Jump to content
  • WELCOME GUEST

    It looks as if you are viewing PalmTalk as an unregistered Guest.

    Please consider registering so as to take better advantage of our vast knowledge base and friendly community.  By registering you will gain access to many features - among them are our powerful Search feature, the ability to Private Message other Users, and be able to post and/or answer questions from all over the world. It is completely free, no “catches,” and you will have complete control over how you wish to use this site.

    PalmTalk is sponsored by the International Palm Society. - an organization dedicated to learning everything about and enjoying palm trees (and their companion plants) while conserving endangered palm species and habitat worldwide. Please take the time to know us all better and register.

    guest Renda04.jpg

An amazing trip to Nepal


bgl

Recommended Posts

Kim and I returned earlier this month after an incredible trip to Nepal. We spent the first couple of days in and around Kathmandu, staying in the fascinatingly messy Thamel neighborhood where lots of pedestrians, lots of motorcycles and cars (mostly small Suzukis) mingled as if there was no tomorrow! It should be pointed out that this is a two way street. Traffic is on the left side.

post-22-0-85205300-1368602581_thumb.jpg

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On our first full day we visited a number of interesting places. This is the stupa at Boudhanath, said to be the largest in Asia and I guess that probably makes it the largest in the world. We happened to be there on New Year's Day in the Nepalese Year 2070 and let's just say it was a very busy and colorful place!

post-22-0-30833300-1368602916_thumb.jpg

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We then visited the Pashupatinah Temple, one of the holiest Hindu temples in Nepal on the equally holy Bagmati River. Cremations were going on and it was quite an experience.

post-22-0-62727100-1368603072_thumb.jpg

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After a few days in Kathmandu we flew 30 minutes to Lukla (elev. 2840 m/9325 ft), where the airport is considered one of the most dangerous in the world. Runway is only 460m/1510 ft long with a 12% gradient, a ravine at the lower end and a mountain at the upper end. And the fun is only just beginning! :rolleyes: Here's a typical street scene in Lukla. There are no cars here or even remotely close by. Everything is moved by people, yaks or mules.

post-22-0-46297400-1368603480_thumb.jpg

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From Lukla we set out on a 12 day trek that would take us up into the high Himalayas with breathtaking views. At the end of the first day we ended up in the small village of Phakding, where I'm afraid we missed out on the Reggae. But Happy Hour from 2 pm to 7 pm sounded tempting... :lol: BUT, we passed!

post-22-0-15557700-1368604146_thumb.jpg

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At the end of the second day we were in Namche Bazar (elev. 3440m/11300 ft), the main town in the area. The town is built on a steep slope and surrounded by tall mountains,

post-22-0-51682200-1368604402_thumb.jpg

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We kept hiking, higher and higher, and with spectacular views all day long, every day. Here's Mt. Everest in the distance, on the left, with Lhotse on the right.

post-22-0-59624600-1368604511_thumb.jpg

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And a bit of a close up of Mt. Everest (8848m/29029ft tall), about 15 miles/24 km away in this photo. Again, Lhotse on the right. (fourth tallest mountain in the world at 8383m/27503 ft).

post-22-0-17451500-1368604600_thumb.jpg

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After a few more days we spent the night in the VERY small village of Tengboche (elev. 3860m/12665ft). And we woke up the next morning to SNOW! :bemused:

post-22-0-22342700-1368604722_thumb.jpg

  • Upvote 2

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The snow made for some interesting hiking at times, but we were prepared for it. Our Nepalese hats (US$3.60 each in Lukla) came in very handy! :)

post-22-0-73472500-1368604818_thumb.jpg

  • Upvote 1

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The network of mountain trails is very impressive even though the trails sometimes can be both treacherous (narrow and very steep) and busy with oncoming traffic. Yaks ALWAYS have the right of way! :mrlooney: Kim on the left (red jacket) with our guide Jeevan (yellow jacket).

post-22-0-94262700-1368604969_thumb.jpg

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And talking about "traffic" on the trails - one of most amazing sights was to see all these guys carrying incredibly heavy and cumbersome loads for days and days. Absolutely surreal. These three guys may have started in Lukla several days earlier. The elevation here is about 4500m/14760 ft.

