Touching down in Kathmandu we couldn’t wait to make up for the lack of decent snap up the mountain and to top up our depleted calorie intake with as much cheap booze as we could muster. Kathmandu was significantly hotter than we remembered so the hangover the next day was twice as nice. The sudden intake of booze and food also signaled the return of the Delhi belly for us both so this time, in a desperate attempt to finally rid us of this bug, we literally ‘trotted’ on down to the clinic returning ten minutes later with two fine samples in an airtight pot for them to poke at.
A very hot midnight snack
Too drunk to fit it in her mouth
Puddings galore at this place
Just one of the many
Waiting for our midnight snap with pals
Our hangovers were interrupted by the removals van opposite. After several close falls they made it
The gateway to the adventure capital of Nepal, Pokhara boasts every white knuckle activity you can think of, not to mention the stunning Annapurna mountain range at its fingertips. While most people head to Pokhara to relax by the lakeside and take in the magnificent views, we headed to Pokhara with set intentions of blowing our budget and minds. Having lined up an action packed couple of weeks we started how we meant to go on with some Robson Green style ‘Extreme Fishing’ on the Pokara Lake. Obviously once the big one got away and the rest just got fed up of basically lining their stomachs, we rowed quicker than Steve Redgrave back to shore hoping our additional 15 minutes of allotted time would go unnoticed.
Good job Danny didn’t fancy a game
Cooling down after their match in Pokara Lake
Watch out fishies
Captain Claire – well someone had to drive
Taking a break with this fella – dead proud of his horrible lollies he was
This is what happened to Claires – It cost her 10
The following day we hit the ‘excruciating’ saddles and headed up the road towards the Bat Cave. Pushing ourselves hard up a long winding hill in the 30 odd degree heat, we shortly came across a very exciting breakfast stop. Screeching hard on our brakes, we eventually came to a stop about 4 minutes afterwards, narrowly missing the head of the blow torch.
Luckily this fella had one more day
One down, one to go – Got any mint sauce?
Medium rare please
But can we have the hoof well done?
This eyeballs a little chewy
With Dannys full belly and Claire still starving, we continued onwards and upwards stopping as we pleased and also every time Claire’s chain fell off. Sauntering over the brow of a hill, we were greeted by queues and bus loads of Indian tourists pushing there chubby backsides through a small turnstile. Not ones to miss out on this action, we locked up the bat mobiles and joined the back of the queue. Once inside we were surrounded by Indian and Nepali tourists taking snaps of the bare grass and rather leaf lacking trees. Taking a wide berth pass a man taking a pee, we followed the swarms down a few steps to a errr rather mucky looking river. Looking around for the next set of steps or awe inspiring attraction we quickly realised that this was infact it – the star of the show was this ‘milky river’. Wow indeed – just imagine how they would react to the settling tanks at home.
Tea stop at the temple
Prepare to be awe inspired……………
Evidence that the age defying properties of this river work………..
Lapping it up with the rest of the tourists
Dumbfounded, we crossed the road and visited the Gurkha army museum interested to find out if everything Dannys Grandad had told us was indeed true. Well, it certainly was. An hour looking around this place definitely passed a little more quicker than one of his reenactments over our Sunday dinners – be it a lot less entertaining.
Lining up for duty
What they lacked in height they made up in power
After another 5 km we finally made it to our destination. Armed with more torches than the 2012 Olympics, we hurriedly descended deep into the Bat cave reciting as many ‘holy smoke’ Batman quotes we could remember.
Thankfully there were no matches about
Searching for the exit
“Holy strawberries Batman! We’re in a jam!”
Claire!!! How’d you fit through there????
Just breathe in harder!!!
After squeezing through the tiny gaps we were now allowed to eat
Devi Falls on the way back down
On the Bat mobile
Looking forward to a bit of a rest, we decided that missing the opportunity to trek around Annapurna would be a waste so the next day our rucksacks were yet again packed and off we went on our much shorter 5 day trek.
The Annapurna mountain range is one of Nepals favourites. Very different to the Everest Region, the trek we chose winds up and around tiny little villages, in and out of forests and across fast flowing streams. The scenery is breathtaking as all this has the backdrop of the snowcapped Annapurna range.
