A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about trekking


overcast 25 °C

So on the road to Pokhara we saw some mighty impressive scenery and lovely mountainsides and villages. We stopped to take some pictures and also stopped on the side of the road for some super noodles at a local's house.


We played 'hit the bicycle wheel with the stick to keep it moving'' with the kids and headed onto our hotel in Pokhara. This was to be myself and Lindsey's last stop with the G gang.
Our hotel was named Middle path hotel - named after the Buddha's teachings. He was born into a very rich family and decided this was not going to help him reach enlightenment so he gave it all up and decided to live as a poor pauper. But he soon found out that living as a starving homeless man was no better for reaching enlightenment so he decided to recommend living somewhere in the middle with less stuff - hence the middle path. :)

Dushyant took us on a walk around Pokhara. It's a cool town, with streets packed with shops, restaurants, bars, cafes and travel agents all situated near the lovely Fewa Lake.

The lake is also surrounded by low mountains (hills) and on a clear day in the background, you can see the peaks of the Himalayan Annapurna Range which is spectacular. We couldn't see them today though (didn't see them many days!), as it was very dull and we couldn't see much. Our walk was going rather well until the heavens opened on us. But for some reason we kept walking in the rain. WFT?? I couldn't understand why our group kept walking in the lashing rain, while all the locals were sheltering! :D I had rain gear on, but it turns out my rainjacket isn't exactly jungle rain proof! Why we didn't pop into one of the many bars and restaurants along the way is beyond me!! By the time we got to the Moondance restaurant, everything I was wearing was soaked. :( As I still hadn't recovered from my cold in Delhi, I was very irritated by this stupid decision to keep walking. Myself and KAt decided to go back to our hotel and get changed. We grumbled about this stupid rain walk all the way back to the gaff. Finally when we changed and returned to the Moondance place, we ordered Greek salads and desserts which were desmegginglicious.


After dinner we all went to Busy Bees, a local bar / disco for a few beverages and some rockin tunes.

The next morning we got up at 4 am to go see the sunrise at Sarangkot. I was not particularly bouncing out the door at 4am but I got up. Only half of the group got up. Kat was sick, Maree was sick, Steve and Jennifer didn't get up, neither did Hugh and Sean, and Sandra was sick. The rest of us bussed it up the hill. Well as the sun rose and the clouds cleared and the Himalayan Annapurna range appeared, our tiredness was forgotten and we became immensely excited. The peaks were popping out in all their majestic glory. WAHEY!
We got the near the top of Sarangkot, stopped shy of all the tourists and watched in awe and wonderment as the sun rose and the glorious snowy peaks appeared. I have never seen anything more awesome in my life!! It was spectacular and I was very moved. I felt very lucky to have been able to see such amazing natural works of art! It was fantastic and I nearly cried my head off.


We stood watching as every second of the sunrise revealed more of the snowy mountain tops and basked the sky in pinks, yellows and purples. Treeeeemendous!
Afterwards Mum (Dushyant) bought us some cinnamon buns and chai and we scoffed them on the hill top before heading for breakfast.

Then we collected some of the others who didn't believe us about the gloriousity of the mountains, until they looked out the window and saw that the peaks were clearly visible peeping up behind the hills round the lake. Then it was off PARAGLIDING!!!! :D Pokhara apparently has the best paragliding in the world! And after the sights we had seen at sunrise, I'd well believe it. We had booked to jump with Fly Nepal. We bailed into the back of a truck and jostled back up the hill past Sarangkot and on to the jump off point.


(I wasn't really too sure what paragliding was when I signed up - I thought it was hanggliding - the one where you hold onto a bar and fly off the mountain. Turns out paragliding is when you strap yourself to a man, who in turn is strapped to a big parachute, then you both run off the side of a mountain and the wind grabs the chute and off you float into the air.) :)


We watched in excitement and awe, as a few of our gang were strapped into their gear, and onto their pilots and encouraged to run off the mountain. Sam had a rough start. As she ran, she kind of stumbled backwards into the guide and fell onto the ground. She was basically dragged off the mountainside. It was SOOO FUNNY to watch. It didn't look too sore, think she just got a few muddy knees but we were in tears laughing. And also slightly worried about our own take offs. :D

My pilot was a very nice young Frenchman called Vincent. We chatted away and he asked me all about myself and my job and whether my parents minded me not being married yet.. (ahem... ;) )

(sidenote: I think that's why these lads do this job - to pick up chicks. Kat's guide asked her out later, to which she replied a terse 'no'. hahaha - but he was a bit of an oddball. He later found us in the pub and asked to join us, but then was all weird and defensive!)

