Alright everybody, we are back on the air. Its been hard trying to find time to update this blog, but ive decided that i will knuckle down an do it this arvo. I hope that you have been checking out the photos too. So I will pick up where we left off over a month ago. We are now in lovely Nepal, been in the country since 5 Oct, and we are currently reciding in the heavily westernised and very comfortable suburb of Thamal, Kathmandu. It is littered with cafes, restaurants, trekking stores, souvenir shops etc etc. In the time that we have been here we have stayed at a half decent place called Thamel Corner, where we pay Rs350 per night (about $4.30) for a fairly large room with a bathroom, fan and a couple of windows. We have made many new friends since we have been here, starting with a Kiwi couple, Holly & Steve, who we briefly met in Varanassi, who we shared many beers with for Steves birthday, and who told us about a 9 day rafting trip that we too signed up for. Also our Swiss mate Andrea from Varanassi, who also signed up for the raft, and who we have been basically staying with for the last few weeks. As I mentioned we did a 9 day rafting trip on the Sun Koshi, it was awesome! We both feel so lucky that we got to spend 9 days with such awesome people, including Andrea, Holly, Steve, but also including Logan, Charles, Will and our Nepali guide Suren, Komal, Pradeep, Budda and Bhirinda. The trip wound along 270km of the Sun Koshi (river of gold), taking in some adrenalin pumping big rapids, some waves, small rapids and a fair amount of flat water, where one time we tied the gear raft to our raft and floated down stream drinking beers in the late afternoon sun. everynight we camped on really really nice sandy beaches, 2 people to a tent which we set up ourselves, the jungle behind us, the river in front of us and always a heap of local kids and dogs running around our camp site. We used a steel plate to play frisbee (platesby) on the sand most days, we had a camp fire most nights where we would generally get way too much wood, and would probably drink too much also, and we definately spent a lot of time joking around and laughing. One particular day on the raft we spent about an hour or so playing eye spy whilst we floated through rapids. Logan and I were always quoting movies or family guy, which i think gave everyone the s***s by the end...yyeeeaaaahhhhhhhh!!! We ate like kings on the trip, every morning lunch and dinner we were treated to a variance of food, always hearty, ranging from porridge to french toast for brekky, sangas, tuna coleslaw, fruit and pasta for lunch, and spag, dal bhat, curries, spuds and pork for dinner. The pork was awesome, on our layover day where we didnt do any rafting, the boys went and picked up a local pig for us, took one sharp bamboo stake, some timber and a match, and we had the best pork ive ever eaten! strait off the fire mmmmmm!!! Obviously Tarz didnt eat any. Our trip on the water came to an end on 8th day, and the 9th day/night/morning was spent on a bus from Chattra back to Kathmandu which took 19.5hrs...brrrrrr, hard work to say the least! All in all tho it is definately one of those trips that we will never forget.
So after that we spent a few days chilling in Thamel, coffees and bakery items were a frequented daily ritual. We went to a Jazz festival with Logan and Andrea called Jazzmandu which was awesome! A few days later after a bit of organisation we were back on a bus, but this time only for an hour, to an outer suburb of Kathmandu called Sundarijal which was the starting point of our trek. We embarked on the Helembu trek which went strait up from 1300M to 2400M and back down to 1800M on day 1. We stayed in like a barn room that night in Pati Bhanjyang, which we could see the chickens through the cracks in the wall to the next barn room. Continuing on the next day climbing through more tiered hills full of corn and wheat crops we stayed at Kutumsang, where about 5 mins after we arrived it pissed down rain followed by thunder and lightning. Day 3 we kept climbing along some severely rocky/icy trails up to Thadepati Pass (3690M) where I got some fantastic sunset and sunrise photos (coming soon) and were we met our new Kiwi mate Tom and his guide Pimba who we travelled with for the rest of the trek. The next day we left the Helembu circuit and joined the Gosainkund trek, where we were walking basically down then up, passing some spectacular waterfalls, crossing a few small streams and getting up out of the tree line to Phedi (3900M) where we met our Austrian mate Heli, who we travelled with for a couple of days. Day 5 was one of the toughest, climbing to 4610M to Laurabina Pass by about 11am, walking down past the Gosainkund lakes that are a holy pilgrimage for Hindu's, then down to Laurabina Yak (3901M) for the night. The next morning we were greeted by the most spectacular panarama, starting from the east we had a perfect view of the himalayas, ranging from the Langtang range, Tibet, Ganesh Himalaya, Manasalu and of in the distance about 200km away the Annapurnas. On day 6 we really tested ourselves decending from Laurabina Yak (3900M), down into the trees, down some minor trails, through farming land, down some more, across a suspension bridge and down to the Langtang Koshi(river) at 1750M. We had decended 2150M by about 2pm, almost the hight of the highest mountain in Australia! We climbed up a bit further and stayed the night at a place called bamboo(1900M) where we had our first shower for the trek! We were now on the Langtang trail where we were situated in a valley with walls about 800M high. The next couple of days were pretty cruisy, walking basically along the river through the jungle, seeing a few cheeky monkeys and always looking out for red pandas. We stayed one night at Ghodatabela, then the following day walking to the top of the Langtang trail to Kyanjin Gumba, a small town filled with lodges and big wooley yaks! We stayed there 2 nights, where we spent time in the local bakery drinking hot chocolates and eating cake. We sampled the local Nak cheese (yak cheese might not be so tasty) and it went down well with either tibetan bread or chapati. Tommy boy and I climbed a 5000M peak called Cherko Ri which was probably the hardest day walking I did on the trip, 3.5hrs up and 2.5 down. we both had the wobbles from the early stages of altitude sickness, but were more than happy with the 360 degree panarama we had of 6500M-7500M white giants that surrounded us. The rest of the trek followed the trail we had walked up, back down the Langtang valley we stayed one night at Rimche, where we bumped into out German mate Klaus just by chance. It was completely unbelievable as I was previously unable to send Klaus emails because I was spelling his name wrong, we had last seen him in Darjeeling over a month ago and didnt think we would see him again. But we managed to bump into him in the middle of the sticks, small world! Our last day walking, we walked with tom, down a differant path to the trail head town of Syaphrubesi, where we relaxed our bodies over a few Everest Premium Lagers. The next day was probably one of the tougher days, our last day trekking was on a 10hr local bus back to kathmandu. Our bags went on the roof along with about 5 or 6 people, we drove along some scary stretches of road, along cliffs which were only millimetres from the tyres and were too high to see the bottom, up some muddy hills, through some creeks and up hills, down hills, over bumps and pot holes, through road that was only being made as we drove, past rocks that had fallen on the road ranging from a footy to a mini minor in size and through cloud and rain. We had some awesome Dal Bhat for lunch and then after lunch the bus ran out of fuel, needless to worry because the 5 buses that were stuck behind us had fuel that they syphened into a bucket and got us going again. we arrived back in Kathmandu at about 4.30pm, relieved! It was an amazing trek, where we fell in love with tibetan bread and honey, Dal Bhat, fried potatos, Masala tea, we made some awesome new mates, and had the views of a lifetime!
So here we are now, its the 6th of November, we have had an awesome time here in Nepal so far, and we have a month to go. Currently my camera is getting fixed, but after that is done we will move on to Pokhara to meet up with tom and Andrea, and probably do some more treks etc. I hope everyone is enjoying the blog, dont be affraid to leave some comments, its a bit of motivation to keep it up. I will throw up some pics of the trek in the next few days. But bye for now, thanks for joining us. Much love, Tara & Brent