09 October 2017. Landed in Kathmandu, Nepal.
A bit of planning helped. Although one can obtain a visa when landing, procuring it in advance helped me beat the lineups at immigration.
After so much planning and thoughts put into what I needed for the Everest Base Camp trek, i was relieved that my packpack… and its precious content….made it to Kathmandu as well.
After procuring a Nepal SIMS card so I can remain in contact with you, I quickly headed to Nagarkot….an hour drive away from Kathmandu.
On the way, i enjoyed the sights of rice fields and the overall lushness of the area.
I checked in at the Eco Home hotel. I like it that a portion of my dollars will go to “Roofs for 28 families”…Families which were impacted by the disastrous April 25, 2015 earthquake. It was a fortunate turn of events that it happened on a Saturday. This allowed to spare countless precious children lives as they were not in school when it happened.
Nagarkot is all I expected….a great place to avoid the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu and to remain focused and relax before my trek to Everest Base Camp.
Shortly after arriving into Nagarkot, I was immediately touched when a young girl who could not be more than 2 years old smiled at me from the comfort of her home porch and said Namaste as I was deambulating the streets of Nagarkot past her home.
Namaste is how you say Hi in Nepali… but it is said with so much more meaning than the way we greet each other in the western world.
Nagarkot is rustic and peaceful. It is nestled against the hills which the locals also use for terrace farming. Terraces are very smart way to retain water for farming on steep hills.
I went out for a trek as soon as the sun came out at 0600.
A few minutes uphill into the trek, I started seeing many snow capped peaks…. my first true sights of the Himalayas.
As it is located high on the fringe of the Kathmandu Valley, Nagarkot commands one of the broadest views of the Himalayas in the Kathmandu valley. You can see 8 out of the 13 Himalayan ranges of Nepal from there.
The ranges include Annapurna range, Manaslu range, Ganesh himal range, Langtang range, Jugal range, Rolwaling range, Mahalangur range (Everest range) and Numbur range with views of the Kathmandu Valley.
After a Nepali breakfast: chapatis, vegetable curry, masala omelette and a banana. …. I went out again to try to find a way to the highest point in Nagarkot….a place where I can have unhindered views of the Himalayan ranges.
During that trek, i ended up with a doctor from Catalan who found himself in the same predicament that I was i.e. not knowing which of four directions to take.
He thought he was in good hands with a more experienced trekker. Knowing my limitations…. and propensity for getting into trouble….I thought I was in good hands with a doctor.
As it turned out, we were mostly helpless…. although we did eventually find our way back to our respective hotels…..without injuries other than to our pride.
It appears I will have to hire a guide to help me find my way around the meandering paths the locals use to go about their day.
For Mia and Liam…..any the geology lovers….millions of years ago, the Himalayas did not exist:
The Himalayan range, topped by 29,035-foot (8,850-meter) Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world, is now one of the largest and most distinct geographic features on the earth’s surface.
To give you an idea of its size, The range, running northwest to southeast:
- stretches 1,400 miles (2,300 kilometers);
- varies between 140 miles and 200 miles wide;
- crosses or abuts five countries: India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bhutan and China
- is the mother of three major rivers: Indus, Ganges, and Tsampo-Bramhaputra rivers; and
- boasts over 100 mountains higher than 23,600 feet (7,200 meters)—all higher than any mountains on the other six continents.