Sunday, June 28, 2009


Well, the monsoon has arrived properly here in Nepal now! MAssive lighning storms in the evenings with loads of rain. BUT, its still really nice! AND it means that conditions are perfect for one or two sports that have taken off here in recent years... namely White Water Rafting and Canyoning.
I headed out Canyoning yesterday with my mate Charlie from the UN and a work friend of his Chris and we had a blast!
We drove out with the guys from Paddle Nepal to a spot about halfway between Pokhara and Kathmandu (about a 3 hour drive), hiked about 45 minutes up into a steep gorge and then headed off down the river wearing wetsuits, lifejackets and helmets.
The Canyon started at the base of a huge waterfall that feeds the canyon and straight away it was loads of fun.
Jumping off waterfalls into deep pools, sliding down waterfalls, abseiling down waterfalls, swimming, sliding, jumping and laughing like big kids... sooo much fun. And in a beautiful place too!
I will get some photos from Charlie soon and post them up :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Robbed... again...

I don't really have the patience to write much right now, but long story short I have been robbed... again... out of a secure, locked hotel room... again... but this time it was while I was in the friggin room asleep... they reach into hotel rooms through the bars in the windows with long bamboo poles and reach your stuff... apparently they are good at what they do and I slept through it... and lost my new laptop, some cash and my little digital camera.
I feel pretty violated and very angry. But C'est la vie I guess... move on.
So again, no photo's and fewer updates for a while until I sort shit out again.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Hmmmm... what to say.
Camille and I talked about this just the other day. How to describe what is going on at the moment. Its impossible.
So on a day to day basis I go to the Moondance cafe, study for 5 or 6 hours (I am studying my TESOL course - Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages - so I can teach English abroad), hang out with Camille, have dinner, maybe a beer, maybe watch the band at the Busy Bee bar, go to bed... seems pretty boring, right?
BUT, every day is full of suprises. IT's the people here that make the place so amazing. We have friends all over town (all Nepali), from the shops to the resteraunts, the bars to the parks, soooo many people know us and all have become our friends and this brings round some amazing experiences with the local people. It would be futile for me to try and expalin most of the experiences as without being here you cant really understand, which frustrates me as I keep having amazing experiences that I cant really share with people without them coming here first. But in short, lets say that the friendship, hard work, resilence, openness, love, passion and genuineness of the Nepali people blows me away on a daily basis. For people in a Third World country that have seen a recent civil war and ongoing political turmoil to be this wonderful is a testament to just how amazing humankind can be.
I will be here until the middle of July and then I am off to London and into Europe to climb... Psyched! Lots more time to enjoy Nepal then off on the next leg... Life is great :)

Phewa Tal at sunset (Fewa Lake)

One of my great Nepali friends

A dog in Phewa Park

Another of our Nepali friends

Barbed Wire & Beauty at Phewa Park

Friday, June 5, 2009

Annapurna Base Camp trek...


So I'm back from the annapurna Base Camp trek, tired, and with sore legs, but very satisfied. Below is a small diary I kept on the walk :)

Day 1 - 31.05.09

I woke up at 4am this morning finding it hard to sleep with the excitment of the day ahead. I said goodbye to Camille and jumped in my cab at 6am. 6.30am saw my taxi arrive at Phedi and I took off up the trail. I wandered on up the steep staircase that begins the trek and was soon in Dhamphus where I stopped for a nice breakfast of corn bread and scrambled eggs. I set off again and in no time was through Pothana, over the mountain at Pitam Deaurali and down by the river at Tolka by lunchtime. I stoppedin Tolka for some tea then headed off to Landruk to spend the night there at the Maya Guesthouse where I sat around in the warm afternoon sun drinking a beer and reading my book. One of the guys that works there, Kamal, sat with me for about an hour helping me practice my Nepali and spelling out handy words for me. It never ceases to amaze me how generous and friendly the people here are. As the light faded I sat transfixed on the mountains as the cloud cover that had been around all day started to disperse to give me spectacular views of the snow capped peaks that loomed overhead. This place is magic.

