Here are a few of my favorite panorama photos that I have taken, along with a few stories about them!
Just thought I’d share a short video of my journey to basecamp & India afterwards.
Its been a long few days, on our last night the tour guide took us out to a place for dinner, subsequently a few of us got sick. It certainly made flying into Lukla airport a lot more interesting.
If you have never heard of Lukla airport, i’d suggest having a look at youtube and watching a few videos of landings. Its infamously known as one of the most dangerous airports in the world due to the short runway and steep descent.
So today is the last day before the hike, this morning I went out and organised my Jacket (i think its a bit too big!) and a sleeping bag. It was really cheap, around 160 nepal rupees per day for both. I got them from Shona’s which is in Thamel. Everything was super clean and i’d read a lot of good reviews. Hopefully everything holds up well.
I went to Patan this afternoon, it wasn’t too bad. A lot of the buildings in the square had been destroyed by the earth quake or were being held up by wood splints. It was worth the visit.
I experienced one of the nicest things today, I had organised to visit Firefly Children’s home in Kathmandu. After a fair bit of researched I emailed them asking if I could visit and bring some resources – Laptops, pens, lined paper.
Hari picked me up from my hostel in the morning. I can’t say id ever been on the back of a motorbike carrying 6 laptops in peak hour traffic not wearing a helmet. I now can! Continue reading “Firefly Children’s Home”
So I arrived in Kathmandu after about 24hours of flying. I’m not completely sure what I expected Kathmandu to be like, but it certainly took me by surprise. Chaos isnt a word I use lightly. There are cars, people and motorbikes everywhere.
The first thing that hit me was the amount of pollution in Kathmandu, unfortunately Kathmandu lies in a valley which makes it difficult for wind to clear the pollution, in addition to the daily power cuts that result in people turning on their diesel generators.
Kathmandu has a very different vibe to it, you certainly know its a gateway to trekking as there are trekking shops everywhere, they sells lots of knock-off brands and genuine brands. I found the owners to be very honest and up front about their products.
My first morning in Kathmandu I walked up to Swayambhunath, it was certainly worth the 4am wake up and walking in pitch black. There were monkeys, dogs and a fair few people – Exercising, playing instruments, praying & meditating.
The rest of the day I explored other temples, food and trekking shops organising last minute things for Everest. Tomorrow I have something special planned.
Well it’s 25 hours to go until I fly out on my adventure, I’ve pretty much done everything. Bags packed, still working out the logistics of taking some laptops across to a Children’s home in Katmandu, but I’m sure that will work out.
I still have a few more things to sort out for the students at school before I leave, such as lesson plans but there is some spare time tomorrow in addition to a little bit of time before I leave.
Its crazy to think this is happening tomorrow night. I’d been wanting to do this for years and putting it off for one reason or another, come to think of it around 6.5 years i’ve been putting basecamp off!
I can’t workout whether I’m more exciting about Everest or India, the more I think about them the more excited I get. The sights, the food, the people and the culture. It will be like nothing I have ever seen.
My aim is to post every few days or so when I’m away.
So the time has come up extremely quick, almost exponentially. There is pretty much nothing left to organise except the items I am buying in Nepal (jacket, sleeping bag & perishables)
I organised my accomodation for India last weekend along with trains & planes. What a mission that was! It took me the better part of a nice but it’s now down. I highly recommend a website called Cleartrip to book indian rail train tickets. Its a task to get the account setup as you need to email IRTC with your passport to activate the account. But after that just punch in your To/From city and purchase a ticket. They download as a PDF.
Unfortunately I couldn’t stay in some place as long as I’d anticipated, but that is one of the joys about travel and just making the most what you have. I’ll be going from New Delhi –> Varanasi –> Agra –> New Delhi
Depending on weather and delays when leaving Kathmandu there is always the small chance that I may not get to see much of India at all.
It has been a little while since my last update, and there has certainly been a lot of change.
I recently started as an ICT Teacher at a primary school, which is amazing. I get to start something that I love, continue something I love and work towards some other long term goals (which I will post about over the coming year).
If you recall, I’m heading off to Everest basecamp, which is now only 29 days away. It’s starting to become very real as I have a stack of equipment in my room. Most of the logistics have been organised and same with the luggage.
All I have left to organise are:
- Trekking Poles
- Fleece Jacket
- Duffle Bag (60L)
- Feet Slippers
- Renting and sleeping back
- Renting a down jacket
Most of which I will purchase & rent in Kathmandu, I have been super lucky with my Icebreaker merino tops as they have been on sale over christmas, same with my hiking pants from Kathmandu. I have saved around $300 on those things alone!
I have also adjusted my itinerary for India, before I was going to fly between Delhi & Varanasi. I’ve now decided to catch the overnight train due to the adventure and it is also cheaper.
India for me will an amazing experience, i’m looking forward to the adventure of the trains and the chaos of the cities. I’m also extremely excited about seeing the Ganges in Varanasi, and going to Sarnath which is where Buddha gave his first lessons on Dharma.
I am going to try and do a cooking class in Delhi and if i’m super lucky some yoga classes too. Which I daresay would be magical!
Over time we all tend to start creating some form of bucket list, this can be travel, life goals, achievements or even how we may picture out life in the future. One of my goals has always been to do Everest base camp, something about it appeals to me. The physical and mental challenge along with the rawness and unpredictability of the mountain is something that I just have to experience.
I have an aim that I want to complete it my the end of 2016, I’ve worked out it will either be March 2016 or December 2016. I have put it off for years and years, now is the time.
In my excitement over the weekend I have begun looking at trips (the easy part) and packing list recommendations (the hard part). I’ve seen that its easy to be taken away with ensuring everything is perfect and having the perfect equipment in the right quantities. I came across one simple forum post from a well seasoned veteran that read “3 merino wool shirts, a couple of pairs of pants and shorts, then a jacket”.
This was perfect, nice and concise and easy.I want this trip to be simple without the burden of carrying everything except the kitchen sink. As long as a don’t freeze to death, it’s not going to matter if I don’t have 4 Shirts, 4 Long shirts, 3 Jumpers, 5 Socks, 5 thermal socks etc. So with that in mind I’ve begun compiling my list.
I’ve seen that a lot of things can be hired in Kathmandu such as sleeping bags and jackets (around $1 a day). I don’t think this is such a bad option, as it’s unlikely I will need a -20c sleeping bag for a while or a few super thick down jackets (especially given that I normally travel to beach destinations).
So apart from the aforementioned items, I also need
- Windproof/Rainproof over layer
- Sunglasses (x2)
- Hat – Winter & Thermal
- Water Bottles (1x Metal & 1x 1x Hydration Bladder 2-3L)
- Trekking Poles
- Waterproof Backpack cover
- Gloves and Liners
- Day Pack
Along with some medicine supplies:
- Paracetamol / Cold and Flu’s
- Tiger Balm
- Cotton Tips
- Band Aids
- Water Purifying tablets
- Baby wipes
- Talcum Powder
This list will evolve and change overtime, but I think it’s a good solid foundation.
Now the fun part is buying it all and keeping an eye out for sales!
The next part is to get into training specifically for the trek, i’ve upped my Yoga training to more strength based poses and I’m going to begin hiking around Victoria shortly. This is in addition to my usual – Hockey, Dodgeball, Running and swimming. I’m thinking I should be suitably fit enough regardless of when I go.
I’ll keep you posted on my progress! Do you have any tips or hints?