My Journey

My bags are packed and I'm ready to roll. I had to swap out the (44) liter pack for my expedition pack. I just couldn't get a month's worth of stuff in the smaller pack. The good news is that the expedition pack only weighs (32) pounds and my day pack is coming in at about (10) pounds (without water in the bladder). Anyhow, I'm leaving in the morning. I'll post up whenever I get a chance..........

Took this shot this afternoon as I was doing the final packing.......

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Borrowed this picture from the internet. It gets my adrenaline flowing. Hope they don't mind. I'll replace as soon as have my own........

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Day 1........so it was exactly 5 years ago today that I was in the hospital having the cancer cut out of my body. What a great way to celebrate 5 years of being cancer free.

Anyhow saying goodbye to my best friends, Yukon and Montana really sucked.....

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Just sitting around the airport waiting to to board the plane. First stop will be Seoul, South Korea. Seems odd that I won't arrive until Thursday. Then Kathmandu, Nepal on Friday......

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Day 2...........Made it to Seoul, South Korea without a hitch. l was one of the few lucky ones as the plane was nearly full but the seat next to me was empty. Of course there's nothing like having that extra space. I was surprised at the northerly flight path that we took but maybe I shouldn't have been since I took a flight to China once and as I recall it traveled north as well. Anyhow, as we departed from northern Virgina we flew nearly directly to the north over Toronto, then across the Hudson Bay, then further north over the Arctic Ocean, crossed over the eastern side Russia (Yakutsk), then over eastern China, and then we took a big detour to the west of North Korea. I've got some pictures to post up of the ice breaking up on the Arctic Ocean, and some of the snow covered mountains of northeast Russia. I find it all just amazing and love to be out exploring the world.....

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I made it to Kathmandu this afternoon and what an amazing city this is. I won't have much to add today.....I'm literally operating on (6) hours sleep since I left home and right now I'm dealing with slow internet, electricity from a generator and have had to put together a few different adapters to get this submitted. I'm planning on hanging around until Monday so I'll get this updated soon.

Pictures below are the Himalayas as seen from the plane. I'm fairly certain that the first shot is Mount Everest. The pilot flew way south and I just can't figure out why.

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Thanks to all that respond my thread. I don't mean to ignore anyone. I'm posting up on a 6" tablet so I'm trying to save a little typing by not responding right after.

I thought I'd start out with showing my hotel. When I travel I typically like to stay in hostels or low end type hotels. It's just my thing but I really like this as opposed to staying in Hyatts or that type of thing. I forget what I'm paying here but it's under $10 per night. Heck I had a Starbucks coffee in Seoul and that cost me $4.60 and here I'm drinking a pot of excellent coffee for $1.20. Last night my dinner was under $5 including a bottle of Coke. The food was fantastic in my opinion.

Last night while I was out I got lots of offers for marijuana, hashish, and boom boom as they call it here. lol Not my cup of tea but it's sure entertaining.....

Temperatures for Kathmandu are around 80 all week and mostly sunny. It feels just perfect and I'm anxious to have a quick meal and go explore Kathmandu.......

Ed (Micmac).......you should have come along. Hope to visit some Buddhist temples later today.

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I've had quiet a busy day in Kathmandu and was able to accomplish all the goals that I had set for the day. After having fried eggs, toast, and plenty of coffee, I made my way across town to the Tourism Building and was able to snag both of the permits that I'll need for trekking in the Annapurna Region. I met a couple of guys that were affiliated with a trekking company and they seemed like really good guys so decided to check them out and I was able to hire a porter through them. Might not seem like a big deal but I was determined to find someone that would do as I want (they really don't like this idea here). The porter I chose actually had the least experience but he was super laid back, he speaks almost no English, and has only done the trek once before. Sounds perfect to me. He's also had a tough time recently when his mother died of cancer and then shortly thereafter his father had a heart attack and died. He's a young guy and he needs work. So really the choice was easy for me, although I guess they all need work.

After completing my business, I hired a rickshaw and went to Swayambhu, also known as Monkey Park. That place was just amazing and the views of Kathmandu were perfect as it sits atop a mountain just to the west of town. The remainder of the day was spent walking around the city and just having a wonderful time. The people here are so friendly........seriously. I'm having a blast !

