Verfasst von: rbontour | Mai 18, 2011

What are you burning in Nepal?

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Photos Nepal

Calories! Right, because Nepal is home to eight out of the fourteen highest peaks in the world. It’s the place to visit for enthusiastic climbers, hikers and hardcore trekkers. Here you are craving for high carb snacks 24/7… at least 2 Snickers, 1 Twix, sweet porridge and 3 bowls of rice per day! After 3 weeks hiking steeply uphill and downhill, we came to the conclusion that the words “flat” or “straight” may not even exist in the vocabulary of Nepali people. No problem, actually, because except for the bus rides on unpaved serpentine roads (see more details in our picture gallery), the mountainous landscape is not really a bad thing. After all, this is what makes the country so impressive and marvelous. Most of the country is completely dominated by the mighty Himalaya. Although the pictures might seem as if we vacationed in the German or Austrian Alps, we thought it was a lot different… It’s the enormous height of the peaks that gave us a special feeling of happiness (and certainly an adrenalin kick).

Inspirational World of Heights, Blooming Valleys & Cold Showers
As China/Tibet and India, Nepal is a destination which we didn’t really include in our itinerary. Well, planning-wise and cost-wise it was not quite easy to get to these regions and some destinations arise on the journey itself. You speak with other travelers, hear their stories and listen to their tips. We only heard great things about Nepal and now we know why. Here you can enjoy magnificent mountain scenery; there are suspension bridges over canyons and gorges, sub-tropical valleys, blooming flowers, snowy peaks as well as Nepalese villages and Exile-Tibetan communities with friendly people, who welcome you every evening anew. On the way you will also always run into these colorful and spiritual prayer flags and mani stones – stone plates or rocks inscribed with universal mantra… buddhist traditions, which reminded us of lovely Tibet.

When you go hiking in Nepal, you can’t always expect hot showers, power, heated sleeping rooms, clean blankets (glad we have the sleeping bags), convenience stores or other “luxury” items… Hey, but you put up with it as it doesn’t really hurt, right?:-) The reward comes during the days, when you are surrounded by so much beauty and can gaze at the highest peaks of the world.

Fascinating Heavy Loads
Besides other enthusiastic hikers, you encounter many porters (sometimes called sherpas ). You see them either with or without their mules, donkeys, horses or yaks carrying seriously heavy stuff, such as tons of bottles, gas bottles, firewood, rice, potatoes, furniture, other people’s trekking equipment and so on. They haul things uphill on their back using a rope suspended from the front of their head. The sheer sight of these heavy loads looks frightening and hurt our “weak” bodies! Well, but deep in the Himalayas, far from any infrastructure, everything must be carried by animal or human. Just imagine carrying between 30kg (66lb) and 50kg (110lb) or more over the mountains, all day long and in any weather condition. The only equipment is their thongs, maybe a plastic bag as protection and often a pack of cigarettes.

Eventually, they have adjusted to the harsh living conditions in these insane altitudes. We were told that the sherpas – nomadic herders, who came from Tibet many years ago – supposedly have more blood in their bodies plus about twice the amount of red blood cells and this is the reason for their outstanding performance. Unlike us! After 8 or 9 hours of hiking (with just a little backpack) we were indescribably exhausted every day and slept by 8PM like little babies until sunrise.

Happiness!! Climbing 16,400ft
We have opted for 2 different treks while in Nepal (Langtang  & Annapurna region – around 12 days in total). Our personal climbing highlight was the day when we got up before sunrise and climbed up to around 5,000m (16,400ft). We “only” hiked 4 hrs. uphill, then 2 hrs. downhill and another 2 ½ hrs. to our next accommodation, but dang, it was brutally steep and the difference in altitude (in 4 hrs.) was 1,200m (3,940ft). In addition, the air was starting to get really thin. You feel it even more when you have to walk through the snow. We were definitely out of breath and grateful for each and every grain of rice we had eaten the night before. Anyhow, fact is, the effort was worth it.

