the food on the trek was amazing, since our guide’s wife was in charge of the cooks. If my memory is correct, I think we had banana bread for pudding on that first night. It was also the night that I found a leech sucking on my foot >.< I kinda rubbed it off as soon as I realized, so it didn’t take too much of my blood. That was the only leech bite I had during the whole trip.
The next morning we were woken at 6am for tea, coffee or hot chocolate. The cooks would serve us hot drinks in the morning and when we arrived at camp each day. We would also get hot washing water, then breakfast at 7am. Breakfast was a bowl of cereal or porridge, a fried breakfast, then a hot drink. In every meal you could have seconds, and most of the time I accepted After breakfast we had another hard upward climb, to Tara Hill, our next campsite.
15:02 Sun 6 April “What a difficult climb up! We’re now on Tara Hill and the view is misty but still great. It was relatively cold today, so I found myself wearing my warmer layer as well as my waterproof for most of the journey. I would have enjoyed lunch a lot more if bugs didn’t keep flying on to my food! I was squishing one after the other >_< We saw some beautiful rhododendrons and magnolia trees on our ascent. There were times during the trek in which we were going down, and they were very relaxing. Then there was the tiresome uphill =_= I slept pretty well last night, I’m sure I will tonight as well! -> We saw pitcher plants! Very cool!”
I don’t think any of us were more pleased to have reached our lunch stop that day. It was all so tiring, going up, up and up again. But that was the day of most uphill and we had conquered it. On the top of Tara Hill, the Annapurnas were in very good view. The only bad thing was that we were sharing the campsite with another trekking group, but we minded our own business. In the morning, we were woken very early to look at the view. Then the sun rose and we got some very good photos!
The next day we were exhausted at lunch time again, after a lot of walking. When we were given grape juice just before reaching our lunch stop, we discovered more leeches crawling about. Most people flicked the leeches off their boots but I killed them on the spot by crushing it with my boot ¬__¬ They were such a pain! During lunch we were permitted to take our boots off and I discovered the pain of my soles 😐 That day was the day that my feet hurt the most, but I didn’t get any blisters. After lunch it started to rain, and that’s when it got fun.
We were literally walking through streams, with water constantly running from upper ground. I only slipped once, but kept going towards the campsite. We stopped for a little while at a sheltered area and it stopped raining. We went outside to see the view but then we discovered many leeches again and returned to the sheltered. Someone found a leech on Dr R’s head! I’m pretty sure it carried on raining again afterwards.
15:52 Mon 7 April “The hail is HORRENDOUS! They are literally marble sized! And it is very scary to be under it all. It sounds like bullets in the war. If I cover up my ears it’s a bit better. FINALLY – it’s calmed down a little. After lunch, which was simple but filling (potatoes, ham, vegetables) it started spitting rain. Then it got worse, and it felt like buckets were being poured down from the heavens. I thought my waterproofs were good. I was wrong. Just now I looked outside. There were SO MANY MARBLES! It looked like snow, but marble sized snow!”
Everyone went outside when the storm stopped, but it started again and we retreated to our tents once more.
18:38 Mon 7 April “We’re all in the mess tent again 🙂 The hail storm stopped for a bit, then came back. After the second marble storm, everyone went out to take pictures of the great snowy mountains. Just now we were given popcorn and moong dal, which I think is dried lentils. I also just organised everything for tomorrow, which is a good start. I put all my wet stuff in a bin bag – which is practically all the clothes I wore today.”
During the evening, at around 1am, there was a terrifying windy storm which prevented me from sleeping for some time. According to the teachers it only lasted around half an hour, but I don’t know 🙂 At 3am I desperately needed the toilet. At home I would never imagine going outside to the toilet at 3am but I faced my fears and went to the toilet. I looked up at the sky, and it was beautifully clear, with stars everywhere. I was too scared to look for Orion, or the north star, but the fact is I saw it, when to the loo, and returned again. I didn’t even wash my hands I was so desperate to return to my tent. That probably caused the horrific stomachache I had later on.
06:35 Tue 8 April “I don’t know what I’m doing up so early, or OUTSIDE for that matter, but I certainly don’t want to sleep. I put all my wet stuff on one half of the tent so H can use the other half, but I’ve snagged the side facing the sun :)”
My wet clothes actually dried pretty quickly, but a washing line was put up anyway for everyone else. Before breakfast a group of us went upwards to get a good view of the Annapurnas. It was some 2000m, but we saw an avalanche 🙂 I didn’t hear it but most people did. After breakfast, everyone played volleyball. Well I didn’t, because my tummy hurt. But I watched, which was just as fun. Then we began our descent into the village of Siklis. It was very hot under the blazing sun. We went to the museum, then towards our next campsite. To make it worse it was uphill, and hot. But this campsite was my favourite, I think mainly because of its size.
15:39 Tue 8 April “I’m outside again >_< I’m on a rock which is on our new campsite. From here we can see our old campsite above us. It was really quite hot earlier – I grudgingly continued ascending towards our campsite. There is a suspiciously thick cloud looming above… We went through the village of Siklis. Ever house was close to one another and we saw a few children. The museum was cool too and it’s starting to rain so I’m going in now!”