post-22-0-47212500-1368605214_thumb.jpg

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We walked these trails for 12 days and every moment, every day, was a breathtaking experience.

post-22-0-14629900-1368605319_thumb.jpg

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After a week we reached the tiny village of Gokyo (elev. 4800m/15750ft) and the next morning we hiked up a nearby mountain, Gokyo Ri, and reached an altitude of about 5100m/16700ft. This is the view of Gokyo (lower left) and surrounding areas. It was 13F/-10C when we began hiking up Gokyo Ri at 4:30 am!

post-22-0-40525100-1368605521_thumb.jpg

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And looking straight north from the village of Gokyo. The snow covered mountain is Cho Oyu, 10km/6 miles away and at 8201m/26906ft the sixth tallest mountain in the world. We were told it had never been climbed from the Nepalese side. The other side (the north side) is in Tibet.

post-22-0-37304000-1368605745_thumb.jpg

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We hiked back to Lukla (took us a few days even though it was downhill! :lol: And flew back to Kathmandu, spent a few hours there and then went on a five hour drive south to Chitwan National Park, elev. 300m/1000ft. Traffic in Nepal has to be experienced. "Crazy" doesn't come close to describing it! Lots of large Indian built Tata trucks and this guy, who is on OUR side of the road, and coming OUR way, is passing another vehicle! :bemused:

post-22-0-49645700-1368605967_thumb.jpg

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Needless to say, we needed to relax after that five hour drive so we went on an elephant ride. Somewhat bumpy, but fun! This rhino created a bit of excitement when we spotted him!

post-22-0-29108600-1368606071_thumb.jpg

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And, one might ask, what about palms? Well, we did see a number of palms in Kathmandu (elev. 1500m/5000ft) but nothing that you wouldn't see in southern California for instance. During the elephant ride we also saw a number of palms, and I managed this shot of a group of them. I believe they are Calamus (there were quite a few in the forest and they seemed to be climbers), but I am open for suggestions! :)

post-22-0-12349600-1368606229_thumb.jpg

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was hot and humid and a shower would have been perfect by mid afternoon. But the hotel was at some distance. A nearby river and a convenient elephant worked just as well! :rolleyes: Kim braved it while I decided I needed to stay dry! SOMEONE had to handle the camera! :mrlooney:

post-22-0-67334100-1368606387_thumb.jpg

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

These guys were apparently heading home after grazing all day long across the river. The contrast from having seen the yaks up in the snow only a few days earlier to experiencing a tropical sunset at Chitwan in southern Nepal was striking!

post-22-0-22927700-1368606547_thumb.jpg

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our trip was drawing to the close and we celebrated the last evening in Kathmandu with Gorkha beer and a great pizza! (Yes, they make EXCELLENT pizza in Kathmandu! :) )

post-22-0-18612600-1368606651_thumb.jpg

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And by midnight we caught our Dragonair ride to Hong Kong, where we spent the next day and then took Cathay Pacific nonstop to Los Angeles, arriving four hours before leaving Hong Kong! One of the advantages of crossing the International Date Line in an easterly direction! B) And the end of an absolutely unforgettable adventure! :)

post-22-0-67995900-1368606805_thumb.jpg

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bo and Kim, what an amazing experience for you both, your pics Bo certainly give the feeling of "breathtaking experience" thats for sure, you must have both felt "on top of the World". Pete :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Normally I would head for the tropics on vacation, but I'd certainly make an exception for such an adventure. Amazing and unforgettable I'm sure!

Cindy Adair

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, fantastic! Especially the Rhino!

Jack Sayers

East Los Angeles

growing cold tolerant palms halfway between the equator and the arctic circle...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Normally I would head for the tropics on vacation, but I'd certainly make an exception for such an adventure. Amazing and unforgettable I'm sure!

these were exactly my thoughts. I tend to stay within 100 miles of the beach at any given time, but with such amazing views at incredible altitudes, it ranks up there on the exception list.