Here's some pictures of my travels around Kathmundu today.......

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So the power just went out while I'm posting but I'll add just a few more pictures. I'm not sure when I'll post again as I'll be traveling tomorrow. I plan to meet the porter at 7 a.m. and we're getting on a bus for a 7 hour ride into the lower mountains and the beginning of our trek.......

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So yesterday we completed the 7 hour bus ride from Kathmandu to BesiSahar. The roads in Nepal are some of the worst I've seen in my travels. What started out as a 4 lane in extremely poor condition, quickly turned into a road barely adequate for 2 vehicles. I honestly can't count the number of times I swung my arm into the bus as I was certain we would hit the passing vehicle. Eventually the road turned into a single track and the asphalt began to disappear as well. But eventually we made it to BesiSahar where we spent the evening walking through town as well as a bit of planning.

My porter and the bus we took to BesiSahar......

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Typical bus in Nepal.......

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Village that we stopped in.......

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Views from my hotel.......

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And finally a group of blind guys playing on the street of BesiSahar. What was really remarkable here was to watch the generosity of the Nepalese people. These people have so little but nearly everyone made a donation to help these guys out. One thing that has stood out to me is how happy they are. They always seem to be laughing and smiling........

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Last night my porter and I decided that we would take a bus a bit further this morning. The Nepalese government has built a 4 wheel drive road further into the Annapurna region and now small buses have begun to use a small section of it. It saved us about 5 miles of hiking so not so much really. And it actually felt awesome to finally stretch the legs and get some hiking in. My book tells me that we hiked 9.4 miles today as we made it to Syange. We're staying in a hotel / teahouse with wifi and dish tv. Total cost for my room is 200 Rupees or about $2.

Here's some random pictures from our hike along the Jeep trail today. The first picture shows a group of men with their burrows collecting sand along the Marsyandi River. They're in the process of replacing the old wooden foot bridge that goes from Syange to Ghermu, a nearby village. The new bridge is steel and tbe sand is being used to make cement for the bridge structure.

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And the next picture was my lunch today. The rice and vegetable dish is known as dal-bhatt. It's a staple of the Nepalese diet and it's actually the only dish I've seen my porter eat. It's very tasty and inexpensive as well. Typically you're given a second helping without making a request. I'm having it at least once per day. The bread is called gorung and it's served with honey. I could almost live on it.....just love the flavor.

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Just hanging out in my this room and thought I'd post up a few more pictures from last night. After dinner Sandeesh and I decided to go out for a walk. Our plan was to check out a large waterfall just outside of the village, and then we'd hike to Ghermu, a village on the other side of the Marsyanadi River. Ghermu is located on the original Annapurna Trail and has no road access. It's an amazing village and you get the feeling that it's the same today as it has been for decades.....

First the waterfall......

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The gate as you enter Ghermu.....

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Here a woman is making a rug I think.....

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And here they are making yarn......

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Some random shots taken in Ghermu and Syange......

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Today I'm posting from a small village called Tal. Tal is a fairly new village located in a large flat area along the Marsyangdi River. It's mostly inhabited by Gurungs but there's also a large population of Tibetans here as well. The people are quiet friendly but they do seem to stay to themselves.

Anyhow today's trek was only about 4.5 hours. We continued up the Jeep trail for a few miles but when we came to a steel bridge we crossed over and finally began hiking on the Annapurna Trail. The degree of difficulty went up significantly as we were now hiking up and down as the trail follows the terrain. I was loving every minute as we climbed higher and higher into the Himalayas. Each day in Nepal seems to be better than the last. I loved it today when I spotted a bunch of monkeys climbing through the trees. They scattered pretty quickly as I tried to get some pictures.

I have met up with several trekers that have turned back and several that have become sick from the foid or water. I'm trying to be so careful in every way possible. I've been told that it's almost impossible not to come down with something.

I'm really struggling with adding pictures to the blog. Honestly I'm looking at pictures that are smaller than a dime and it's just plain difficult to see what I'm posting. I wish it was better......

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