Nepal has been at the top of Ted’s wish list for a long while, and for good reason. Our time here was nothing short of spectacular, though challenges abound. Trekking the Annapurna will be a travel highlight in our books forever, having friends to join us was a particular treat, though transportation and power in this country created some difficult situations. In no particularly order, check out our favorite moments, challenges, and eats:
Fun People – We spent nearly our whole month in Nepal hanging out with people we love. Cheers to Charles and Kate for making the journey from the US, and to Dave and Jesse for being such hilarious partners-in-crime.
- Shiba – Our guide on the Annapurna trek was a superstar. Best guide ever. We loved this guy.
- Our porters – We couldn’t have done the trek without them. Well, perhaps we could have but we’re glad we didn’t have to.
- Wicked peaks – Every day wicked peaks. In every direction.
- Weather on the circuit – I’m gonna go out on a limb and call it perfect. Sure it was a bit cold in the evenings, but during the day you couldn’t ask for better walking temps, our outrageous visibility, and no rain!
- Thorung La Pass – 17,769 feet. Bagged it.
- Tatopani Hot Springs – Healing, natural hot springs after 10+ days of walking? I think yes.
- Dinner with Shiba – Dinner with our favorite guide in his home and with his lovely family was a treat.
- Sunsets in Bandipur at the Old Inn – A beautiful view, at a lovely old property and cold beer. Perfect.
- Bodhnath Stupa on Buddha’s Big Day – It was quite by accident that we got to hang out with Buddhists on the celebration of Buddha’s birth, death and day of enlightenment.
Road transportation – Terrible, terrible roads. No bus ride or Jeep ride was an exception. It takes hours to go a few miles.
- Bathroom experience along the Annapurna Circuit – No need for detail here, but there were squat toilets all the way, and when you’re legs are tired from walking anyway, this was sad news.
- Power rationing – Kathmandu was without power 8-12 hours a day on a regular basis. Our hotel posted the hours that power would be available in the city each day. A capital city with systematic power outrages is quite unfortunate.
- Strikes – Who knows who was striking about what, but when it was a strike day all transportation would come to a halt. No buses, no taxis and most shops don’t even open. Lucky our travel schedule was so flexible – it could be quite an issue if you were trying to get somewhere on a certain day at a certain time.
- Freezing cold nights – on the Annapurna circuit, we had a couple high-altitude evenings with not quite enough covers. We’re stretching here with things to complain about…
Top 5 Eats
Hot tea on Annapurna – We’re not big tea drinkers but we were on the trek. The hot liquid both kept us warm and kept us hydrated. We drank gallons of the stuff.
- Dal Bhat – The Nepali national dish. We learned to like it.
- Momo Fest 2011/Momos in general – Momo Fest deserves its own post: Check out what our travel buddies had to say about our momo night on the town.
- Pokhara Pizza – Best pizza we had encountered out of the US and it was cheap ($2/pie)! Woohoo!
- Manang’s bakery items – Manang was a little village in the middle of our Annapurna trek. After days and days of the same boring food, we were thrilled and surprised to have the options of fresh croissants, apple danishes and chocolate cakes. A little slice of heaven in the middle of a pretty heavenly place to begin with.