Grant
Long Beach, CA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for your comments! :) And yes, a tropical place also generally takes priority on my list of places to visit, but it's good to be flexible and this travel experience and adventure was absolutely unique! Definitely one of my best! :)

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for your comments! :) And yes, a tropical place also generally takes priority on my list of places to visit, but it's good to be flexible and this travel experience and adventure was absolutely unique! Definitely one of my best! :)

Wow!

You were at least adjacent to tropical places, and palms never too far away . . .

Let's keep our forum fun and friendly.

Any data in this post is provided 'as is' and in no event shall I be liable for any damages, including, without limitation, damages resulting from accuracy or lack thereof, insult, or lost profits or revenue, claims by third parties or for other similar costs, or any special, incidental, or consequential damages arising out of my opinion or the use of this data. The accuracy or reliability of the data is not guaranteed or warranted in any way and I disclaim liability of any kind whatsoever, including, without limitation, liability for quality, performance, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose arising out of the use, or inability to use my data. Other terms may apply.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Road traffic and elephants give you a good experience before Sri Lanka!

Left driving too: once I got a nun riding bicycle in my arms since I crossed the street watching first on the wrong side!

Your elephants remind me my friends Punchi (male) and Manika (female) you can see on some pics I posted.

Did you see any Caryota? and some Hedychium? and leeches?

Did you collect seeds?

Kindest regards

5809129ecff1c_P1010385copie3.JPG.15aa3f5

Philippe

 

Jungle Paradise in Sri Lanka

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dan and Philippe, thanks for your comments! And about the left hand driving - well, that's the official rule, but given just a teeny bit of space, traffic will instantly spread out across the entire width of the street or road. Makes no difference if there's oncoming traffic. So, as a pedestrian (in the Thamel neighborhood for instance, where all the streets are very narrow) you just had to be extremely careful, and the fact that traffic nominally moved on the left had little bearing on how traffic actually flowed. And Philippe, yes I remember your elephant photos, and we saw lots of elephants in Chitwan National Park, including a wild bull elephant and he created quite a stir when he came close to a village we were visiting. We did see a bunch of Caryotas there, probably mostly C. urens, but I'm not aware of any Hedychiums. And we had no problems with leeches (didn't see a single one) and did not collect any seeds.

I forgot to post a photo of the Lukla Airport last night, so here's a shot I took of the runway. The lower end, Runway 06, is used for ALL landings, and the upper end, Runway 24, where I am standing is used for all take offs. There's a huge mountain right behind me. Taking off here is a bit like taking off from an aircraft carrier (I imagine, have never done that). You reach the end of the runway VERY quickly and hopefully the plane you're in will be airborne at that point. The alternative would be REALLY bad! :bemused:

post-22-0-14214700-1368643781_thumb.jpg

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am glad you took off nicely!

Nepal must be very different with Hawaii!
How long and complicated was the flight? westward from Hawaii or eastward ?

5809129ecff1c_P1010385copie3.JPG.15aa3f5

Philippe

 

Jungle Paradise in Sri Lanka

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nepal is indeed very different from Hawaii! And the most direct way to travel from Hawaii would definitely be westbound, for instance via Korea or Japan. You can fly Korean Air Honolulu-Seoul-Kathmandu for instance. But I flew from Hawaii to San Diego (yep, wrong direction! :lol: ) And then Kim and I flew via Los Angeles and Hong Kong to Kathmandu. The Los Angeles to Hong Kong leg was a 16 hour night flight! (Strong headwinds - the return "only" took just over 12 hours). From California to Nepal is about the same distance, eastbound or westbound.

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I forgot to post a photo of the Lukla Airport last night, so here's a shot I took of the runway. The lower end, Runway 06, is used for ALL landings, and the upper end, Runway 24, where I am standing is used for all take offs. There's a huge mountain right behind me. Taking off here is a bit like taking off from an aircraft carrier (I imagine, have never done that). You reach the end of the runway VERY quickly and hopefully the plane you're in will be airborne at that point. The alternative would be REALLY bad! :bemused:

So obviously on final you either land or crash into the mountain. No go-arounds or Top Gun fly-bys. I have landed at some pretty sketchy airfields, but I can only imagine how harry that experience was.

