Let’s Explore … Nepal
Nepal, the birthplace of Buddha. A country I have wanted to visit for a while now and in 2017 we flew into Kathmandu and drove up to Pokhara, where we were met by our guide Dawa. Dawa, nicknamed ‘D’, has been up Everest a mere 3 times so this trip for him would be a walk in the park, quite literally. D and his team, who consisted of ‘Nemo’, JB and B, all legit names of course, walked ahead of us the whole way, each carrying about 20kgs… After a brief break Nemo would often skip past us up the path in his flip-flops whilst we all watch in awe togged up in walking boots, poles and buffs galore.
The highlight of our walk was an early morning stint up to Poon Hill to watch the sun rise over the Fishtail mountain.
The Fishtail, properly known as Machapuchare, not unfamiliar in sound to Machu Picchu in Peru, has a fascinating story behind it. I am sure the story varies depending on the teller but our version is that adventurers tried to climb it and it was far too dangerous so the mountain was then declared a sacred holy mountain never to be climbed again.
One thing I loved about Nepal was the wildlife, and the abundance of it. I saw an array of beautiful butterflies to bees, a praying mantis, song birds, birds of prey, grasshoppers, monkeys and the spiders were huge! One thing I did spot when out camping on a 4 day rafting trip were these large cat footprints. Out of the 208 mammal species that it could have been I somehow don’t think it was a snow leopard! I thought it might be a fox, D didn’t know but after doing a bit of research it would make sense if it was a Fishing Cat..
Kathmandu is an interesting place, and I think you can get to know it very well if you were there for a long amount of time. We however were not there long but in that time we explored Monkey Temple, Swayambhunath and also explored the hindu crematorium Pashupatinath Temple which felt very surreal. Once a family member dies in Kathmandu the body is purified and prepared at the Pashupatinath Temple, then lit on fire beside the Holy Ganges River.