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Going gnarly in Nepal

Posted by on July 24, 2013

Kathmandu
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 Nepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 004

Too drunk to fit it in her mouth
Nepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 007

Puddings galore at this placeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Just one of the manyNepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 012

Waiting for our midnight snap with palsNepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 015

Our hangovers were interrupted by the removals van opposite. After several close falls they made itOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Pokhara
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
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Cooling down after their match in Pokara LakeNepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 021

Feeling luckyNepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 024

Watch out fishies
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Yeah RightNepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 031

Captain Claire – well someone had to driveOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Taking a break with this fella – dead proud of his horrible lollies he wasNepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 040

This is what happened to Claires – It cost her 10Nepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 044

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 dayNepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 045

One down, one to go – Got any mint sauce?Nepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 055

Medium rare pleaseNepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 058

But can we have the hoof well done?Nepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 062

This eyeballs a little chewyNepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 064

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
Nepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 067

Prepare to be awe inspired……………Nepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 072

Evidence that the age defying properties of this river work………..
Nepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 073

Lapping it up with the rest of the touristsNepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 077

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
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What they lacked in height they made up in powerOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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
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NanananananananaOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Searching for the exit
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 “Holy strawberries Batman! We’re in a jam!”
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Claire!!! How’d you fit through there????OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Just breathe in harder!!!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After squeezing through the tiny gaps we were now allowed to eatNepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 079

Devi Falls on the way back downOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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On the Bat mobileOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Annapurna Trek
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 busNepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 086

Stocking up at the shop along routeNepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 088

Renting a mule was still just as temptingNepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 089

Having a ‘wesh’ the local wayNepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 091

Taking a breakNepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 096

Counting down the ‘so called’ 2000 steps – My ass, it took us a full day up these buggers
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Resting mid wayOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Our first view of Annapurna south (8,091m)
Nepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 098

The snailOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Almost there, with sun burn to boot
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The worlds smallest guest house – Did you ever see a dish so big??OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Drying out the mushrooms for teaOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

At least these steps were in the shadeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Looking lovelyOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Dannys favourite time of the dayOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Looking lostNepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 101

A memorial for the last ‘lost’ personNepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 111

Taking advantage of the self timer functionNepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 113

Wanna see some puppies?Nepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 114

Scared Danny?Nepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 116

We were BOTH scared when we saw this!!!Nepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 118

Danny was also scared when he saw this? Headless Claire OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sunrise at Poon HillOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Nepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 128

Tired after the 4am startOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Dhaulagiri (8,167m) 7th highest in the world
Nepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 144

Despite the smiles it was ffffff freezing up there!!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Nepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 154

On the way home through the junglesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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After watching the locals, Claire decided it was easier running down
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Ghorepani Village, our favourite stop enrouteNepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 167

Nepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 169

Our resting place for the nightNepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 171

Going back in time at the local museum
Nepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 186

It was all downhill from here
Nepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 187

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
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And shes offOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Danny of the skiesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Like the M1 in rush hour
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Claire waving at Danny the Camera manOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cruising with the birdsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Claire crash landingOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The lake that we thankfully didn’t land in
Nepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 209

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 jeepOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Before launchOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Puncture repair kit at the readyOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

GnarlyOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Break time – It was hard work!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

One of the hardest parts was getting outOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Chief Cox DannyOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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
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The local poisonOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Four hours later we are still at it
Nepal Pokhara, Poon Hill Trek 225

Another two hours later, maybe time to stop? (it’s ok Mum, its not drugs!)
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Snoop Danny DogOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Chitwan
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 streetNepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 002

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 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Nepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 013

Nepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 018

Which ended rather abruptly when we came upon this fella – It was unsafe to pass so we tiptoed round the back!Nepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 026

Gorilla in the woodsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Danny hacking away a path
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Fear makes all of us react differently
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Following instructions, we’ve NEVER clambered up a tree as fast in our lives!!!
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Spiderman DanOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The things you do for a good shot…….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here it is!Nepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 049

and heres its mate!Nepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 062

Terrified to leave the safety of the tree, we were back on foot againOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Apparently this Deer couldn’t climb treesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Back to the safety of park HQOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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 enrouteOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Its not too late to change your mind Claire
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This was enough to put to rest any doubts Claire hadNepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 072

160 metres?!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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
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Five minutes sooner and we could of rolled 160 metres in the busOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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
Nepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 115

Chief choppersOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Then came the folding – a tough taskOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The finished product – Of course these were the best we ever tastedNepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 124

Enjoying the hard graft with a beerNepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 125

Us with the mini chefOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Kathmandu Sightseeing
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 youngerNepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 129

And they still manage to sell an apple at ‘Tourist priceNepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 132

One of many squares in Kathmandu old townNepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 136

Fighting over the sweets
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Durbar SquareOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Danny keeping that nose of his cleanOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

No Co2 emissions from this fellaNepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 150

Putting the world to rights with the old fellasNepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 156

Like Southport on a summers dayNepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 159

The sight where 108 animals are sacrificed each October – The blood is drained and fed to the godNepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 161

The blood thirsty godNepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 166

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
Nepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 176

Worried Clara?Nepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 206

Just for showNepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 207

Harnessed up and ready to goNepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 231

Still smiling for the camerasNepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 234

Saying her last goodbyesNepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 237

Ok now she is scared – just look at the mountains…………Nepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 242

We can all lipread Claire!
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Don’t push me ya buggerclaire (2)

Three seconds later and shes offclaire (3)

Only 4 seconds left…………..Nepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 249

Hardly an elegant flyer
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Apparently she enjoyed it?!?!?Nepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 256

Now she dare let goNepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 258

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.

Worried Dan?Nepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 281

Looks even higher from the viewing platform
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I told you NOT to look downNepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 299

Can I go last please sir?Nepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 304

Gritting those teeth – thank goodness for zoom lenses!Nepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 318

Just tie it tight!daniel (1)

Hahah poor ladNepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 323

Stepping on upNepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 332

Ok on 3 you godaniel (2)

More like a seal than a birdNepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 336

Nepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 337

Claire thought he had lost his pants when she took this!! Nepal Chitwan, Kathmandu, Bungy 340

And for those with headphones at work, here’s the video footage!

Relieved and happy its all over! WE DID IT!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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:


Destination Arrival
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

3 Responses to Going gnarly in Nepal

  1. Em

    I’m with Cinders, you would NOT have even gotten me on that so called bloody bridge, never mind the rest you crazy people!! Massive well done though, I bet you were both completely hyper afterwards :) Love you loads xxxxx

  2. BigTP

    Well Gnarly! Captain Fun – With your hair and whiskers you look like a proper traveller, no getting it cut. If you cut it between now and Brazil I am not coming (although dreadlocks are allowed)

  3. Cynthia

    Well done both of you but Dad says you still haven’t jumped off top board at Southampton!!
    you wouldn’t get us across that rope bridge love you two M&D

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