Category archives for Nepal

Walking at the top of the world on the Annapurna Circuit, enjoying (or hating?) chaotic Kathmandu, travelers diarrhea and an interesting mix of Tibetan, Indian and Nepali culture.

Pic’ in the picture: The other side of tourism

Of course Nepal was fantastic: the constant beautiful view on the mountains, the incredible Tibetan culture and our funny guide made that this is for us a country we will not forget soon. Nepal is, as many other developing countries, dependent on foreign tourism, which brings a lot of work for the local population.

But there is also a downside to all this: tourism generates a lot of trash. :-(

The downside of tourism

The downside of tourism

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Challenging the eagles! :-)

Challenging the eagles!┬áThis trip around the world is not only about “seeing the world” nor about “visiting 48 countries in 365 days”. For us it is more like an opportunity to do new things, to get to know other cultures better and foremost, to get to know ourselves better, by doing new, interesting, challenging things. Therefore we decided to go and have a look at the Himalayas from a completely different angle and go paragliding! :-)

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A guide or not a guide? That’s NOT the question! ;-)

During our 28-day trek we met quite some people without guide, saying that “they didn’t need one” and “could do this on their own” or “they would rather save the money”. Which is fine of course, because hiring a guide is of course costing some money, as you are employing somebody to provide you a service. But what did those people that didn’t take a guide really save? Money for sure, but we think they also missed some important background information to Nepali and Tibetan culture, a thing which made our trip all the better. Especially after Thorong-La Pass there is quite some cultural heritage to be seen and visited, which just isn’t the same without somebody explaining. If in Kathmandu we quickly got to the “ah just another temple” we fully enjoyed the most important Hindu-shrine outside India and some hidden away Tibetan monasteries… :-)

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“Our” roof of the world: Thorong-La Pass (5416 m.)

Beep-beep-beep, beep-beep-beep!!! 3h30 in the morning, our alarm clock rings. Quickly we sit up because today is THE great day: we are going to go to the highest point of our trek: Thorong-La Pass at 5416 m. altitude. All around us we hear people rumbling around while we quickly (believe us: this cold makes you very fast indeed) get out of our sleeping bags and into the cold night. When we get to the dining room, a lot of people are already awake and trying to get their breakfast as soon as possible. There is some excitement in the air: for most people this is the real highlight of the trip, for others it’s the part of the trip they are most scared off: will I make it to the top? And what about that slight headache? Isn’t that possibly altitude sickness?

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The Annapurna Circuit: Beginnings…

The first week of trekking in the highest mountains in the world. Our first impressions of the Nepali mountain lifestyle, of eating Dal Bhat (the only food they seem to eat) and learning Nepali from our guide, Narayan, and our porter. Yes we were too lazy to carry our stuff ourselves! ;-)
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Kathmandu

We have been in Kathmandu for about one week now, so it is about time to share some impressions and feelings. Compared to Chinese cities, Kathmandu definitely resembles more to any other Asiatic city than we have seen before (well at least that is what we think, because of course we never have visited Asia before). When in China most big cities resemble European or even American cities, with paved roads, all lined up and organized with sidewalks for pedestrians, in Kathmandu, paved roads are seemingly inexistent, there is no such thing as sidewalks and the traffic is one big mess. Cars (mainly taxis), motor bikes and rickshaws all fight for their existence on the road of course oblivious to the pedestrians who are definitely the one dangling dangerously at the end of the Nepali food chain.

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