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Archive for April, 2012|Monthly archive page

My first day of trekking! Like when Rocky climbs up those stairs!

In Travel on April 28, 2012 at 11:41 am

After a breakfast in the shadows with a lone light bulb providing light, where we struggled to unpeel boiled eggs (do you unpeel an egg??), we moved out into the mountains! After crossing over a couple of suspension bridges feeling very Indiana Jones like, we started our ascent. I am not a fit person and I can tell you that I was out of breath before we even started but excitement kept me going and going and going until I gave up mentally as the end seemed too far away. Now I had been ‘preparing’ myself for the trek by walking and working out (lightly), but while I was plodding up the trail I realized that my preparation had been all wrong! Now if you live in Dubai, and are planning on going on a trek to Nepal, this is what you should do: Walk up the stairs at Burj Khalifa! Go all the way up and then come all the way down! Do that many times. That will prepare you for this trek! And if you are not in Dubai, then choose the tallest building you have in your city and take the stairs to the top. Or alternatively practice on a real mountain….

Burj Khalifa at Night, Dubai

If you are going to Nepal for trekking and live in Dubai, u need to go to the top of this using the stairs!

Our trail started at Nayapul and went up Banthanti. In between our mid-morning drinks break, and our final tea lodge stop were 5,000 steps; and by steps I mean rocks you have to step on to move up. I take the stairs at work but I don’t think I have climbed up 5,000 steps in my lifetime! We covered 1,170 m in 7 hours and for a beginner it was tiring! But when you stop and look back and catch the view around you, it is amazing, and when you reach the top to your destination and realize you did it, you want to lift your arms up like Rocky did up those steps in the first movie! We were all first timers, and upon hearing 5,000 steps we all gave up mentally, but we were pushed on, yet like little children kept asking every 5 minutes ‘how many steps have we covered now?’. But we saw at the end of it, that we can actually achieve things we really didn’t think we could! That is one thing this trek taught me; that we are all stronger than we think we are and are capable of doing much more than we assume we can. And it feels good to push yourself and make it! You can do it, specially if you got no choice but to do it.

So lessons learned from day 1 of the trek: You can do it! And take the stairs at Burj Khalifa… Enjoy the pictures:

Birethanti

Welcome to Birethanti

Indiana Jonesing it on suspension bridge with prayer flags

Indiana Jonesing it on suspension bridge with prayer flags

water water everywhere

water water everywhere

and trees

and trees

Yak cheese anyone

Yak cheese anyone?

Steps

Steps

and more steps

and more steps

and finally

My five fingers drying out after a long day

My five fingers drying out after a long day

I think I will have 2 more posts with pictures from Gorepani, Gandruk and Poon Hill. Nepal is beautiful and a trip worth going for!

The Morning After…

In Travel on April 26, 2012 at 5:30 am

If you read my previous post about my trip to Nepal, you will know I ended my day with the world spinning around me. We had reached Nepal’s second largest city of Pokhara and would start our trek into the mountains the following morning, I hadn’t eaten at all, had been constantly throwing up; how I was throwing up without any food in my guts was beyond me but the 10 minutes immediately after puking felt really nice and relaxed… and then the nausea would start again…

In order to start our trek into the mountains we had to drive out to Nayapul, which was another hour and a half from where we were at Pokhara and as luck would have it, there was a 3 day strike called out in Nepal, which meant we would not be able to hire any car, cab, bus etc. The solution: we would drive out to Nayapul at 3:30 am before the strike’s official start time. I was nervous, worried, unsure. My condition was bad and I didn’t want to be the dead weight in the mountains bogging my companions down. But I had good friends around me, and a very cheerful, supremely optimistic Nepali guide, who insisted that I would be perfectly fine with utmost confidence. And then I discovered I could actually have oranges without immediately running for the plastic bags! Those beautiful oranges sold on carts all along the roads of Pokhara. And I felt better….

We bunked in for the night and were up in a few hours to start our trek. Before writing more about the mountains, our trek and my novice insights, I wanted to share some pictures of Pokhara. The touristy areas, as the locals call it, was quite nice and peaceful. Our small hotel was cosy, the people friendly and everyone greets you with  ‘Namaste!’ which would initially take me by surprise (I was a bit disoriented!) and I wouldn’t know how to reply but got the hang of it later.

Door lock at our hotel

Door lock at our hotel. I loved this! I want one of these for home but they were not for sale. When I asked about it they thought I was one crazy tourist! lol...

Fewa Lake or Lake Fewa

Fewa Lake or Lake Fewa. I needed some peace and quiet...

Boats on Fewa Lake in Pokhara

Boats on Fewa Lake in Pokhara. You can rent these and just chill in the middle of the lake.

Bye bye Pokahara, hello mountains!

Beautiful Nepal!

In Travel on April 24, 2012 at 6:09 am

Trekking in Nepal had been on my radar for quite a few years but I was glued to the assembly line grind of daily life and it just remained on my list of things that would be cool to do. Well finally I unglued myself and took the leap! And am I glad I did! Nepal is beautiful! Pictures can do no justice to the natural beauty of the mountains and the awe it elicits. At some points, the view just takes your breath away. I would be plodding, heaving and puffing, my eyes focusing on the terrain at my feet, trying to generate enough energy to lift my weary-so-not-fit legs up and I would stop, look back and below and go ‘wow’, and all the tiredness would be worth it.

It was my first trekking experience and I wish I had tried this years ago! Why do we put off good things in life? We covered Uleri, Poon Hill, Gorepani, Gandruk. The journey was a short one, we didn’t cover much distance if we look at a map, but we did cover quite a bit climbing up and down and for a first timer, it was a good intro to trekking. So let me share some pictures and my personal inputs over the coming days in my blog!

Truck on Way to Pokhara, Nepal

After landing in Kathmandu we hopped onto a packed tourist bus and took the 7 hour journey to Pokhara. Now this was the most difficult and tortuous part of my trip. I was completely not prepared for what happened here. For anyone who gets car/motion sickness, be prepared! Make sure you take your pills in advance and carry them with you on the bus. The bus ride was a rattling, swerving, snaking roller coaster ride on a surface that was more potholes with some areas of flat surface punctuated by shrieking horns as incoming traffic would whiz inches past your window, as you hold your breath to avoid gulping in the exhaust fumes. In short it was a motion sickness nightmare and I was not prepared. The pills finally kicked in at the end of the journey but I was still grateful for that little relief at the end. As I collapsed in bed I seriously pondered cancelling my trek as I waited for the world to stop spinning.

Earth Hour and Plastic

In Social Entrepreneurship, Uncategorized on April 2, 2012 at 10:03 am

In an empty lot I came across this which speaks for itself:

20120402-155518.jpg

The lot was between Dubai Internet City and Knowledge Village, which happens to be a very clean and well maintained area so this took me by surprise. It wasn’t a big lot but there easily could have been a hundred or so plastic bottles littering the place! Just a couple of days back we had Earth Hour and seeing this made me think ‘what are we doing to our planet?!’ I use plastic bottles daily without a thought. This will make me think twice.

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