HIMALAYA NEPAL: Part 4. Making it and Homebound.

We have come to the final post of Nepal. Although it has been a year since we stepped foot in Nepal, we are still talking about how wonderful it was to experience the beautiful nature made by God. Not everyone is as fortunate as us. We are planning to conquer Annapurna soon. As you all know, we went up Poon Hill at 4am just to witness the beauty of sunrise in between the Himalayas. Just look at what Fadza managed to capture. Breathe in, breathe out. Now go.

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Going up in the morning wasn’t easy at all. Lack of sleep due to fever & cold added another barrier to succeed. Nevertheless, once we’ve reached the top of Poon Hill, all the pain disappeared. Like magic. Going down wasn’t as hard as going up (obviously). As soon as we reached Ghorepani we immediately had breakfast, packed, rested our legs for about an hour and started climbing up & down again. This time is to go home.

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Here’s us & our potter Jaget with beautiful mountains behind us.

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This was taken at one of the stops on the hill. What you are about to see is the Himalayas from the other side of the world. People went crazy. We did too. Rested our legs for about 10 minutes, had a few sips of water and continued our journey down the hill.

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Gandruk Village

After walking for about 4 hours, we finally reached Gandruk village which was our last stop before reaching Nayapul, where we first started. We stayed a night at the Guesthouse facing the beautiful Dhaulagiri. After all the walking, all you basically need is a good hot shower and and and… a comfy clean bed.

I slept right after dinner & Fadza had a date with his camera, Dhaulagiri and the stars that night. He managed to capture beautiful pictures of our last night at the balcony. He plans to have them printed in his book which he is now compiling & we’re hoping to have the books in our hands by 2016.

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Our experienced up to Ghorepani was the best for 2014. I couldn’t believe my eyes that I’ve stepped foot there and survived. From reaching Kathmandu, trying their local food, staying at few Guesthouses, meeting a friend, making new friends, climbing up & down

and last but not least, the Himalayas.
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Our experienced up to Ghorepani was the best for 2014. I couldn’t believe my eyes that I’ve stepped foot there and survived. From reaching Kathmandu, trying their local food, staying at few Guesthouses, meeting a friend, making new friends, climbing up & down and last but not least, the Himalayas.

Note: Some of the photos in here (square format) was taken via iPhone.

Re-Narrated by Nina Zainorin
Photographed by Fadza Ishak
I: @journeykita
fadzaninatravel@gmail.com for any collaborations or any offer for our humble journey 🙂

HIMALAYA NEPAL: PART 3 UP THE TRAIL

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Nayapul, Nepal.

Took us about 30 minutes or so to reach Nayapul by taxi, which is the starting point of our climb to Ghorepani. The journey to Nayapul was the eye opener of the trip. We saw the himalayas from down below. We were stunned by the beauty of the mountains & for a while, we couldn’t believe that we are about to start hiking. First, we saw the amazing Fishtail. We find it hard to fix our jaws.

When we finally reached Nayapul, we met tonnes of trekkers & hikers getting ready their backpacks, adjusting their walking sticks, filling water in their water bottles, fixing their hiking shoe laces, some girls got their hair bun perfectly & porters busy bundling up backpacks to be carried on their backs.

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Once we had our stuff & porter ready, we prayed to god for our safety & started the climb. We had to pass by some villages on our way up. Most of them are very shy, especially the women. They smiled & some friendly ones even greeted “Namaste”. Nepali kids are the cutest. They go “Namaste… Chocolate.” They were just too cute to be ignored.

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The weather in Nayapul was pretty hot. The heat from the sun made us finish a bottle of water in split seconds. Our advise is to wear something comfortable and spare another extra bottle of water + 100plus or revive. Pack also energizing food such as chocolate bar, banana & energy bar. You might need it.

It took us about 20 minutes to reach Birethanti, the tourist checkpoint. We came across a bridge with colourful flags & snapped some pictures. Well… Its a must. Looking down to a green coloured water stream forced us to take off our clothes & just dive in the water. Unfortunately, we had to control ourselves from doing so. Water was rough & said to be dangerous. We didn’t see anyone near the stream.