Grant
Long Beach, CA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very dramatic photos thanks for posting...while Nepal is pretty low on my bucket list,

I enjoyed your photos. I've seen video shot from the cockpit of that landing and take off...fairly sketchy! Did camp out on your 12 march?

The weight of lies will bring you down / And follow you to every town / Cause nothin happens here

That doesn't happen there / So when you run make sure you run / To something and not away from

Cause lies don't need an aero plane / To chase you anywhere

--Avett Bros

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Grant, correct - no go-around capability at Lukla once you've crossed the threshold of Runway 06. But it never felt scary, landing or taking off, and I think that feeling was shared by everybody on the plane. It was more like "wow, this is amazing". :)

Peter, no fortunately we did not camp out, but we did see people who did. Did not look particularly tempting! :mrlooney: We stayed in what was typically referred to as "tea houses" or "guest houses". The rooms were very basic (typically raw plywood walls) and with no heat. Bedframes with a mattress and a pillow, and you were expected to sleep in a sleeping bag (and we did). Some rooms had an adjacent room with a toilet and sometimes a shower, always "walk in". I doubt there are any bathtubs up here. Some poor sherpa would have to carry it up the mountain! :bemused: The only room in these tea/guest houses that would be heated was the main dining room, and only at dinner time. And then it was very cozy! Here are a few of the places we stayed in:

1 - The Nest in Namche Bazar (on our way up). Pretty nice. But on the way back we upgraded to Panorama Hotel. Another US$20 per night and we had a real bed with sheets! Luxury! :lol:

2 - The Tengboche Guest House was pretty basic, but also typical of many of the tea/guest houses.

3 - Gokyo Resort at our turnaround point had an impressive sounding name but I doubt that anyone checks in here and stays for a week! They DID have a shower, as in "one shower for the entire establishment" and we definitely took advantage of that!

4 - Not an unusual site along the trail. And nobody up here would refer to either of these two facilities as a "bathroom". It's either "toilet" or "shower".

post-22-0-74062000-1368755308_thumb.jpg

post-22-0-01275500-1368755314_thumb.jpg

post-22-0-33705000-1368755318_thumb.jpg

post-22-0-70529200-1368755322_thumb.jpg

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

looks like an awesome trip Bo!

"it's not dead it's sleeping"

Santee ca, zone10a/9b

18 miles from the ocean

avg. winter 68/40.avg summer 88/64.records 113/25

Link to comment
Share on other sites

what an incredible adventure! thanks for sharing it with us!

i am fascinated by how you keep a travel thread so BRIEF. :mrlooney:

the "prince of snarkness."

 

still "warning-free."

 

san diego,california,left coast.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bo, an amazing trip, indeed, as you described it, and the pictures convey the excitement of the journey. But really, 16,700 ft. :blink: and 13 deg. F :bemused: Some of us old coots would just shrivel up and disappear.

Mike Merritt

Big Island of Hawaii, windward, rainy side, 740 feet (225 meters) elevation

165 inches (4,200 mm) of rain per year, 66 to 83 deg F (20 to 28 deg C) in summer, 62 to 80 deg F (16.7 to 26.7 Deg C) in winter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steve, Paul and Mike - thanks for your comments! And yes, "awesome, incredible and amazing" are all adjectives that I have used to describe the trip! And Paul, about your "fascinated" comment: oh, I could very easily have gotten totally carried away here! :lol: It took a lot of self control to keep the thread brief! I'm actually fascinated myself how I managed to do that! :mrlooney: And Mike, well the 13F was just that one morning, even though we did have "right-around-freezing" temps for a couple of days before and after that. But we were dressed for it and it wasn't really an issue. I was somewhat concerned about the altitude prior to the trek, but with a very gradual ascent, it was never an issue. I felt very good at 16,000 ft and even had a hearty appetite! :)

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



  • Recently Browsing

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...