Monday, September 01, 2008

Not all those that wander are lost.

Maybe not, but at times I have wondered if walking by myself is such a good idea.
The trip from Kathmandu to Besisahar went smooth enough although as soon as I was seated in the bus and opened my newspaper the first article I saw was "major riots in Besisahar, curfew declared". As it turned out all that I saw from the riot was a badly beaten up car with all the windows smashed in being driven around by a group of youths with their faces covered by bandanas.
What turned out to be a more significant impediment during my walk so far has been the state of the track and the height of the rivers. Just getting to the bridge that crossed the river frequently meant having to wade through waist deep water.

Then again the spectacle of the raging river made the effort well worthwhile.

On the second day out I crossed a rockslide when the whole section I was on decided to head down hill. Only a reflexive action by me to jam one of my walking poles in between the rocks saved me from being bashed to death on the rocks before being dumped in the river. As it is I got cuts and bruises over most of my body but luckily nothing broken.

That definitely shook me up a bit and I spendt a good half an hour sitting, well away from the rockslide, trying to get myself together again. Eventually a group of porters showed up and decided that I better come with them for the rest of the day. They carried my pack, told me where to put my feet on the steep slopes and in general encouraged me along a brilliant lot and I am gratefull I met them.

The next few days I started to settle in to my walking rhytm and while I was still sore from my fall the actual hiking was getting easier. The air is getting a little cooler as well and everywhere there are waterfalls, brightly coloured flowers and green fields.

Slowly the culture changes as well with signs of Bhudism becoming more visible, there are beatifully painted entrance gates to the villages and mani walls and prayer wheels around every corner.

The one thing I haven't seen yet though is mountains. With lots of low hanging clouds you only get a glimpse of snow every so often. this doesn't bother me much but the only other trekkers i have met so far, two Brittish guys and their guide, were rather disappointed.
The climb across the Thorung Lah was similar to the other days but being so high you are actually walking in the clouds rather then looking at them and route finding was occaisionally difficult. What did supprise me was how strong I feel and how easily I climb.


Well after a very interesting monsoon hike I am back in Pokhara. I hardly met any other hikeres while I was out there, which was fine with me, and when I finally did run into a few it turned out that one of them worked for the company where I got my first job in holland more then Thirty years ago. It's a small world.
I will try to post a few notes and photos over the next few days.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Sun Burned in Kathmandu

In their unfathomable wisdom the tourism department has moved the Trekking permit office from Thamel where all the tourists are to the other side of town. They also forgot to mention this to anyone.
After some asking around I made a guess at their most likely new location and set of on foot. So far so good. What wasn't so good is that I had forgotten to put my hat on and when I finally got there I was sun burned to the extend that I had a head ache. I guess I wont make that mistake again. This trip

Monday, August 04, 2008

The Heat and Rain.

Kathmandu is wet, warm and the countryside lush and green.
I arrived yesterday just after midday local time and after the usual formalities made my way to the Kathmandu Garden House. The driver regaled me with the traditional tales of how every hotel in town is cheaper and better but after he figured out that I have been here before he gave up and we talked about the changing political landscape, the abdication of the king and the price of oil. As a driver the petrol price has hit him hard and while the official rate is hundred Rupees per liter (NZD 2) there is a shortage and the black market has driven the price up to double that.
After dropping my luggage of at the hotel I wandered over to Thamel and that was when the heavens opened up. Within minutes the streets were muddy rivers and while the shop keepers scurried to get their wares covered I dashed into the Pumpernickel bakery to wait out the worst of it.
It's good to be back.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I am currently in Whangarei at my parents place for a few days and the weather here is lousy as well. Luckily they have a heat pump that keeps the place nice and warm.
Yesterday I collected my tickets from the travel agent and I have been slowly gathering the bits and bobs I need for my travels but apart from that it's all pretty quiet.

Saturday, July 05, 2008


It's freezing here in Auckland the thermometer hasn't gone above five degrees centigrade all day and half an hour ago there was a hail storm. Can't wait to leave for warmer climes.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Kathmandu Garden House

On arrival in Nepal I will stay a few days at the Kathmandu Garden House before venturing further afield. I have stayed here before and it's a well run place just outside Thamel. And while it's close enough to walk down to all the shops and restaurants it's far away enough to not be bothered by the rampant noise, especially at night when the badly played "live" music starts up.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


I received my flight conformations and the official itinerary is as follows;
Saturday Second of August leave Auckland for Bangkok.
Sunday the Third fly from Bangkok to Kathmandu.
Return on Wednesday 29 October from Kathmandu and connections going well be back in Auckland the next day at Twenty past One in the afternoon.
All my flights are on Thai Airways and were arranged by Rod from Holiday Shoppe in Whangarei who has been doing my flight arrangements in an impeccable manner for the last ten years or so.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Danon's Disease

Over the weekend I have helped my Dad set up his first blog. The Danon Chronicles is an attempt by him to gather information for and about the people that suffer from Danon's disease and hopefully add to the body of knowledge of this rare condition.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


In case anyone was wondering where I am off to on my next trip. It's Nepal of course!
In spite of the monsoon season I hope to fly out on the second of August and to be hiking the Annapurnas shortly thereafter. Then Helambu and Langtang, finishing off with Mount Everest, the hike not the climb. Total trip duration three months.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Some things change, some things stay the same.

I really have to give this blog a spring cleaning.
Over the next few days I will try to rejig the layout and the links so stay tuned.
Oh if you were wondering why? I am going on a new trip of course!