12.19.2011

Go Baby Go! A Nepalese Adventure

Fully throttled from my most epic day on the bike 120km from KTM to just past Dhunche. I had groups of children running with me through sections, thumbs up, middle fingers, and everything in between; truly an amazing day.

I am in the Guangzhou China airport I have been traveling for 24 hours already and have another 29 hours until I reach my destination in Kathmandu, Nepal. I am traveling solo for one month, I have my bike, my sleeping bag, and an unquenchable thirst for the unknown. Some might say what I'm doing is stupid or reckless, I have no plan. I find it invigorating and empowering to let the land, culture, and acquaintances choose my path.

 In one month I really think I got a feel for Nepal. I biked over 800 km, trekked to Kyanjin Gumpa(3914 m) and Annapurna Base Camp(4130 m), rafted the Trisuli river, visited Nepal's largest cave, canoed and trekked through Chitwan NP, and climbed Cherko Ri(4960 m.) I was given shelter and food by complete strangers, nearly run over by buses and motorbikes, and trekked along side of rhinoceroses and elephants.
Even cotton candy can be found at Swayambhunath
Swayambhunath a.k.a The Monkey Temple. Is an ancient religious temple atop a hill in KTM. In this very spiritual place, there are holy monkeys running a muck, Buddhist prayer, and peaceful traditional music broadcasting from all around.

Elephant bathing in Chitwan NP

Nearing Kyanjin Gumpa(3914 m) on my 2nd day of what lonely planet said to be a 6 day trek. I was moving! Langshisa Ri(6427 m) looking in the distance.

Nearing Annapurna Base Camp with the most spectacular mountain I have ever seen in the background Machapuchare a.k.a. Fishtail(6993 m) This is a sacred mountain that has never been summited.
The sacred city cow can be found everywhere rummaging through trash.


My dear Rose from Brisbane Australia  who I met in KTM and became my travel partner for the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

Typical tea house evening gathering. This was the seen at night sharing stories, adventures, and maybe a few beverages. I think there were people from 15 different countries in this room. Many great memories and conversation had here.

The very spontaneous Trisuli river trip. I met Rose and Chris the night before and many carafes of Rakshi(rice moon shine) later we decided to book a river trip. We woke feeling a bit under the weather at 6am and were promptly shoved on a bus, we had no idea where we were going, what to bring, or how long this jaunt would be. Of course it all worked in the end and we had a great day finished by passing a little hash around riding on top the bus back to KTM.

This adorable filthy child learned the system quickly. After he ran to me and noticed his picture was taken he promptly puts out his hand and says money or chocolate. Haha, I couldn't resist his gumption so I gave him my snickers I was packing for such emergencies.

This is Didi(sister), she is making cellbrati a traditional sweet corn bread made only for Tihar.“Bhai Tikka” marks the final day of Tihar. Tihar is the grandest of Nepali holidays.  I believe you could literally translate the holiday as bhai (brother) tikka (blessing); it is a day where sisters celebrate their brothers to ensure their long life and to thank them for the love and protection they give. As part of the festivities lots of good food is prepared for the brothers, and their sisters give them packages of sweets and nuts. There is a special puja, with a seven colored tikka and flower garlands. In return the sisters receive gifts or money from their brothers, and the whole ceremony acts as a strengthening and renewal of the brother-sister relationship. I was very lucky to be invited in Aroha's home for such a special day. Something that I will never forget.

This is where all the magic happens, a typical Nepali tea house kitchen.
Friendly locals excited to see travelers riding a top a bus.


Rose carried a Polaroid camera. This was a very cool way to share expereiences with people we met a long the way.


My gear. 1999 Jamis Komodo, handle bar bag, two paniers, a frame pack, and an overloaded backpack.

Aroha and his family. I spent two nights here. Once out to Lang Tang and once on the return where I shared in the Tihar festivities.
Rose getting frisky with an elephant during its daily bathing time in Chitwan NP.


Thamel the bustling tourist section of KTM. Great eats, bars, and shopping all around.

I ran into this rhinoceros the first night in Chitwan, I was happy there was an armed guard between us. Although, I am sure he was there to protect the rhino from us not vice verse.

This is Ghyalbu Tamang and his family who I stayed with in Lang Tang Valley. Gbyalbu is a Buddhist llama who was extremely friendly and inspirational to talk to.

Ohhh the Special Lahsi. Yes, this was a Lahsi made with Mary J. This was the culprit of the most hilarious day in Nepal. So let me back pedal a bit. The evening prior I booked what I thought was a romantic stay in the jungle in what they called a "night tower," this was depicted at a tall bamboo structure with a nice bed and mosquito netting all around and was proposed to be excellent animal watching and a great chance to see Bengal tigers. OK, so back to the special lahsi. We drank these lahsi about an hour before our pick up time. So the jeep picks us up, high as kites already, and we begin driving. In the back of this jeep we are traveling into the jungle not knowing the two armed men escorting us. Through an iron gate and deeper into the jungle we go. As you can imagine in our state we're kind of laughing but really freaking out a bit thinking that we were kidnapped and going to be left for dead in the middle of the jungle. Laughing hysterically the entire way and joking that this was a seen from the movie Hostel. We make it to the "night tower" which turns out to be a 2 story concrete building that reminds me a something found abandoned in the projects. Not too romantic. Then the guards take us on a "nature hike." Paranoid and being sucked on by leaches I am sure we're dead meat. We eventually make it back to night tower unscathed, minus the little blood suckers. We pass out around six and canoe back to relative civilization. What a trip... we survived and that trip was worth every penny for the experience.

The final descent to Syabrubesi the start of the Lang Tang Valley trek. Yes I had to ride back up it on the return to KTM.

Machapuchare a.k.a. Fishtail(6993 m)

Taking in the vistas atop Cherko Ri (4960 m)

Prayer flags waving in the thin air atop Cherko Ri
Day hike in the midst of the 10th highest mountain in the world, Annapurna(8091 m)
A little press from my trip by The Park Record
Father time spinning his prayer wheel in Lang Tang