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Things I will miss about Nepal

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

Nepal has come as an unexpected surprise.  I knew virtually nothing of this country, its people and culture.  I had no intention of staying very long, and was only using it as a stopover on the road to India.  This lack of knowledge and prior expectation set me up for a fresh perspective, unmarred by any previous prejudice.  What a remarkable experience it has been.    [read on]

Day 4: Return to Pokhara

Friday, December 14th, 2007


The final day on TATA Bullet…  I’ve begun to feel at one with this bike.  All of the difficult little idiosyncrasies have become familiar and I can operate this temperamental machine just as well as any other motorcycle I’ve ridden.  However, there is a power and comfort of riding the Bullet that eludes all others!    [read on]

Day 3: Saruha to Tansen

Thursday, December 13th, 2007


Rolling out of Saruha early again, Kiev and I start towards Tansen, our final destination before returning to Pokhara.  A long day of riding ensues and we are both stunned by the beautiful, perfect roads.  Atypical of Nepal, there are long stretches of wide, smooth pavement that curve gently through unbroken woodland.  A few twisty hills are all we encounter for most of the day, but packs of monkeys and the remains of former landslides make the occasional appearance.    [read on]

Day 2: Chitwan National Park

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

Another early rise, but this time instead of mounting the motorcycle I find myself climbing on top of an elephant.  A very surreal morning spent spotting Rhinos through the foggy jungle is only the start to a bizarre day filled with elephants; from the first sight of an one walking through the morning mist to their bathing-time at noon and finally a visit to the Elephant Breeding Center to see babies chained to large posts.   [read on]

Day 1: Pokhara to Saruha

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

 Bullets Over Nepal –

7am:  Groggily wake up, slightly hung-over.  Check out of Hotel Grand Holiday and climb onto TATA Bullet, a customized and extremely stylized Royal Enfield Bullet 350cc motorcycle.  The bike is THE classic motorcycle, still being manufactured to their original WW2 military specs.  It is a large, solid bike that chugs along with a satisfying boom of power.     [read on]

Sanctuary Trek: Conclusions and Trail Thoughts

Monday, December 10th, 2007

Seven days of life on the trail, packed with many moments of solitude and reflection have lent some educational perceptions and exciting revelations. [read on]

Day 7: Sinuwa to Naya Pul

Thursday, December 6th, 2007


7:30am:  Awake and back on the trail.  Down and up.  More walking, climbing and shock from struggles downhill.  The sights are still amazing, but have been seen before.  Now that the trek is coming to its close, my focus is set to the future’s comforts.  Pokhara tonight!  Hot shower, excellent food, beers and live music all await me at the end of this full week of intense mountain trekking.  My feet are sore and bruised, my muscles ache and I am anxious to wake up tomorrow with no agenda.    [read on]

Day 6: Annapurna Base Camp to Sinuwa

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007


6:30am: I wake on the uncomfortable bench in the lodge’s common dining room.  My blankets have long since fallen to the floor and I lay there shivering and short of breath.  It is a difficult night with very little sleep, but the view of Macchapuchhre from the full wall windows every time I wake is a comforting reward.  As darkness fades, a glow behind the impressive mountain eventually gives birth to a pure sunrise, basking the Sanctuary in the morning’s light.  It took five days of the most rigorous trekking to see these wonders, but it is worth more than any struggle endured to get here.    [read on]

Day 5: Deurali to Annapurna Base Camp

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007


7:30am: There is still a foot deep snow blanketing the ground.  It is absolutely frigid and I lost my insulated cap somewhere on the trail yesterday.  We set off into the fresh powder, through the perilous avalanche zone and pave our trail along the freezing river further into the Annapurnas.  After a difficult morning facing the biting cold, low oxygen and rigorous hiking we stop for a delicious Dahl Baht in the shadow of the impressive mountains that never cease to defy imagination.    [read on]

Day 4: Dovan to Deurali

Monday, December 3rd, 2007


A lazy wakeup is overcast by heavy rain pouring outside the lodge, but it eventually subsides.  With the shortest day of the journey ahead of us, we continue the trek at 10am and start a solid day of climbing relentlessly uphill.    [read on]