Saturday, February 26, 2011

Our Trek

Meredith and I are doing a trek, we knew that before we landed in Kathmandu.  Which of Nepal's beautiful and famous treks was the real question.  After being bombarded by hawkers working for the travel and trekking companies we decided to give it a go on our own.  After doing some research we decided to a heavily traveled, but no less stunning trek.  We are doing a combination of the two most popular treks in the Annapurna range, the Annapurna Circuit and the Annapurna Sanctuary treks.  The first takes you around the range which boasts  8,000 meter peaks (to give you an idea, Everest is 8,848 meters) while the second takes you into the middle of the range.  All in all I think the 200+ km trek will be grueling yet very rewarding.  If we complete the entire trek we will traverse the highest mountain pass in the world at 5416m (almost 18,000 ft).  As a lowcountry boy let us just say I am more than a little concerned as to how I will fair at nearly 18,000 ft but right now I can only hope for the best.  We leave for Besisahar on Monday morning to start the trek and expect to be gone about a month.  We had to delay our start a day because Meredith and I forgot to extend our visas yesterday and have to wait for the office to open tomorrow, oh well, we were thankful for another day to prepare.  Internet will be non-existent or at least very rare and expensive so don't expect much in the way of updates until the end.  Wish us luck!


Hi everyone,

Meredith and I are traveling in Asia for the next few months and thought this would be a great way to keep everyone updated and maybe share some stories as they happen.  Don't worry this isn't going to turn into a big hipster spiritual enlightenment blog.  After traveling for the last few weeks through central India and Kathmandu, Nepal with family Meredith and I are now on our own.  We said goodbye to the group a few days ago have since been busy enjoying the backpacker district, Thamel, in Kathmandu getting ready for a trek in the nearby mountains (more on that later).  The first few days have been hectic getting to know the area and making a few friends.  We met two German girls on our first night that had just returned from a trek and were staying in the same guest house.  We met letter that evening for them to share some tips and pointers, upon leaving one of the girls (Dolly) mentioned that it was Christina's birthday and we should all go for dinner and drinks the next evening...of course we agreed.  The next evening we learned 2 things, hanging out with Dolly and Christina is a ton of fun and dance bars are not dance clubs.  After going for dinner at a fairly decent Mexican place we went looking for entertainment and Christina wanted to dance.  What we found at the 'dance bar' was something closer to strip joint than a disco...we quickly left.  An Irish pub, however, is always and Irish pub and there were no such surprises where we finished out the night.

The next day was full of errands getting ready for our trek, there were permits to fill out, fees to  pay and gear to buy/rent.  This would all have been very daunting if we had not had the good fortune of meeting Shona and her husband/boyfriend/business partner.  They own Shona's Alpine Equipment but helped us with more than just our gear.  They told us the spots that had quality gear they dont carry, told us how to take advantage of the local (non backpacker market) and most important of all they showed us how to pack our gear.  They were a huge helping in getting us ready for the trek.

Besides doing errands we also wandered through the town, seeing the beautiful gardens and the not so beautiful burning piles of trash--We are seeing all sides of Kathmandu.  I would love to upload more photos but I am having a hard time finding fast enough internet--please be patient.