So anywho, back to Vincent. He asked me if I usually got motion sickness or anything. I said I did a bit (I do - badly) but insisted I'd be grand. We strapped ourselves together and ran off the side of the mountain quite successfully, with no hiccups. It was exhilarating. I think running off the mountain was my favourite part.

Once we took off, we got into our ''seats'', and the view was amazing! We could see so much. It was such a clear day and we could see the Annapurna range right behind us, the beautiful lake and lovely hilly mountains in front of us. We could see lots of villages and fields, the airport, the rest of Pokhara city and bits and bobs for miles around. It was fab! The cool air was rushing past us and the sun was shining down on us. It was pretty spectacular.

So I was feeling grand for these first ten minutes, and then as Vincent decided to go round and round and higher and higher and round and higher and round and higher, I really started to feel like I was going to be sick! It took all my will power and breathing skills to try not to barf and to focus on the scenery. I'm so glad I didn't get the video of the jump as it would have just been of my face going greener and greener.. :D After what felt like another ten minutes of twirling, I honestly thought I couldn't hold it in any longer. :D

I said to yer man (Vincent): ''I'm really sorry but I think I'm going to be sick, which side is best to puke out of?''
Vincent: '' Don't worry, nothing to be sorry about, it happens a lot. Try and watch where I'm going as opposed to the scenery for a minute and I'll straighten us out for a while. You get sick out of this side and I'll try to dodge it. ''
How lovely!!
(I later discovered a few of our gang had been actually sick into bags on the jumps so didn't feel too bad. he he)
So he straightened us out and the nausea receeded and I didn't actually get puke on his shoes! wahey! :)
We came into land and I helped him put away his stuff and yapped away as others from our group landed around us. The paragliding itself was amazing. Wish I hadn't felt barfy, as I would have liked to have done more acrobatics, but alas my body got the better of me.

Later the gang went to a Tibetan Monastery. I hadn't fully recovered and gave it a miss. They said it was great fun and full of lots of Buddhist kids watching movies and playing football. A lot of them were sent there by their parents who couldn't afford to raise them, and they live their whole lives in this monastery. :/ Once again I felt very lucky to have been born where I was and when I was.

The next day I got up early to say goodbye to the rest of the G Adventures gang and wish them well. They were flying onto Kathmandu for the last few days of the trip. Lindsey and I were staying on in Pokhara. I had decided to join Lindsey on her yoga trek, which was starting on 3rd May. We moved into together and spent a few days chilling, yapping, going for dinner and the odd beer and generally relaxing after the hecticness of moving from place to place non-stop for the past 2 weeks.
It was super to be in such a chilled town with beautiful scenery and tons of good restaurants all serving delicious food. We did a bit of reading, interneting and snoozing.

One of the days we decided to get a practise hike in and we strutted up to the Peace Pagoda which was 1900 metres up. (Pokhara is 790m) We purposely took the long route so we could get a bit of exercise in before the trek. We walked south along the Fewa Lake,


right into the town and down to Devi Falls - a very uninspiring trickle of a waterfall that left us wanting our 20 rupees entry fee back!


So then we did the hard part and trekked up a steep never ending windy road for about 2 hours. We kept taking wrong turns up various stone staircases and had to keep turning back and starting again.


It took us yonks!! But the veiw from the Buddhist Peace Pagoda at the top was great. It was a bit cloudy and hazy and we couldn't see the peaks but the lakes and hill views were good. 8721436760_7d84d97ec9.jpg8721437470_9dc81ea02b.jpg8720316399_6ef07d4072.jpg

The Peace Pagoda had been built there by Buddhist monks from the Japanese Nipponzan Myohoj Org to promote World Peace. After some grub in the cafe at the top, we took the ''quick'' way down. Tons and tons and tons of steps back down to the shore of the lake where we got a row boat back across to our side. In retrospect, it was really good prep for our trek and was a good taste of what was to come. We also learnt we needed T shirts and other clothes that dried quickly, less jewellery, longer socks, more sunscreen and snakcs for the way! :D