Day 2 - 01.06.09

I woke up today to a clearing and increasingly sunny morning. after some teas with Kamal I headed off again. I almost forgot until looking at my photos from yesterday about the 3 young children that stopped me on my way to Landruk yesterday to give me bunches of flowers. It was so cute to see them come up to me flowers hidden behind their backs, smiles on their faces. I walked to Jhinu this morning then stopped for tea before continuing up to Chomrong. The stairs from Jhinu to Chomrong were merciless. Steep winding stone stairs that never seem to end. But I got to Chomrong in about an hour rather than the 2 it is supposed to take and had some tea and a chocolate pancake then a rest before heading on. I headed off aand after a long afternoon I got to Dovan and I am well tired. Met a nice group of people on the way and walked with them for a while. Will be haeding up to ABC tommorow, but I am too tired to write more now haha.

Day 3 - 02.06.09

Yesterday was great, tiring but lots of fun. I met some nice people in Sinuwa and walked with them to Dovan where we spent the night. I slept like a log and woke up at 5.30am, had breakfast and headed off at 7am. Ash, Erin, Allie, Nicole and Cedrick were planning to take it easy and only go to Machupuchchere Base Camp while I want to go all the way to ABC today. I stopped for tea at the Himalaya Lodge then headed to Deurali where I stopped to soak up the sun and relax for a while before heading up to MBC and ABC. Sitting here drinking tea, perched on a ledge holding a few small stone buildings, surrounded by snow capped peaks above and the never ending valley dropping away below it really makes you appreciate the little things in life. Like good health to be able to do these sorts of things. Sitting here up near the roof of the world I cant help but feel content and at peace, both with the world and with myself.
ABC... its easy as 123! haha
Walking into Annapurna Base Camp this afternoon definitely ranks as one of my best achievments. I pushed on all the way fromDovan to ABC with a few short stops and while I was exhausted from 3 full days effort and feeling the altitude a bit (ABC is at 4130m) I put one foor in front of the other across the last glacier and pulled into ABC with a smile on my face. I feel proud of myself for doing this on my own. While coming up here makes no difference to anyone else my sense of personal achievment is at an all time high. Having always been drawn towards the Himaslaya's even before I started climbing, to finally be up here among her peaks in all their snow crowned glory is more fulfilling, satisfying and amazing than I can explain. The Himal are magic. I love my life!

Day 4 - 03.06.09

I woke up at about 1am this mornig and went and sat on the boulders and just stared. The clouds had cleared and the moon was shining off all the peaks around me giving me an amazing night time view of Annapurna 1, Tent Peak, Machupuchchere, Annapurna South and all the other peaks. Breathtaking.
I woke again this morning at 5.30am and went out to one of the nearby shrines to hang my Prayer Flags that I had brought with me from Australia. I hung them, took some photos and soaked up the view before having some tea and heading off down the trail. I met my friends at MBC again and had teas with them as we watched the wild Himalayan Thar (mountain goats) coming down the mountain. I am stoked to have seen the Thar as I really wanted to see them. I have also seen Barking Deer, Himalayan Langurs and the Nepal national bird, a beautiful Pheasant. I walked non stop from MBC to Bamboo where I stopped for some hot chocolate before pushing on.
Argh!!! So sore and tired. I walked all the way to Jhinu today and I am wasted! My legs are tired and my knees are sooo sore, argh!
I wnet down to the hot springs here in Jhinu before dinner... so nice. Hot springs right beside a freezing glacial river. Beautiful. Tommorow will be all the way home. I think I will be pretty tired but I am psyched!

Day 5 - 04.06.09

I woke up this morning with the most painfully sore legs I have ever had. All the walking up stairs makes you tired, but walking down them is painful on your knees. I could barely walk to the kitchen to have breakfast. But, after some tea and toast I headed off at a steady pace and by 10.30am was in Synauli Bazaar, only a short hour and a half walk from Nyapul and a taxi home to Pokhara.
I walked to Nyapul with a great friendly Nepali guide by the name of Shiva and we chatted, joked and laughed our way into Nyapul where I signed off at the check posts and jumped in a taxi to Pokhara feeling exhausted but truely satisfied. I will definitely be doing more trekking from now on, especially in places like the Himalayas. I am truely hooked. Magic.

Annapurna Base Camp

The view up the valley

Crossing a suspension bridge in the valley

Annapurna South

Nepali school children