I have created this page to share my 2008 adventures in Nepal. The run up to this project can be found in the Project Nepal page but this section is about what happened when we got there!
Day 1 – We arrive at Kathmandu after a very long flight via Doha in the Middle East.
Overnight stay at the very nice Malla Hotel in Thamel and the first of many team pics! Amazing city, chaotic traffic, shrines and the most fabulous embroidery everywhere ! Chance for a bit of retail therapy !
The Huddersfield North team in the grounds of the hotel with our welcome marigold garlands
Hindu shrines in the city
Me in Thamel doing some embroidery shopping !
Day 2 – The Everest flight and the start of the journey to the village
We were up at 5 for a 1 hour flight over Everest which was amazing then back to the hotel for breakfast. A bit more time for shopping then we left the hotel at 12 for the start of the 5 hour bus journey to the end of the road.
Look mountains !
The Yeti airlines plane that we flew on
Houses on the outskirts of Kathmandu
The hills outside Kathmandu
Day 2 – The end of the road and the first night camping
After an incredible Indiana Jones adventure on a non-existent road with fab views the minibus we are on can go no further due to a landslide. We get off and walk and are caught up by the other bus which takes us to the campsite – our first night in the Himalayas!
A street market we passed as we turned off the tarmac road
The road running alongside the river - most of the drops were very steep!
Me in the foothills of the Himalayas
Bed tea first morning of camping
Day 3 – The trek up to the village
A 7 hour trek – mainly up including fab views and a minor leech attack (not me thankfully). More Indiana Jones stuff in the form of some not too scary bridges. Lunch at a shrine called Milarepa then camping overnight at Gyang. Very, very hot but good exercise!
Walking past another landslide on the road
Climbing up and up !
Views from above the river
- Lunch at the shrine – first taste of spam!
Intrepid bridge crossing
Day 4 – Arriving at the village
We set off at 8.30 and were at the village by lunchtime after more climbing up – the views just got better and better. Met by the village committee – quick unpack then up to site for an inspection of the foundations.
Our first sight of snow capped mountains
Arriving at the foot of the village - it is up there in the clouds !
Me outside my home for the next two weeks - tent 55 Melamchigayon village
The villagers had already built the foundations and verandah
Days 5 – 18 The build
The next day we started on site – from 7 am till 4.30 most days. The first three days were mainly spent moving stone and sorting it into sized piles. The Rock Chicks are born. By Day 12 the windows were in (and we all got bought a beer!) and by day 18 we had finished up to roof height. Lots of the villagers came and worked with us including some lovely women. Very hot work but great for the stomach muscles!
The unsorted stone pile 3 days later - would sir like 3 inch, 4 inch or something larger ?
Day 9 - it's starting to look like a building. The ever useful plastic buckets all the way from Yorkshire !
Up to window height
The Nepalese mud women mixing mud mortar
Alison the builder - can she fix it - yes she can ! Well she can move it anyway
The Rock Chick stone moving crew having tea break
The finished build - Day 18
Days 5 – 18 Life in the camp
We were very well looked after by Tej and his crew who cooked the most amazing food on two kerosene stoves including cake and pizza. Lots of spam (lovely stuff!) and various delicious bread. We also got tea brought to us in our tents and hot water twice a day – luxury. And we all discovered the restorative powers of cheap rum and coke when the sun went down – 40p a bottle you can’t go wrong!
A typical lunch - spam, coleslaw, bombay potato and tibetan bread
- Evening entertainment in the mess tent playing cards and Pass the Pig and having quizzes
The magical powers of rum and coke after a hard day on site
Days 5 – 18 Village Life
We were lucky enough to be invited to two village houses for yak butter tea and the local brew roxy (rakshi) a very potent millet wine – lovely and warming. We also attended the monastery for a festival (more yak butter tea and roxy!) and the village children came and sang and danced for us roundf the camp fire one evening.
1000 butter lamps in the village monastery
In the house having yak butter tea
- Purna the headmaster, his wife and son in their house
Days 5 – 18 Around the village
The village itself was large by Nepalese standards and these pics are typical of the village houses. We visited two of the local tea houses (bed and breakfast places with bars) – one of which sold Pringles! We also went on a trip to a waterfall nearby. There were the most amazing sunrises and sunsets every day.
The view out of the village
A typical village house
The waterfall - the guys went swimming while I watched!
At the tea house with Pringles!
Sunrise over the village
One of the beautiful sunsets
Day 19 – The trek out of the village
We left the village at 6.30 am and treked down in 7 hours – lovely for the knees – to meet the road then it was another hairy bus ride back to Kathmandu and the culture shock of being back at a hotel with showers and beds and a doorman! First red wine for 2 weeks (rather a lot of red wine between Tim and I) and we wobbled back to the hotel!
Us ready to trek out
The porters came back to break camp and take it all down the mountain!
Day 20 – 22 Pokhara for R and R
We then all split up for different activities trekking, white water rafting, safari, sight seeing and myself and some 15 others went to Pokhara in the Annapurnas, a beautiful lakeside resort for more retail therapy and relaxation. Stayed in a lovely hotel all lit up for Diwali and had some very nice meals out. My bit of activity was a gruelling 47km moutain bike ride (only fell off 3 times!) with a very scary crossing of a rickety bridge – fab stuff!
The view from the lakeside at Pokhara
Me half way up the Annapurna range on my bike!
The very rickety bridge we crossed!
Days 22 – 23 Back in Kathmandu
We flew back to Kathmandu for a day of sightseeing, visiting Dhurbar Square where all the oldest Hindu temples and places are and the Boudanath – the largest Bhuddist Stupa. Lovely to be back with all the crew again and we had another wonderful two meals out with our last night at the famous Rum Doodles bar where we all signed a commerative Yeti foot to be displayed with others from various treks including all the Everest expeditions.
The temple of the Living Goddess Kumari
A sacred cow relaxing outside one of the temples
A shrine to Shiva
The Boudanath Stupa
- Me with the signed foot at Rum Doodles
A truly amazing experience all round and if you ever get a chance to go to Nepal do – it is a fab country the people are lovely and there is so much embroidery!!!