Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Nepal 2014 (and Malaysia?!)

Happy New Year! Belated Happy Holidays! Yadda yadda! I bet you thought I wasn’t gonna write about Nepal, because it’s been a few weeks since I was there, and nothing yet, right? Well cheer up (or let out an exasperated sigh) because here it is!!!

Kuala Lumpur

We started our long journey from Burma to Nepal with a 6 hour layover in Bangkok during which we escaped from the airport just long enough to shove some noodles into our faces. It was raining and terrible. Then onto Kuala Lumpur for our 24 hours of high-tech glitzy modern living. We lived it up! A haircut, a trip to the mall and a stop at the cinema to watch the latest Hunger Games film. We finished the day with some of that amazing KL Chinese style streetfood and some photos of the famous towers. It was a fantastic little vacation! Next, on to


Again, just this time much colder haha. As soon as we arrived it was straight to business, for obtaining a visa for India is no simple task. After we had started the Indian visa process, it was time to get our trek permits sorted out. Luckily, it helps to have friends with connections for this process, and with Om’s help we were able to get everything taken care of quickly and cheaply. After a few days we were on our way to Langtang valley for a planned 10 days of trekking. The first stretch of our trek was the Tamang heritage trail. The Tamang people are Tibetan horse traders, although the villages we stayed at were focused around herding, a bit of farming, and lots of tourist business. Turns out trekking is waaaaaay harder than I thought it would be. I like walking; I do not like walking up and down mountains, especially with an extra 10 kilos on my back. I am way to unstable and clumsy for that sort of endeavour! When I woke up on the third day, I declared that I wasn’t moving, and that Conor could go ahead without me, but I couldn’t go anywhere. He decided we should stick together, and the next day started out again. We reached a peak of about 3100 meters and could see snow-capped mountains surrounding us on all sides. After a couple more days, we finished the circuit. The second part of the plan was to hike straight up into the high mountains and straight back down. I told Conor he was on his own, and that I was just going to hang out in one of the villages for a couple days. Turns out, I am a genius and also probably psychic, because two days after we split up it SNOWED! I could see it on the mountain we had been at the day before. I was not the happiest of campers in good weather, I probably would have had a meltdown if I was trying to walk up mountains in the SNOW. Conor however, with his elf-like grace, had a great time climbing up mountains in the snow, wind and ice, so it’s a wonderful thing that we split up. I returned to Kathmandu to eat fancy pizza in cafes and drink beer on patios around campfires, the kinds of places I belong hahaha. When Conor made it back to Kathmandu, we finished up part 3/3 of getting an Indian visa, did a tiny bit more sightseeing, and celebrated Om’s birthday. By this point in December it was getting seriously too cold for backpacking in Kathmandu, and I was really looking forward to the warm weather in India (I was misled).

Trekking highlights include: the stars, the sunsets, the lovely people in the villages, I didn’t seriously injure myself (scrapes mostly), hot springs, deep fried chocolate bars , and endless LOTR moments.

We’re halfway through India now, and I’ll update you guys on that later.