Our drop off point from the bus
Stocking up at the shop along route
Renting a mule was still just as tempting
Having a ‘wesh’ the local way
Taking a break
Counting down the ‘so called’ 2000 steps – My ass, it took us a full day up these buggers
Resting mid way
Our first view of Annapurna south (8,091m)
Almost there, with sun burn to boot
The worlds smallest guest house – Did you ever see a dish so big??
Drying out the mushrooms for tea
At least these steps were in the shade
Dannys favourite time of the day
A memorial for the last ‘lost’ person
Taking advantage of the self timer function
Wanna see some puppies?
We were BOTH scared when we saw this!!!
Danny was also scared when he saw this? Headless Claire
Sunrise at Poon Hill
Tired after the 4am start
Dhaulagiri (8,167m) 7th highest in the world
Despite the smiles it was ffffff freezing up there!!
On the way home through the jungles
After watching the locals, Claire decided it was easier running down
Ghorepani Village, our favourite stop enroute
Our resting place for the night
Going back in time at the local museum
It was all downhill from here
Pokhara part 2
Back in Pokhara there was no time for resting. The skies were relatively clear so up we went for a birds eye view of the mountains and the lake.
Claire waiting for the wind
And shes off
Danny of the skies
Like the M1 in rush hour
Claire waving at Danny the Camera man
Cruising with the birds
Claire crash landing
The lake that we thankfully didn’t land in
Up and off we go again but this time we exchanged the skies for the river. Being amist the monsoon season, it was the last trip they were willing to do on this part of the river. Excited to death, we couldn’t wait to get bombing along the grade 4 and 5 rapids hoping we would make it to the end kinda dry.
Claire ready and waiting in the jeep
Puncture repair kit at the ready
Break time – It was hard work!
One of the hardest parts was getting out
Chief Cox Danny
Finally, the excitement of Pokhara was over. With no early start scheduled for the morning, there was only one thing left to do and that was to get on the booze.
With one bottle of ‘chhaang’ homebrew under her belt, Claire was away with the fairies
The local poison
Four hours later we are still at it
Another two hours later, maybe time to stop? (it’s ok Mum, its not drugs!)
Snoop Danny Dog
The last stop on our tour before heading back to Nepals capital would be Chitwan National park, one of the last places in the world it is possible to see the one horned rhinoceros. Chitwan lies near the Indian border and basically shares the very same hot humid climate which we fled from 6 weeks earlier. Dropping our bags off,we headed into the village to find a jungle guide willing to risk his life tracking down this one horned beast on foot – all for about a tenner.
Chitwan high street
The following morning we were up with the birds armed with our picnic and very little else. I’m not sure what ‘protection’ we expected our guide to show up with in order to save our lives…………….a 60 year old fella dressed in green with a wooden walking stick was definately not it. Chitwan is one of the few national parks in the world where you can walk amongst the most dangerous animals in the world on foot, our instructions were as follows:
A Bear – Make yourself look as big as possible
A Tiger – Stare it in the eyes and stay still
A Rhino – Climb a tree to 7 metres or run away fast in a zigzag shape
An Elephant – Run like F**k
Armed with this sound advice, we set off on our full days trekking through the jungles of Chitwan.
It started with a canoe ride
Which ended rather abruptly when we came upon this fella – It was unsafe to pass so we tiptoed round the back!
Gorilla in the woods
Danny hacking away a path
Fear makes all of us react differently
Following instructions, we’ve NEVER clambered up a tree as fast in our lives!!!
The things you do for a good shot…….
Here it is!
and heres its mate!
Terrified to leave the safety of the tree, we were back on foot again
Apparently this Deer couldn’t climb trees
Back to the safety of park HQ
Bungy attempt 1
Once our heart rates had settled from our close encounter in Chitwan, we were back in Kathmandu in search of our next adrenaline rush. With Claire swearing her whole life she would never do a bungy jump, Danny signed his life away on a piece of A4 and before we knew it we were both sat on a bus heading to the Tibetan border.
At least one of us was happy enroute
Its not too late to change your mind Claire
This was enough to put to rest any doubts Claire had
Once Danny and the other daredevils had been weighed they were split into groups. Being a big lad, Danny was with the fatty group who wouldn’t jump until after lunch. Watching and worrying all day, after a very light lunch they were called up. Unfortunately, at this very moment the monsoon rains arrived and it was a no go. Not only had Danny sat biting his nails all day long only to be let down, his main dissapointment came from the fact he consciously went easy on the all you could eat buffet lunch. Back on the bus to Kathmandu our route was somewhat delayed until the arrival of a JCB to clear the landslide.
