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Kathmandu and the Himalayas

NEPAL | Saturday, 29 March 2008 | Views [707]

     Nepal is pretty awesome. In Kathmandu the people are very nice and the environment is very interesting. The streets are small and crowded with cars and rickshaws zooming on by and some how you survive walking through the streets. If you ever need cheap trekking or camping gear this is the place to go. They sell North Face gear for dirt cheap mainly because its North Fake. It still does the trick though.

     Our trek was amazing. It was the best part of the trip. For about 4 days I had headaches while climbing due to dehydration. Trekking actually helped put the headaches out of my mind for the most part but when I stopped my head would pound. So that was probably the worst of it. On some days we would climb stairs all day. To get an idea of how many stairs, I think in one day we climbed about 8,000 stairs. But it was all worht it. The views were amazing and none of my pictures can really grasp what its like to be there. Some of the dangers involved were avalanches (which I saw a few of, they happen constantly) and altitude sickness. We met a few travelers that had to turn back because of altitude sickness. Our guide told us stories of people dying of altitude sickness because they refused to stop moving forward.

     One of the most interesting things I did while we were trekking was participating in the celebration of Shivaratri's birthday. (the Hindu God) The villagers created a large bonfire after much song and dance and then heated sugar cane in the fire and slammed them against the rocks causing them to explode. We would then run and grab the sugar cane wherever it went and suck out the sugar while it weas still hot. This is meant to wake up Shiva. Then every once and a while they would kick the fire up to create a large cloud of sparks. Everyone was drinking or smoking hash. I just drank with my guide, no hash. I feel bad for the rest of my group because everyone went to bed early and Im the only one that got to experience it.

     Oh, and then there is the legend of Ralph our mountain dog. From the first village we were followed by a beautiful mountain dog. He followed us for several days waiting for us at every stop. We werent feeding it or anything. I guess it was surviving off the scraps in each town and some plants on the way. It was sad though because every village he would be attacked and beat up pretty bad by the local dogs protecting their territory. We were trying to figure out ways we could bring him home with us. We loved this dog. But, in the end he left us because he knew he was causing us harm. On about the third day we came across a town with another aggressive dog that attacked Ralph. When Ralph ran past us to get away the other dog ran through the group and bit one of our group members on the leg and gave us a Rabies scare. Steve, the guy who got bit, was on the verge of leaving in fear of rabies but he realized would have already been too late anyway. You only have 24 hours to get treatment and we were couple days hike in. Besides all evidence pointed towards the village dog not having rabies. The villagers put down the dog and we didn't see Ralph again that day. Later on in the trip we saw Ralph again but he stayed away from us. It's like he knew he was putting us in danger with all the aggressive dogs in the villages. I miss our little buddy.

     I also learned a traditional Nepalese card game called Dos Dahla (10 killer). I can teach anyone that would like to learn. It was pretty addictive and I played with our Sherpas and porters whenever I had a chance. It can be played 1v1 or 2v2. I like the team version best.

     After the trek we stayed in Pohkara and Alex and I joined into a Free Tibet march down the streets of Pokhara with candles and chanting. This was the day the Chinese were killing the Tibetans and the march was mourning them.

     Another interesting thing about Nepal is they have about 6 hours of power cuts a day. The streets can get scary at night only lit by candles but it is very safe there. Also there is a lack of clean water so the water that comes out of the sinks is very dirty and you cant even brush your teeth with it. The food in the city is pretty tasty though.

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