It’s been said that visiting Nepal once is never enough. I have to agree. I left Varanassi, India with big expectations. My excitement though soon turned to despair as a ten hour bus ride turned to nearly twenty-four! What a long ride. It was worth the wait as soon as I saw Nepal’s famous White Mountain tops. Wow. What an unforgettable view!
|Boarder entry to Nepal.|
|Sunset on the mountains.|
|Mountain views on while on the bus.|
Kathmandu was pretty chill compared to India—literally. I had never been to a climate below ten degrees. I whined a lot, but heavy clothes and warm socks kept my pulse going. Luckily enough I knew a friend from way back who helped me settle in quickly, so navigating wasn’t stressful.
With not much time in Nepal I decided to take it from the top and signed up for a three-day trek to Poonhill, a peak 3210 meters high. My trek to the peak began in the lovely town of Pokhara, a picturesque place ideal for recharging your batteries.
I had saved my money for the hike but my budget couldn’t take a guide carrying my items to the top. I was disappointed. There was no way I could get all the way up there by myself, I thought, but was soon motivated that it could be done if I followed an alternative route.
I got up early the next day and caught a bus to the nearest town named Kimchi. The drive was about three hours with roads becoming more treacherous the more we ascended the mountain. While on the bus I met two girls who were going my same route.
|The morning before I took my bus to Kimchi|
|View on the bus|
Day one of the trek from Kimchi to Gandhruk was not too bad with the hike taking only 1 hour. The mountains looked so great and the views from above were excellent. We searched for accommodation found a good deal. I should note though that food is way more expensive than accommodation in the mountains because of the labour it takes to transport the food up the mountain. No car or motorbikes can access the mountans. Our hotel had a great view but still, I was so cold!
The next day was an early morning with a long hike planned and the girls were taking another route.
|In awe of the mountain views.|
|The girls on the first day trekk.|
|The first Nepalese mates I met on my route.|
|The views during the trek|
|This smile means I was almost there.|
I was a little scared to go alone, and I got lost for a bit but soon met some Nepalese men who were headed my way. These guys were clearly experts; some wore jeans instead of hiking pants and didn’t even carry a walking stick. The path to Gorephani was so steep, you earned every step. The temperature was quite cool with barely any humidity. We stopped for a break to grab something to eat but the men still wanted to rest so I continued on the trail by myself. There were times when I unnerved, but I knew I would encounter no wild animals.
I kept pushing harder though I was really getting tired. The gorgeous scenery kept me motivated with flowing water falls and luscious emerald green forests. I would just sit sometimes for a rest and enjoy the nature. Nine hours later I made it to Gorephani. My knees and tendons had given way, it was too much walking. I had to stretch before bed because I had to reach the top the next morning. By 5 am we were up on the way to Poonhill which takes roughly an hour. It was such a struggle to go up the steps and also on the way back. I made it to the top. The sunrise and the view of the surrounding mountains were mesmerizing! Going back down the steps with my bad knee was the worst, from Poonhill on the way down to Gandaki there is a millennium trek of 3500 steps. It was six hours of agony, but I made it to the jeep to Pokhara. I was so relived! I spent one extra day in Pokhara, I had a trekkers massage, went to visit the Tibetan refugee camp and also did Paragliding. This is one of the best places to do it in the world because of the scenery.
|We made it so early to catch the sunrise|
|Yippie! On the peak on Poonhill trek.|
|My new trek mates I met on the last day.|
|Made it to the top!|
|Views from Poonhill|
|Paragliding above Pokhara lake|
|Excitement in the sky.|
I spent my last days in Kathmandu sightseeing, shopping, and sampling delicious food. It was really wonderful to visit Bhaktapur, one of the biggest and oldest towns that were hit by the 2015 earthquake. It was sad to see some of the temples that were built in the 14th century being destroyed, however they are trying to reconstruct these temples though they will need more funding. Don’t miss out going here. This is the same thing that happened to the Kathmandu Durbar square which is a must see. I also visited the Pashupatinath temple which is located on the Bagmati River, it was really big and good to have a walk around. My favorite place to visit was The Boudhanath stoupa, it was near where I stayed and it gave me chance to see the Buddhists worship while going around the stoupa of which I myself took part in. The stoupa is very impressive, it was also recently renovated after the earthquake had left a crack in it. It is also one of the biggest stoupa in the world.
|Grabbing a coffee out of my busy day.|
|Ruins at Bakhtapur|
My time in Nepal ran so quickly but I enjoyed every bit of it. The people were so nice and friendly, I felt their warmth despite the chilly temps. The food was great (don’t forget to try momos, South Asian dumplings) and the spectacular Himalayas left me speechless. I’m not surprised Lonely Planet voted it one of the top five destinations of 2017. I’m definitely hoping to return. Visiting once is not enough!