On that campsite there was a shower tent. Two people could shower at once and it was pretty efficient. It was also private – but I didn’t dare to take my pants off. Volleyball was played and I joined in that time. There was a dog there and most people were afraid that it was rabid but I liked it 🙂 That evening, my suspicions about the dark cloud were right. Before dinner, most of us were in the mess tent. The fierce wind blew and the mess tent collapsed! I remember a metal pole falling on me, and three girls holding tightly on to the main pole. We took refuge in the kitchen, then went to the shelter where our porters were sleeping. We ate there – now that meal I can remember. It was tomato soup with croutons, spaghetti bolognaise and apple turnover. Everyone stayed cheerful and excited but I was really scared and worried. Moments before the tent collapsed, Dr R told us to all go outside and watch the fork lightning. It was great 🙂 But the aftermath wasn’t.
The next day we got a surprise. We would be staying at the hotel Meera for another night :O I sort of already knew because the guide’s daughter told me, but everyone else was excited. We happily started our major descent in the blazing heat, stopped for lunch, then continued along the fast flowing river. We had to cross the river a few times, which was extremely fun but precarious as the bridges were just some logs tied together. At the end of the hot afternoon, three minibuses picked us up and I listened to music for the first time in forever. The ride back to the hotel was bumpy and quite hot. We said goodbye to our porters but not to our cooks just yet 🙂
18:56 Today was very hot -_- but surprisingly we are in the hotel Meera again! It’s nice to be in a hotel for one night and I’m glad we can still have one more night in a tent. I am sort of looking forward to rafting tomorrow…? I don’t want to get wet but it’s all part of the experience! I felt rather melancholy on the minibus back to Pokhara earlier. I felt like I didn’t want to leave Nepal. I really enjoyed these few days of real relaxation – with no internet, games, or violin and piano. Whilst camping I didn’t even listen to music, saving the battery for the minibus. I listened to some nostalgic songs 😥 It’s been such a short time and it honestly feels like we got on the plane to Delhi just yesterday. Soon we will return to our busy lives :|”
The day after, we drove for around 3 hours and went rafting on the river Trisuli. It was very fun indeed! We saw a night bus that had crashed 😦 The man in charge of our boat told us about it, and how 5 people had died. It was so devastating 😦 We camped near the river, and that was another one of my favourite campsites.
17:05 Thur 10 April “Rafting today! We were all baked under the heat of the sun, trapped in the oven of our dinghy. I must say though, our boat’s guider/steerer kept us at the back the whole time! Whenever we got a bit close to the other two boats, the guide told us to stop paddling. There was a lot of splashing around – and we got particularly wet going through the rapids. At the moment I’m sitting by my tent, watching my clothes dry in the warm wind. This morning I woke up at 6:15 then went back to sleep. For some reason I had had a nosebleed and my pillow had small splatters on it. Then I saw a huge blood patch on my sweater…”
That night was calm and we ate our last dinner, then sat around a small campfire. I felt very drowsy watching the logs burn. I wrote my diary, then brushed my teeth and went to bed. We rafted the next morning, and there was a lot more splashing at the beginning. I got really in to it, but we all started to get cold so we stopped. We finished before lunch, and everyone got changed. I changed in one of the loo tents because I didn’t understand what the extra tent was for \’-‘/ Lunch was fine, and it was very hot. After lunch we got into our minibuses once more to drive back to Kathmandu.
The drive wasn’t very comfortable for me, because it was hot and I kept getting sweaty. I tried to sleep – and I did for a little bit – but spent most of my time getting a sore neck from looking out of the window. After quite some time, we arrived at the hotel Himalaya. I had an accident in the bath 😥
18:18 Fri 11 April “Oh dear, I just did something majorly bad! I slipped in the bath whilst showering and broke the shower curtain rod >.< It was so scary 😐 I hope nothing serious happens. I went to Dr R’s room soon after it happened but he wasn’t there so I’ll go again in a minute. I can’t believe we’re going home tomorrow 😦 Rafting this morning was very fun – there was a huge amount of splashing at the beginning. David [headmistress’ husband] got the bucket out… ~so I told Dr R now and I hope everything will be okay.”
It was indeed okay – the housekeeping lady came and apologized, then another woman came, then the manager with the maintenance man. I didn’t get hurt but it was such a scary experience. I remember putting shampoo on my head, then blacking out, falling on to the shower curtain and pulling down the rail. I tried to fix it but it only ended in clangs and more panic. My friend asked if I was okay and I went out a few minutes later to tell her what had happened. She said at first that we should just say that we found it like that, but I was too honest to say that. So we told the truth.
Dinner was great. It was a buffet as well as a barbeque. We were told that the next morning we had to wake up at 5am so we could have breakfast at 5:45am and leave at 6:15am. My iPod alarm was set to 4:50am and nobody woke up late 🙂 Our flight was supposed to be at 9:30am but it was delayed to 10:45. We only took off at 11:25. At Delhi airport, we were in a rush to get on to the next plane because we had been delayed so much. We arrived in London Heathrow Terminal 4 at approximately 19:15.
Here are my last words then.
The trip was so amazing but it went past too quickly! I loved every moment, well except for the really tiring bits. Even so, I learned so much, made new friends, and had a wonderful experience. Although I am glad to be home, I will never forget the bliss of letting loose on some mountains with no internet or anything to worry about.
Thank you to everybody who went – without you the trip wouldn’t have been the same! Thank you to all the guides and hotel staff. Thank you to the porters and cooks and drivers.
I love you Nepal!!
WISDOMSTAR123 – MAKING LIFE WISDOMY AND STARRY
Song of the Post ~ Nakimushi by 沢井美空 (Kimi to Boku ending 1)