Posted by squeakylee 22:53 Archived in Nepal Tagged mountains hills trekking lake pagoda paragliding peace pokhara Comments (1)

Trekking in the Himalayas

Trek, Trek, Trek ya bodayyy

sunny 32 °C

So the day before we were to trek, my stomach wasn't feeling great and my cold had still not gone. I decided to do even less today and just pump myself full of antibiotics and vitamins to try and get in better nick for the trek to Poon Hill.
We met up with Jenna (From Pushkar fame) and went for lunch and chats. Jenna told us she was going to do Poon Hill all by herself!! I came over all mom-like and quizzed her on how she would cope, why she was going alone, what would happen if she stumbled and hurt herself or what not etc... I was a bit worried about her going on her own, but she said there'd be loads of people doing the same trek. She would meet lots of people in tea houses along the way, and would be fine. I think she would have liked to do our yoga trek, but the cost was a bit much.

We pottered about later getting everything ready for our trek. We rented some sleeping bags (mine stunk!!) and bought some t shirts, wipes, snacks etc. : )

Our trek was with Purna Yoga. It was a combination of yoga, meditation and trekking. We would be doing 6 days trekking - a variation of the Ghorepani - Ghandruk loop in the Annapurna Range. This trek would venture through Gurung Villages like Tidkehinga, Tadapani, Chuli, Kat Donda and would peak (boom) with a dawn trip to Poon Hill (3200m) to watch the sunrise over the mightly Annapurna Mountains. As ours was yoga based, we would be doing meditation and yoga for 2 hours every morning before trekking for 6 - 8 hours, then guided meditation or Yoga Nidra as it's known in the evening. Here's the blurb on yoga nidra..

Yoga nidra or "yogi sleep" is a sleep-like state which yogis report to experience during their meditations.
The practice of yoga relaxation has been found to reduce tension and anxiety, headache, giddiness, chest pain, palpitations, sweating etc
Yoga nidra refers to the conscious awareness of the deep sleep state, referred to as "prajna".
Basically it's kinda like being hypnotised imo.

I personally thought the trek sounded awesome and it would be a bit easier than the normal Poon Hill trek as that takes 4 - 5 days. (pffffft)
We went to the Purna Yoga Centre to drop off our duffel bags. (The trek included all food, accommodation, porters, transportation, guides, duffel bags, yoga, yoga mats etc etc) I think we were late to the studio as when we went upstairs, we discovered our yoga guide Mahesh sitting in the lotus position at the head of the class, while a few people waited patiently on their yoga mats. Oops. So Mahesh gave us the lowdown on the trek and what we would be doing. I.e. Rise at 6am, tea, yoga and meditation at 6.30, breakfast at 8.30am and trekking at 9.30am. We'd stop for lunch and then continue trekking for another few hours. Then when we arrived at our destination for the day, there'd be stretching, Yoga Nidra and dinner.
He said days 2 and 3 would be the most difficult as there would be a lot of upping and downing. Yikes!
After our instructions, we were invited to stay for a yoga class, so we did. It was ace! Not too hard but really very relaxing and rejuvenating!


So off we trotted to Yoga Purna for a round of meditation, joint loosening and yoga! The meditation bit was very hard for me. We had to sit perfectly still for 15 minutes in the lotus position. Who chose that position to be the position of serenity???? It feckin hurts. My back hurt and my legs got pins and needles. The joint loosening bit was cool though and the yoga class was great. After yoga, we met the rest of the group for breakfast. 6 women in total - all solo female travellers from all over the globe and all great fun.

There was me and Lindsey, Zemming (29 Singapore, married, on a years travelling without the husbo..haha. score!), Krissey (34, California, divorced, bubbly, super positive and had a tendency to shout ''Allegria'' quite a lot. Allegria means happiness), Beate (39, German, loves hiking and is training to be a Yoga teacher. Would like to open a Yoga-hiking B&B in the Alps), Kathy (separated, out on 10 weeks travelling and doing the Annapurna Base Camp trek).
We had the first of many delicious breakfasts of muesli with fruit and curd, eggs, bananas and chocolate buns. We also met our other guide Sumit, and our 4 porters who didn't say much at first. We piled into the jeep and drove through gorgeous mountainous scenery for 2 hours ish to our starting point - Naya Pul.