During our ascent we sometimes had to stop and look in all directions… there were no other people – we were alone in this endless vastness. As we finally reached the top of the mountain (Tsergo Ri), we felt pure joy and happiness. And of course, we felt also proud, because we managed to get up there and enjoy this awesome view! In a moment like this it feels like doing everything at once: hugging, jumping, taking photographs, eating, drinking, turning, looking, laughing, jumping again (and sending emails or MMS to family and friends… damn, no signal :-)).

Is It The Final Countdown…?
For sure we could write a lot more about Nepal, but somehow we want to make it a bit shorter today… our journey will end soon. So we are busy (lol), but pictures speak more than words anyways, or not?!

Conclusively, we definitely would go back to Nepal. Besides a mind-blowing landscape, the country has an absolutely interesting culture (similar to India, but only on the “surface” we think). There are many different ethnic groups speaking some 100 languages ​​and dialects, but as in many other Asian countries we have visited, the people are very poor. Listening to their hardships remains a unique and emotional experience (~70% of the population lives on $ 2 per day or less).

Despite the crazy power outages in Kathmandu and Pokhara (which lasted up to 16 hrs. some days), we can also recommend to spend some time in the cities: Hindu women in their colorful saris, a captivating and charming chaos around local markets, fruits and veggies you have never seen before, cows in the middle of all of this, and, and, and.

Okay, enough said for now. Mid-June it’s time to go back to our “homeland”. We’re excited about it!! And after a few crazy days in New Delhi and Singapore last week (what a contrast to the Himalayas!), we are also excited to spend the rest of our trip in Bali and the surrounding islands. For sure, there are still some stories left to tell… Be well and take care!

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Responses

  1. Hallo Brigitte & Robert, der Bericht ist wirklich spannend, lustig und neidanregend :-). Die Gluecksgefuehle können wir verstehen, insbesondere wenn man den 5000er erklommen 🙂 hat. Ja „wir“ Warmduscher können das wirklich nachfühlen. Die Fotos sind wieder mal fantastisch und nachdenklich zugleich. Wir haben uns heute Abend vorgenommen die Bilder von Nepal anzuschauen und den Bericht zu lesen, ja die Alpen sind in Zell zZ ganz nahe und deutlich zu sehen, nur die Höhe ist natürlich kein Vergleich, aber der Regenbogen war auch super.
    Nun mach ich weiter (Ma), das war wieder mal so ein toller Bericht, das man sich wirklich wünscht, man könnte das auch mal erleben (aber am besten ohne Anstrengung :-)) und die tollen Bilder dazu – einfach Klasse – schön dass ihr uns so teilhaben lasst.
    Freuen uns aber trotzdem wenn ihr bald heimkommt. Geniesst Bali und lasst eure Seele baumeln.
    Dickes Bussi
    Ma & Dad

  2. Von Fabi und Philipp:
    Wir wollten nur mal fragen warum die Inder auf der Stirn einen roten Punkt haben?
    Wir haben Robert gesehen, wie er auf dem Tisch geschlafen hat…
    Hab gehört, dass ihr wieder auf München wollt bleibt doch in der Nähe von uns.
    Lg Fabi

    • Sagt es ruhig mal dem Robsi… er ist ne‘ Schlafmuetze :-)!
      Wegen dem roten Punkt von den Inderinnen…: Traditionell betrachtet ist der rote Punkt, das sogenannte Bindi (Sanskrit: Tropfen, Punkt), das Zeichen verheirateter indischer Frauen. Nach der Chakrenlehre befindet sich mitten auf der Stirn zwischen den Augenbrauen das so genannte dritte Auge, ein energetisches Zentrum, das stellvertretend für Erleuchtung und klare Wahrnehmung steht. Das Bindi, ob aufgemalt oder als Schmuck aufgeklebt, schützt dieses dritte Auge und damit die Hellsichtigkeit beider Ehepartner.
      Bindi werden heutzutage ebenso von unverheirateten Frauen in verschiedenen Farb- und Formvariationen getragen, allerdings ausschließlich als Schmuck oder als Segenszeichen (Tika, Tilaka), wie sie von vielen Hindus getragen werden. Für verheiratete Frauen bleibt das Tragen des Bindi weiterhin eine Pflicht. Erst wenn der Ehepartner verstirbt, können sie auf den Schmuck verzichten.

      Kapiert oder? 🙂


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