Journal

Archives: Nepal

Tibet Tour with Achi Tsepal – Summer 2009 Travel Tracks and Overview 31 July 2009

Hello dear family and friends – I hope you will find the following stories interesting and informative! The photo above I took on our overnight expedition above the nunnery at about 15,000′, looking south, on July 1.

map
Here is a map of our trip (starting in Beijing and ending in Delhi), and the 21 related posts below are in reverse order. On the map, blue lines were flights, red lines were by van/car. We had 2 days in Beijing, 1 in Chengdu, 14 days in Tibet (6 of those in the Drikung Valley where Achi was born, and 4 days on the road), 8 days in Nepal, and 4 days in India.

It was a wonderful and truly amazing experience, thanks to our in-country guides, drivers and hosts, our fellow travelers, Hidden Treasure Tours, and **most of all** to Achi and his beautiful family in Tibet!

If you want to display only this journey’s posts for easier reading, simply click on the Tibet category in the right hand column. The Photo link above has a “Tibet Tour” album with lots more pictures than are in the posts below – there are several sub-albums, including one just of people. And here is a link to my Google Map of the trip – you can zoom in for more detail. ENJOY!

Nepal (Days 23-26) – Thamel, Photos, Bhaktapur 16 July 2009

We are tired, homesick, and have thousands of photos to review, delete, and/or share!! Kunsang

So we spent the next few days – in the unpretentious and lovely Excelsior Hotel, owned by Achi’s Tibetan friends Kunsang Dorje and Jigme – in the heart of Thamel, the ‘Georgetown’ of Kathmandu. We worked on photos, enjoyed lots of Indian and Nepali food, wandered the streets and shops on foot, and never sat our bums in a vehicle! And Jigme is a jewelry artist, so I was delighted to purchase a sampling of her beautiful wares. :) (more…)

Nepal (Day 22) – Last “Tour” Day / Everest Flight! 12 July 2009

Today is our last day as part of the “Tibet Tour with Achi”, and it was a great way to finish. YetiWe got up *very* early (5am) for our 7:30am flight on…YETI Airlines!! (My sibs will *love* that name!) These flights (several leave within an hour of each other via multiple carriers) operate every day if clear. Before committing everyone who has paid for a ticket into the air, a small plane is sent out to see if the peaks are clear. If not, you can get your money back, or keep your ticket to try another day.

We were lucky! Our flight actually took off around 8:45 am, and on all of these flights, only the window seats are sold. So, as the plane reaches just past Makalu, it turns around, and both sides of the plane have a wonderful view. (more…)

Nepal (Day 21 continued) – Kathmandu; healing singing bowl 11 July 2009

After that fantastic “morning of mountains”, we breakfasted in the hanging gardens with the resort management (they don’t get many American guests, and were interested in feedback), and then flew back to Kathmandu.

templeThe afternoon was filled again with too-short visits to ancient temples, stupas, and pagodas – we started in Patan, one of the four kingdoms, and it’s Durbar (royal) Square, and marveled at more of the beautiful, intricate woodwork everywhere. One highlight of our tour in Patan was to a renowned Tibetan singing bowl vendor. (Patricia gave Lester one for his birthday several years ago, and I love it.) The bowls in this shop were exquisite; the vendor informed us that the handmade bowls are used for healing purposes. He invited me to come inside his tiny shop and be seated on a small stool. I was instructed to remove my hat and pony-tail holder and place my hands on my knees in the traditional Buddhist meditation pose (palms up, thumb to middle finger). (more…)

Nepal (Days 20-21) – Pokhara & the Annapurna Himal 11 July 2009

On arriving in Nepal we only one night in Kathmandu annapurnabefore flying off in the morning for one night in Pokhara (POKE’ uh ruh), a resort town on a large lake nestled beneath the Annapurna Himal range at ~3000’. The flight was beautiful with a wall of snow-covered peaks poking up through the monsoon cloud cover. (I was also finally feeling much better…maybe it was the altitude?)

We toured the town, stopping at Devi’s Fall (Patale Chhango – below), a river/waterfall carving horizontally through rocks for hundreds of feet, and then falling far below into a cave. (more…)

Hello Nepal (Day 19) – Zhangmu to Kathmandu 9 July 2009

The next morning, on the last day of our road trip, the sun was out!, and we continued down the gorge to the Friendship Bridge – the border between Tibet and Nepal. friendship bridgeOnly foot traffic is allowed on the bridge, so we bid a fond farewell to Kunchok and Sangye, and crossed over, porters carrying our luggage. On the other side of the bridge we were met by equally efficient and personable Prabin, who would be our Nepal guide, and his assistants. We were SO thankful they quickly ushered us through immigration, bypassing what most tourists had to contend with, which was an absolute, chaotic mess…a tiny, dark, packed room off a narrow muddy main street, elementary school desks used to sit and complete the paperwork…wow.

The road – a MAIN road – was even worse than before (I wrote ‘madness’ in my journal!), going from wide mud holes to smooth new concrete, construction in fits and starts. (more…)