I have two new Nepali sayings that I’ve learned while on my trek, they are so much fun! One is La,la,la (I have no idea how you’d actually write these in Nepali) which means “yes, yes” and the other is jomjom which means “let’s go”. Jomjom is a common phrase used by Trekkers, we are tired, hiking 6-7 hours a day, we take a break and then it’s time again, jomjom.
Our most exhausting day, around day 6 of 10 we ran into a problem. We had already hiked 7 hours to a small village, Syanbochen, where we planned to stay the night, but all three guest homes were filled. It was jomjom time and we were off hiking an extra 2 hours to the next village.
Yes we were tired, but it was worth every minute. Surrounded by some of the world’s tallest peaks, the Himalayan mountains were incredible. Bimal, our guide, tells me that mountains like Baldy, our mountain in Idaho, are only considered hills here in Nepal. The canyons and red rocks of the Upper Mustang were fabulous. The villages, some containing more cows than people, were welcoming.
One of my favorite parts of the trek was staying in the homes of the people, also called tea houses. Some were easier to stay in than others, I found running water and electricity a luxury. But, playing card games and spending time drinking tea around a kitchen fire showed me the simple pleasures.
Days in Nepal: 17
Days without a hot shower: 11 and counting
Would I recommend it: La,la, la!
The weather is changing all over Nepal. Bimal, my guide tells me that this is typically the dry season and yesterday’s rains were unusual. He also told me of a huge snow storm occurring on a trek called the Annapurna, in which two guides from his guiding company were missing for a couple of days. They are in contact as of today.
Weather can be unpredictable, and my flight was cancelled due to high afternoon winds in Jomsom which make landing difficult. Patience is a wonderful lesson when you’re in Nepal.
This worked out for the best.. the skies have cleared and I finally get to see and enjoy beautiful Pokhara. We will see what tomorrow brings!
After a whirlwind visit to Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, and an 8 hour bus ride due to one lane traffic to Pokhara, we are at the airport awaiting a flight to Jomsom. A cyclone hit the shores of neighboring India and all flights were cancelled yesterday, but today we may be in luck! For the next 12 days I’ll be headed near the Tibetan border in an area called the Upper Mustang which opened to visitors in the early 1990’s. I’m excited to learn and explore with my wonderful trekking partners, (one from Alberta, Canada and the other from Genoa, Italy) and my helpful guide Bimal. Stay tuned! Update: one hour in & still awaiting the plane from Kathmandu, at least the skies are clearing.
Nepalese money: rupee 100 rupees = $1 US dollar
Cost of my morning tea : 135 rupees
How to say thank you in Nepali: Dhanebad
Our first stop, Bangkok, capital city of the country Thailand. Here people speak Thai and eat really good food. I had only 24 hours before my flight to Nepal; how could I explore a city with a population of more than 8 million people in just one day? With no time to waste, I jumped into a small, and probably not too safe, taxi called a tuk-tuk.
You have to be careful with tuk-tuk drivers; I first made sure mine had a clear idea of where I wanted to go, and we were off in the buzzing traffic. I made the most of my time: exploring temples or wats, climbing the steps to the Golden Mountain, finding the small “emerald” Buddha (it was really made of jade) in the Grand Palace, and finally finishing near some of the food markets where I had my first, and definetly not last, plate of Pad Thai. The added bonus of my time in Bangkok was finding a wonderful little oasis of peace and quiet, my stay at Pharnakorn-Norlen, with the delivery of afternoon tea and a nap in my near future, I’ll be ready to tackle the next adventure, trekking the Upper Mustang region of Nepal!