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So the hike begins. After 30 minutes of normal flat land, here comes the hill. Up & down. Up & down. Not to forget the heat. We got burned. I could feel the heat burning my skin. But, the show must go on and so we walked… And walked… And walked… And walked… Up & down the hill.

There is a stall on your way up selling fruits run by the locals. We bought bananas and continued our journey.

After about 2 hours of hiking, we reached a small rest place where you can relax & order food. We only stopped for 10 minutes to catch our breath & also to snapped some pictures.

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Here’s us in front of the small rest place taken by Jaget our potter.

After 10 minutes of catching our breath, we started walking again. This time around its all about going up. Fadza had fun & me… I struggled a little bit. My advice is to train your legs before even thinking to hike up. A 30 minutes jog everyday would definitely help on the stamina.

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So we met some harmless friends. Instead of using manpower, donkeys are used to carry food & other supplies up. There were many of them everywhere. They poop everywhere too. So mind your step when walking.

First day journey stopped when we reached Thikedunga. Checked in at a tea house where they served food, drinks & rooms for hikers to stay overnight. We had our legs rested for about 30 minutes, then we went for a quick shower before having our late lunch. We both had a decent plate of chicken fried rice each & hot honey ginger lemon tea.

We stayed in a room facing a beautiful waterfall. We saw hikers dipping in but we were too tired from the long hike. So I took a short nap while Fadza goes around taking pictures & making connections with the locals.

We also had dinner at the same place. We asked for Dhal Bhat cos we decided to have something that could gain energy for tomorrow’s hike. Jaget told us its all about climbing thousands of stairs & hills again. So consuming proper food might help us with the climbing. We went to bed as soon as we finished our meal.

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Second day begins.

The sun’s up & we are ready to climb after our breakfast. Everything’s packed and we’re ready to start. Started of by crossing another bridge. Then the climbing starts. As usual, donkeys everywhere. So whenever you see them coming towards you, you must give them way.

The scenaries started to get more beautiful on the second day. Beautiful mountains, villages, people & not to forget a beautiful wonderland waterfall.

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After about 4 hours hike, we stopped for lunch break at the Hungry Eye Restaurant in Nangethanti. We had our lamb fried rice and our usual hot honey lemon ginger tea. Rested our legs for about an hour or so and continue hiking.

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Our final stop for day 3 is Ghorepani. Took us about 2 hours to reach Ghorepani from Nangethanti. By the time we reached the top of Ghorepani, its about time for sunset. We checked in at Kamala Guesthouse & again we got the best room with the best view. We freshen up, changed & went for a stroll around the area. It was freezing cold & we checked the temperature it was about 0 degrees.

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Had dinner and mingled a little with some hikers from Macau, Brits & their porters. We exchanged experiences and mostly talked about our way up to Ghorepani. By the time we finished our hot ginger lemon tea, its about time to rest for tomorrows hike up to Poon Hill. We need all our energy pumped in cos tomorrows hike starts at 4am. Yup that early cos Poon Hill is all about sunrise.

Here are some pictures taken by Fadza just by our room window. It was freezing cold but we melted looking at the amazing Himalayas.

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Our next post will be our final post for our trip to Nepal. If you wish to know the cost of our trip, wait for the post. Give us about 2-3 weeks to come up with our final post. We know we are so late in updating. We are flattered to know that some of you are still waiting for it. We hope we didn’t disappoint all of you. LOVE! From us.

Photographed by Fadza Ishak
Re Narrated by Nina Zainorin
I: @journeykita
E: fadzaninatravel@gmail.com

HIMALAYA NEPAL: PART 2 KATHMANDU – POKHARA

Kathmandu – Pokhara

4 October 2014-5 October 2015

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Hello again backpackers!

How are you doing? Share with us your latest location. We are here waiting for the right time to fly and explore again. You don’t know how important it is for us to fly and document. As for now, Fadza is busy with FIAP & Capra Hircus capturing moments in life of other people & I am here busy designing kids clothes I call Kidd Company.

