Tamang Heritage Trail Diary – Kathmandu

April 18, 2020

Tuesday 25 February 2020

The refurbished Sacred Valley Home is comfortable and warm and we sleep like teenagers until the myriads (murders) of crows break through with their raucous calls as they hunt down breakfast. Then the builders start up and down the street with various tools and we are shaken loose from our room by 8am when we climb to the roof and have breakfast. The refurbished kitchen comes with a chap who knows how to use it and we enjoy bacon and eggs and very good (very, very good) Nepalese coffee. 

Our trek requires us to have a pass for the Lantang National Park because a very small part of it encroaches onto it. And if you are trekking in Nepal you need a trekking permit. The TIMS card. The Lantang Pass is gained at the office of Tourism and costs us NRP3000 each. It is a quick process. You hand over your passport and a clerk fills in a ‘cheque book’ of passes. No photo required. Its cheap at half the price but is especially of value given the fee primarily goes to support conservation efforts in the park. 

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Ama Dablam Diary – Garden of Dreams Redux

November 13, 2014

garden290Two days of gear checking, buying missing kit, buying better kit and so on until we arrived at last at the Garden of Dreams – that oasis discovered two years ago. I have introduced myself to my fellow climbers and am pleased to have finally met them. And I have introduced them to this place and they all seem duly impressed. They are mostly tired after travelling long distances to get here but we were able to enjoy a meal together and start to get to know each other a little better. We have a group broken into two language groups – English speakers made up of Americans and a couple of Australians, and a second group of Europeans, most of whom seem to understand or speak German. Although the early group dynamics have broken us along these lines we are all getting along and I don’t get a sense there will be anyone we will clash with. No one is proffering any climbing expertise but I suspect there was a lot of false modesty around the table tonight. Time will tell but false modesty is safer than false skills and I am just a little pleased that the conversation went no where near climbing and mountaineering over dinner. These people seem deeper than one dimensional climbers which will be important given we will be living together for the next month. Mind you they largely seem a ‘lean and hungry’ lot. Or rather, I should observe that ‘we’ are a lean and hungry lot. The European guys look like Tour De France riders! They seem to have done a lot of climbing but demur on detail and I am resisting the urge to grow a false sense of skill given their modesty. Read more

What Happens in Katmandu Stays in Kathmandu

June 24, 2012

It sure does. Which is why its so important to get up here. There is nothing back home that equates to the sort of experiences you can immerse yourself in here. Walk up the empty streets at 6am and meet folk getting their day underway. Read more

When in Kathmandu..stick with the popcorn

June 23, 2012

The popcorn seller was a mildly spoken man and seemed overwhelmed by the crowd of people standing around trying to work out what his collection of spices and condiments were all about. But he and his fellows are popular in the street and it only takes a few minutes to work out what he charges and how he puts his little recipes together. His mechanic filthy hands sweep up a handful of fresh white popcorn flowers into a newspaper cup and he hands it to me with a slight flourish and a declaration that I were now up for 20 rupees. Cheap at half the price and no where near as problematic as the weed offered to some of the lads earlier in the afternoon.  Read more