We donned our souvenir Purna Yoga Trekking hats, grabbed our trekking poles and started off through lovely little stone alleyways with cosy rustic restaurants aimed at trekkers dotted along the way. We headed up past the river and on up a steep road into the hills. It was a hot day and the skies were clear. Not clear enough to see the Himalayas, but we had some lovely lush country scenery keeping us inspired as we walked.


After lunch, where we spied a big group of bufty men trekkers, (phwoar) ;), we trekked on. I stayed behind yapping to Kathy and Sumit but they were very slow as they stopped a lot to take pictures, so I decided to trek on a bit on my own (the rest of the gang had gone ahead already). So I'm walking along beside a load of ponies and I look up the hill beside me to admire the view, and what do I see, only a small man in a red cap with his hand down his pants having a bit of a fondle of himself! I was like WTF?? I expected this type of shit in India, but not in Nepal!!! Well I was Nappauled! (boom). He kept watching me and following me as I wandered along and when I looked up, he'd duck his head and hide! LOL... yet gross. I decided to wait for Kathy & Sumit and pointed out this public pervert to them as they approached. It was so funny to see his red cap bob up and down in the bushes as he tried to spy on us... WEIRDO!!
Anywho, I stayed with the two lads for another while and then plodded on again. Luckily after ten mins, we reached Hille - our place of rest for the evening. I got a cold lemon drink on arrival, and when Kathy landed, we all did a few stretches together with Mahesh before hitting the showers.


Later we had our first yoga Nidra session with Mahesh. The six of us all squished into 3 beds and lay beside each other covered with our blankets. Mahesh then spoke softly to us for 40 minutes and put some of us in a trance. It was quite like hypnosis! We all drifted in and out of what he was saying. The goal was to try and stay awake for the whole time, but it's very difficult after a 6am wake up call, 2 hours of yoga and 5 hours of trekking. :D I managed to hear most of what he was saying. He made us mentally countdown from 27 to 1 and told us to visualise a lovely pond full of colourful fish and with a golden Buddha in the lotus position in the middle. The pond I visualised was full of lillies and I spent quite some time trying to get the lillies out to see the fish! :D It was very relaxing though. 2 of the gals fell asleep and were snoring away the whole time. he he.
At the end Mahesh told us his joke of the day! :)

Dinner was delicious and was followed by a rowsing Nepali dance show in our tea lodge. The guy who ran the guest house, put on some Nepali pop music and did a little dance for us. It was so funny! This guy would give Warren Swords a run for his money. He was bumpin and grindin away - he knew all the words and had all the sexy moves off pat. We were cracking up. Then he got myself, Zemming, Lindsey and Krissy up to dance with him as well. It was a howl, busting sexy moves in this Nepali kitchen high up in the hills. We were swingin each other around the place, narrowly missing the locked cupboards full of chocolate and booze.


Great first day of trekking. Fab scenery, good long enjoyable walk that wasn't tooooo strenuous, delicious food and lovely fun positive people! : )


For lots more pics - check out my Flickr website.

Posted by squeakylee 23:20 Archived in Nepal Tagged trekking tea dance hill poon nepali lodges moves Comments (0)

Trekking - Day 2 & 3

sunny 30 °C

Well it was up and atom at 6am for a mug of herbal tea before meditation and yoga at 6.30am. Myself and Lindsey were late again. :D Despite it only saying 6.20am on our clock, everyone was still there ready and waiting before us! SIGHHHH

Meditation today was tres difficile. I can't sit still comfortably in the lotus position for 15 minutes. My back was hurting me, my legs hurt and I just wanted to give up and stretch it out. But I ain't no quitter! ;) It was 15 mins of pure concentration face, then 20 mins of stretching the joints and an hour of yoga. My legs were aching from yesterday and I couldn't really stretch out properly. Nevertheless, we cracked on. It was a beautiful morning as we sat on top of a mountain and looked out at a blue sky, sunshine, hawks in the air and lots of tiny houses in the distance on the mountain opposite us.