In this post, I will tell you how beautiful it was the journey to Pokhara and Pokhara itself. We literally had our eyes glued to the scenery.

But first, I’m going to tell you a little bit more of what we did in Kathmandu before we left to Pokhara.

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So we met a Singaporean friend of ours who at that  time was working on his assignment with Singapore Museum to achieve the Gurkhas who is also very familiar with Nepal to take us around Thamel. By familiar, he knows places in Nepal and he speaks basic Nepali language. Boy we were amazed.

First stop, OR2K Restaurant. Located at Mandala Street, Thamel to be exact. They served scandinavian-middle east food and we tried OR2K Special Breakfast For 2. One word, satisfying.

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We simply love the environment and ambiance. The crowd were mostly Europeans. Some of them looked tired which we bet they just got down from hiking and some of them are pretty normal energetic people.

We basically sat there for hours just to get our spirits on by throwing questions to our Singaporean friend, Zakaria Zainal about hiking up to Ghorepani.

After the long Q&A session, we took a stroll at Thamel street for the last time before we head down to our Guesthouse and rest for the long bus journey to Pokhara the next day.

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We stumbled across our first Stupa at Naghal Tole. It wasn’t the biggest Stupa but it is still something we haven’t seen before and we find it interesting. Colourful flags , pigeons everywhere and locals praying. How amazing?

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Did we mention that the locals are pretty cool? Every time Fadza had his camera up, they’ll be posing and smiling for the camera. We bet they are used to it.

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So here we are back at Thamel Street. We were both hungry from the long walk from Durbar Square with Zakaria and we had coffee together too at the Himalayas Coffee near the Square.

Chick ‘N’ Falafel

Don’t you just love street food? Here we tried their chicken wrap and fries just for the sake of trying everything we could while in Kathmandu. You should do too if you come across this one.

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Kathmandu at night.

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Journey to Pokhara.

Woke up at 5am and walked to the bus station where we took an 8 hours bus ride to Pokhara. We left Avalon Guesthouse accompanied by Jagjit, our “Superhuman Nepali” a.k.a porter. He guides us from Kathmandu to Pokhara and up to Ghorepani.

We stopped somewhere in the middle of the Prithvi Highway for lunch and guess what we had? We had our power booster Dhal Bhat. Consist of white rice, vegetarian dhal, vegetarian curry & poppadom (Nepali call it “Pappad”).

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We saw a stall opposite the road and thought of trying something new. So we tried the Nepali Bread. It was delicious. Looks like a doughnut tastes like miracle. Never ever miss the chance to try it when you come across it in the future.

So here we are in Pokhara. A peaceful town full of hikers. It’s chillier here in Pokhara than in Kathmandu. The air is also cleaner than Kathmandu. It’s a beautiful place to relax and unwind before the torture of climbing the mountain begins.

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We arrived at approximately 4pm and the first thing we did was walked straight to Baba Guesthouse and checked in. After checking in, we took a walk to the famous Pokhara Lake. The scenery is to die for. There were people canoeing, relaxing and simply there to enjoy the view.

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Load shedding is a must in Nepal. We had a few load shedding time in Kathmandu at 6pm as well in Pokhara. We asked the locals why is this still happening? They just said that Nepal is big and they don’t have enough power to supply electricity 24/7. At 730pm, the generator kicked in, and Pokhara is lighted up again.

We had our early dinner at the Guesthouse and went straight to bed. We needed a good rest before tomorrow where the hike starts.

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Our next post will be on our hiked up from Nayapul to our first stop Thikedunga. We hope you enjoyed this post. Sorry again to keep you waiting. We promise to work on the next post as soon as possible.

For those interested to share your journeys around the globe, do follow @journeykita on Instagram. Tag us or hastag #journeykita and we will say Hi.

p/s: Fadza is still working on his book on Nepal.

