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Nepal: Part 2 - Everest Base Camp and the places in between

Well since I was in Nepal, I decided to trek up to Everest Base Camp. As they say, when in Rome ... My trek totaled 16 days and it was both a fun and laborious experience. When the snow melted, I made it to Kala Pattar, a peak of 5,636m or 18,500 ft, I visited Everest Base Camp, I got stuck in a snow storm and I met a bunch of really cool people while drinking hot cocoa around a Yak shit fire.

On the peak of Kala Pattar I got a panoramic view of the numerous Himalayan peaks including the top of the world, Mount Everest. Even sitting at 5,636m we were dwarfed by the peaks around us. Mount Everest was still two vertical miles higher than us with an elevation of 8,850m or 29,035 ft. While I was at Everest Base Camp I talked with an American/Canadian expedition team who I later heard were skiing down Everest and I had tea with a Korea group climbing a peak next to Everest call Lhotse. When I was in Gorak Shep, a three guesthouse town and the jumping point to both Kala Pattar and Everest Base Camp, it snowed for 36 hours. When it stopped snowing, I built a snowman, I got into a snowball fight and we all got amazing views of the numerous Himalayan peaks. Along the way I met a lot of cool people. After a day of hiking, we wound have tea or hot chocolate, chat, play some chess and warm ourselves around a Yak shit fire, yes, Yak shit. There were no trees to burn so the locals used Yak shit as fuel. I would say that the Yak is what the Buffalo was to the American Indians, they use it for everything.

But the trek definitely pushed me both mentally and physically. On the second day of the trek, my guide and I ascended 1000 vertical meters or 3300 feet and the last 300 m were straight uphill. All this hiking while I was carrying my 14 kg or 30 lb backpack. On another day, my guide took to me to a peak at 5100m or 16,700 ft to acclimate. It was cold and while we were hiking, it rained, and then snowed. It was some miserable conditions. Also, the elevation puts a toll on your body. The elevations makes it harder to breath while we hiked and slept. One of my friend's could not sleep because when he laid down he had a hard time breathing. That being said, the trek was well worth doing and something I would do again.

In between and after my treks and rafting, I hung out in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Royal Chitwan National Park. Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, is crowded, noisy and dusty. In Thamel, the tourist area, there are a bevy of guesthouses, restaurants, and bars to satisfy anybody's needs. I visited a couple of temple and some of the sights but most of my time in Kathmandu was transitioning from one adventure to another.

From Kathmandu, I visited the town of Pokhara. Pokhara was a nice respite from the noise and crowds of Kathmandu. It is a small town adjacent to Lake Phewea Tal. While I was in Pokhara I kayaked on the lake, visited the numerous restaurants in town and took it easy.

Royal Chitwan National Park is a large wild life reserve southwest of Kathmandu. While I was there, I went on a jungle walk, saw a cultural show and went on a elephant safari. To summarize my jungle walk - it was two hours of walking through the jungle and getting attacked by leeches, tree branches, and razor sharp grass and not seeing a thing, good times. On the elephant safari I did see a rhino and a baby rhino which was cool but the elephant ride was pretty uncomfortable. The elephant ride was like riding a bike down some stairs for two hours. I am so done with elephant rides! My favorite part of my visit to Chitwan was seeing the Tharu cultural show. They did various ceremonies and dances which included drums, fire and a peacock.

I was in Nepal for nearly two months and it was hard to leave. If you like the outdoors, Nepal is the place to visit. There are a plethora of outdoor activities to suit anyone's needs. If you have a chance to visit Nepal, you should definitely go.

Posted by ejgalang 06:50 Archived in Nepal

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