There’s always one plonker
Five minutes sooner and we could of rolled 160 metres in the bus
Cookery Course Kathmandu
In order to cheer a dissapointed Danny up, Claire agreed to do her second cookery course of the trip, but only because she was allowed to eat what we cooked. Whilst in Nepal our favourite beer snack had to be the spicy momos, so what better course to do than that.
Shopping with the locals for ingredients
Then came the folding – a tough task
The finished product – Of course these were the best we ever tasted
Enjoying the hard graft with a beer
Us with the mini chef
Having flown and bused in and out of Kathmandu so many times, we still hadn’t seen further than the bars and the local falafel wrap shop. Finally we grabbed the cameras and walked out from the main drag towards Durbar Square. This place is a world away from the pubs and clubs up the road and visiting it felt like India all over again, a very pleasant surprise.
The shop keepers get younger and younger
And they still manage to sell an apple at ‘Tourist price
One of many squares in Kathmandu old town
Fighting over the sweets
Danny keeping that nose of his clean
No Co2 emissions from this fella
Putting the world to rights with the old fellas
Like Southport on a summers day
The sight where 108 animals are sacrificed each October – The blood is drained and fed to the god
The blood thirsty god
Bungy attempt 2
Having slept on it for several days (and realising that she might actually miss out on something), we were back on the bus to the Tibetan border but this time we were both bricking it. The platform wobbles precariously at 160 metres high on an extremely shoddy suspension bridge which looks like it has seen much better days. Weighing into the lightest group, Claire knew the score the second time around and headed straight for the bridge. At the ‘ironically named’ Last resort you have 2 options; The old fashioned bungy jump which has a free fall of 3 seconds or the bungy swing which has a free fall of 6 seconds, thinking that the swing sounded easier just because you could hold onto the rope Claire was first up on the platform.
Seriously don’t look down
Just for show
Harnessed up and ready to go
Still smiling for the cameras
Saying her last goodbyes
Ok now she is scared – just look at the mountains…………
We can all lipread Claire!
Don’t push me ya bugger
Three seconds later and shes off
Only 4 seconds left…………..
Hardly an elegant flyer
Apparently she enjoyed it?!?!?
Now she dare let go
Next up was Dan the man in the fatty group. Knowing Claire had jumped there was no way he could change his mind so the pressure was on him a bit. Armed with his lucky Tarn shirt, he prayed to god that Barnsley would be saved from the bottom yet again this season.
Looks even higher from the viewing platform
I told you NOT to look down
Can I go last please sir?
Gritting those teeth – thank goodness for zoom lenses!
Just tie it tight!
Hahah poor lad
Stepping on up
Ok on 3 you go
More like a seal than a bird
Claire thought he had lost his pants when she took this!!
And for those with headphones at work, here’s the video footage!
Relieved and happy its all over! WE DID IT!
Our time in Nepal was wicked! We did so much stuff it was even unbelievable typing this blog. We absolutely loved this place from start to finish and even though it pulled at the purse strings it was worth every blooming penny! Next stop, Malaysia
Our route on this post:
|1||Kathmandu, Nepal||May 25, 2013|
|2||Pokhara, Nepal||May 29, 2013|
|3||Nayapul, Nepal||June 2, 2013|
|4||Ghorepani, Nepal||June 3, 2013|
|5||Poon Hill, Nepal||June 3, 2013|
|6||Ghorepani, Nepal||June 3, 2013|
|7||Ghandruk, Nepal||June 4, 2013|
|8||Nayapul, Nepal||June 5, 2013|
|9||Pokhara, Nepal||June 5, 2013|
|10||Sauaraha, Nepal||June 9, 2013|
|11||Chitwan National Park, Nepal||June 10, 2013|
|12||Sauaraha, Nepal||June 10, 2013|
|13||Kathmandu, Nepal||June 11, 2013|
|14||The Last Resort, Nepal||June 12, 2013|
|15||Kathmandu, Nepal||June 12, 2013|
|16||The Last Resort, Nepal||June 14, 2013|
|17||Kathmandu, Nepal||June 14, 2013|