 

Photographed by Fadza Ishak
Re Narrated by Nina Zainorin
I: @journeykita
E: fadzaninatravel@gmail.com

Aside

Himalaya Nepal: Kathmandu. Part 1.

Kathmandu, Nepal
3 October 2014.

Greetings backpackers! As you all know, Journeykita landed in Kathmandu in October for few days before proceeding up to Ghorepani. First of all, we had a great week in Nepal. Although we weren’t at our best health condition, we still made it to the top.

However, this post is mainly about Kathmandu. We spent 2 days  in Kathmandu before we headed up to witnessed the Himalayas.

Upon our arrival at Tribhuvan Airport, we had to fill in the forms for VISA and it took us almost two hours to reach the Immigration Counter. Our advise is before coming, make sure you take a day off to the embassy and apply your VISA as it will help you save time and energy.

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Upon our arrival, we were greeted by the staff from Avalon House as we exited the arrival gate. He was there standing holding a piece of paper with our names written on it. He then quickly put his hands together and said “Namaste”. How wonderful?

The weather was beautiful. Windy and clear blue skies for an evening walk around Thamel.

Tribhuvan Airport – Avalon House, Thamel.

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Avalon House, Kathmandu.

As soon as we reached Avalon House, we settled down and straight went to meet Saput who was the owner of Avalon House to help us with our trip up to Ghorepani. Before we made our decision to visit Nepal, we stayed connected with Saput. Basically, he helped a lot in making our budget trip worth while.

Saput took out his map and showed us the routes to Ghorepani. He then suggested to go on the 5 days hike up to Ghorepani with a guide + porter.

The minute we settled with Saput, we went up to the roof top to for a quick view at Thamel’s street and mountains as background.

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The street of Thamel, Kathmandu.

When strolling on the streets of Thamel with the objective of bread hunting, we discovered that there are more than breads to hunt. There are stalls selling sort of taco along the streets. Made with egg + vegetables + seasonings wrapped with pita bread. It costs us NR30. A little salty for me but hey, when you’re travelling somewhere you’re not sure if you’re ever gonna come back… you must try everything you come across.

Besides hunting for Nepalese tradition foods (which I’m going to tell you more later), we came across shops selling hiking gears. Some will work around your budget and some will fight for their price. They sell hiking shoes, walking sticks, backpack, thick jackets, hiking pants and all the things you need to prepare before you hike.

We managed to find a Stupa (a dome-shaped building erected as a Buddhist shine) hidden somewhere on the streets of Thamel. Took some pictures and headed back home for dinner on the rooftop overlooking magic.

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First night in Chilly Kathmandu.

We consider our-self lucky to be in Nepal on the night they celebrate Dashain Festival. As explained by Saput, Dashain also spelled Dasain is the celebration of victory of good over evil. This festival symbolize that good always prevail after the bad. The locals stayed close to their home and the night was quiet at certain places.

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We ended our first night just chilling with Saput. He shared ideas on places to visit in Kathmandu, Nepalese traditions and also the story of The Nepal Royal Massacre. Fadza had the idea of interviewing a local about The Nepal Royal Massacre before we flew and he basically nailed it this time.

Anyway, Fadza is on the verge of printing a book about our visit to Nepal. He will include the interview in his book.

That’s about it for now. Here are our brief costing for day 1 in Kathmandu.

– Avalon House: MYR44.00 p/n/p plus airport pickup.

– Visa: USD 25/person for less than 15 days visit

– Food: Bread (we had a bad one for the first night) MYR3.00

– Mineral Water NR25.00, Street food NR30

– Getting around: We walk every where. Almost.

Next post, we will tell you more about the food we tried the next following day, the things we saw that we didn’t see the first day and a Singaporean friend we met in Kathmandu.

Last but not least, for those who waited for this particular post to finish, thank you very much. Follow us on our Instagram @journeykita and share your travelling experience with us.

Photographed by Fadza Ishak
Written/Re-narrated by Nina Zainorin
I: @journeykita
E: fadzaninatravel[at]gmail.com