After another nom fruity breakfast,


we trekked on. Today was much more challenging as we climbed up stone steps for at least 4 hours before lunch. Some of these steps were up to my knees! It was roasting and I was sweating my head off. My hair was soaked and the sweat was dripping into my eyes and making my face salty. We had a teabreak at about 12 and then trekked on before having lunch at a place that had a plant with broken egg shells hanging on it. :D


After lunch it was more tough trekking but mostly uphill through a lovely gnarly forest, so the ground was a bit softer and easier on the knees! Myself and Lindsey were knackered after another 4 hours of trekking, and only the thunder and threat of a soaking hurried us up to our next lodging place - Snowland Hotel - the nearest hotel to Poon Hill in Ghorepani.


The lodge had a big fire on and we showered and warmed ourselves by it quickly. Then we had our Yoga Nidra, which was awesome - I managed to stay awake and alert for it! :D After dinner it was straight to bed with us, but I couldn't sleep at all. In hindsight, I think I got a touch of Altitude sickness. I had a blinding headache and every time I thought I was just about to fall asleep, I'd wake up struggling to catch my breath. Then I was afraid to go asleep in case I died in my sleep! eerk...

Day 3

So after a night of no kip, we got up at 4am (well the girls giggling next door woke everyone up at 3.30am) and off we trekked to Poon Hill. It was so hard to try and get our legs moving and going uphill at 4am!! But once again, it was so worth it. The sunrise we saw was great! Not as good a view as at Sarongkot the other day but still lovely and magical. Poon Hill was packed with trekkers and we bumped into Jenna again who was walking with a bunch of Egyptian lads.


There was no yoga this morning, just breakfast and onwards. The morning trek was delightful with a fantastic view of the peaks for about half an hour.


Then we ventured into a forest stuffed full of pink rhododendrons (the national flower of Nepal).


Then we trekked down beside a lovely cool stream and back up up up the other side. Today was very tough because the auld legs were aching and I wasn't sure if I could do another flight of steps up after lunch, but just about made it. It started to thunder and rain just as we crossed some stone and fences into our next place of rest for the night - Mountain Discovery Lodge! This lodge was awesome but had no hot showers which I discovered while in the shower. brrrrrrrr..


Later I fell asleep during the Yoga Nidra. DOH! I apparently missed the best one of all. Balls. :( I only remembered the start and the end of it. I didn't get any sleep the night before though, so that's my excuse. :) After dinner, we had to leave the dining room as a big bunch of English guys and gals were in there drinking and shouting really loudly. It was redonkulously loud - maybe they were trying to get us to leave. We were too tired to go drinking, and went to Beate's room and had a great auld chat!

Posted by squeakylee 21:50 Archived in Nepal Tagged mountain trekking hill yoga poon tired nidra Comments (0)

Trekking - Day 4 & 5

sunny 33 °C

Day 4

Next morning we got up at 5.45am to see the Fishtail Mountain in the sunrise. The lodge had an amazing view and we could see the peaks a little bit through the clouds.


We had our tea and then attempted to do yoga while the entire group of English lads and lassies stood outside laughing, chatting and shouting to each other. Me being me, I couldn't concentrate at all - I'm pretty sure that's another sign of failure in the Yoga world, as you're supposed to be able to ignore all outside interference! :D But my head hurt again and the sun was bouncing off my noggin. I felt a bit sorry for myself and had a bit of a moment in my room before heading back out to have breakfast. It was a glorious day and on we trekked through the terraced landscapes til we came to our gaf for the night - Little Paradise!


This lodge was so cute. It had a lovely dining hall, small little bedroom huts, blankets that smelt nice, delicious organic homemade and homegrown food, pet rabbits, chickens, dogs and huge spiders in our bedroom!


We only had a half day's trekking today so we were delighted to be able to wash our clothes, read, snooze, eat again and laze about! Sumit did today's yoga nidra for us and it was so cute - shadow climbing Annapurna 2 and getting showered in stars! awwwww..

