Bus Trip Nepal · 2023

Kathmandu · Chitwan National Park · Pokhara · Poon Hill Trek · Kathmandu


March 23, 2024

Trekking in the Himalayas: A Million Steps and Stars.

Everyone knows the Himalayas are colder than frozen yogurt and over 26,000 feet high, or what much of the world calls eight-thousanders, as they are over 8,000 meters high. Here you almost trip over the footprints of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay when you get up in the morning—ha!

Because we don't have enough time for a two- or three-week trek to the Everest Basecamps or the whole Annapurna Circuit, we decide to do a light version. Four days to Poon Hill and back. A trek to one of the most spectacular viewpoints in Nepal.

To be honest: I have rarely been so incredibly wrong. Perhaps I should have looked up the facts before we left, instead of maintaining romantic illusions of powder snow: Poon Hill Trek is up to 13,000 feet, 6,000 stone steps, 25 miles, and a hot jungle humidity to die for—or in. And then there was gastroenteritis.

This is a story about what it means to want to howl at 4 AM under a sky full of stars.

January 27, 2024

Chitwan National Park: In a Tree House at Night with Rhino.

"…and we can also spend a few days in the jungle while we’re in Nepal," says my boyfriend.

Huh? Jungle in the Himalayas? In my mind's eye, I see a giraffe wearing snowshoes and dancing on Everest.

But Nepal has much more than just eight-thousanders (mountain peaks over 26,200 feet high) and Himalayan trekking, it also has an area of subtropical climate, complete with monsoons—where summer temperatures can reach as high as 110 degrees. Sir Edmund's ice axe would melt out of his hand.

Chitwan National Park is in this climate zone. And who lives there? Rhinos, monkeys, crocodiles, and tigers! So, let's go there!

My boyfriend suggests that we stay overnight in a tower located in the middle of the jungle, I'm excited!

And so we happily take our lives in our hands and ride in a tourist bus from Kathmandu, Nepal's capital, to Chitwan National Park, a six-hour drive away. We arrive to find hungry, grinning crocodiles, nocturnal rhinos, and the surprisingly large and positive impact that we as tourists can make with the smallest of our decisions.

November 18, 2023

Kathmandu: Colorful Temples, blue Smog and the Afterlife

"Is the temple on the other side of the road?" my boyfriend shouts as he stands beside me. Three thousand mopeds and motorcycles roar past the broken curb in both directions in a wild escalation of anarchy. Since there are no traffic lights or signs in Kathmandu, the torrent of traffic just does not stop. It never does. A scene that makes the utter chaos of traffic in Naples, Italy, look like a stroll through a manicured English garden.

"Yes!" I yell back through the blue-tinged smog.

"Good, then we probably won't get there!"

To people from Western cultures, Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, is like spring-loaded glitter bomb that bursts every two seconds, spewing gold coins, confetti, unicorns, dust, noise, gods of destruction, and indefinable fumes.

For a week, we walk 20 miles through Kathmandu, crisscrossing up and down every alley that opens in front of us. Is it dangerous? Have we managed to see the city without ever crossing a street? And if not, what about life after death?

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