Dinner was mushroom soup and a delicious apple, banana and chocolate roll. We were back in bed by 8.30pm and then chasing spiders around the place til 11. How on earth I was supposed to sleep in the room with these MASSIVE spiders was beyond me. (More proof that I am not a humoungous 'hut' type person and do appreciate 4 walls with no holes in them!!) ;)
We had a riot trying to get the JUMPING spiders out of our bedroom and we had to sleep with the light on so we could see any more of these monsters! ;)

Day 5

Got a weird kip due to not moving from my one spider-prevention-sleeping-position - i.e keeping my sheet over my head! :D
I kept waking up and doing a bug patrol too. (I know, I know - grow up Kenny!) We then slept through our morning wake up concert - Sumit playing the singing bowls!
Yoga today with Sumit was very difficult - he had tougher moves and we were all very stiff. It seemed to go on forever, but just behind him were awesome views of the moutain peaks. We were supposed to close our eyes during meditation, but there was no way I was taking my eyes off this sight..


I just pretended to pay attention and gazed at the mountains. The sun was out and the sky was blue and everything was punky brewster. After a mahoosive breakfast and some dawdling around, it was time to leave Little Paradise behind. :( Just 10 minutes after we trotted away from the hill with Little Paradise perched on top of it, the clouds surrounded it and it was no longer visible to the eye. I wondered aloud if the whole of Little Paradise had been a dream or if we were still in yesterdays yoga nidra! :)

We saw giant vultures circling above us as we walked and chatted, and soon we were surrounded by lots more lush green mountains and terraced hills. Tons of donkeys carrying heavy loads and wearing lots of jingly bells trundled past us non stop. Today's trek was all downhill and we passed through lots of lovely stone villages with friendly locals and cute kids.


We stopped for stretches and lunch in this lovely flowery joint, then mosied on to Sauyli Bazar - our last night on the trek. (1100m) Today was due to be a 3 hour trekking day, but I think it was more like 5 or 6 hours. It seemed very long and was all downhill steps, so we had the worst wobbly knee syndrome ever when we got down. Trekking is not a walk in the park (he he), it's pretty exhausting! Luckily we have had great weather for most of our trip, narrowly missing huge downpours by a matter of minutes. We've had great scenery to inspire and rejuvenate us, as well as the yoga to stretch us out every day and ease our stiff joints. The meditations helped us relax and calm our minds. I would thoroughly recommend the Yoga trek to those who like to take their time and take in the views!

(Yoga Nidra today contained a wandering 'you' who got in a boat on the lake, looked into the eyes of a fish, and then moved up a mountain to join a Nepali family for a dinner by candlelight.)

After a real dinner by candlelight, it was into bed at 8pm. There was no electricity and bog all to do but read in bed by torchlight. The place outside was pitch black and totally silent. It was very eerie! Myself and Lindsey had our regular evening chats about life and the universe and what not and hit the sack.

Posted by squeakylee 22:37 Archived in Nepal Tagged trekking hill sunshine yoga poon peaks lodges Comments (0)

Trekking - Finishing up

sunny 34 °C

Next morning it was up and atom at 5.47am for tea, meditation and yoga. The yoga was a bit better today but there were quite a lot of bugs flying into my eyes and ears determined to break my focus!!
Then it was off on our final 2 hour downhill trek back to Naya Pul. Today's trek was beside the river and with more great mountain views.


After a bumpy, speedy, wild bus ride back to Pokhar we had a lovely lunch with Sumit and then checked into our fab hotel with a gorgeous view of Fewa lake from our balcony. Later we had our farewell dinner of macaroni and cheese and 2 desserts cooked by our lovely porter Sucile.

Our last days in Pokhara were spent lounging, organising and eating delicious dinners. I had my first glass of wine in 2 months, followed by an enormous vase of Mojito and some chit chatting with some odd Psy Trance dudes. (Odd balls - one lad was a bit older than most and seemed to be majorly negative about life and the djing world. He was ok after a while, but wanted us to come along to some psy trance festival in the mountains. I have no interest whatsoever in Psy Trance and it seemed like everyone in the pub was a bit fond of the auld narcs, so we politely declined. We heard later that the lads had travelled on a bus for 6 hours to get to the festival, and when they got there, the festival had already been shut down. Ouch!!

On our last day in Pokhara it pissed rain for hours. We holed up in a restaurant with cocktails and sat with this older Dutch couple who were telling us how they met and how they had an open relationship. I was sure they were going to try and get us to go back to theirs for some ''funtimesh', but alas it was not to be! ;)

Posted by squeakylee 23:05 Archived in Nepal Tagged trekking annapurna lodges Comments (0)

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