You are one of people to start off from this point...
Ah Nepal. Nestled between Tibet and India, Nepal contains many of the tallest peaks on the planet. The lonely planet guide has advice for travellers: "Don't try to change Nepal, let Nepal change you." Through experience we realized that this saying quietly warns of the frustrations of attempting to use Western Logic in a land of Eastern Spirituality. I'm trying to think of a cheesy catch-phrase to describe Nepal, but the only thing that really applies is "the land that defies description". You just have to experience and get swept away by it. Our plan is to do the Annapurna - a trekking route which circles the immense Annapurna mountain range. The trek follows the perimeter of the red splotch on the map above.
The flight to Kathmandu. Here's a picture of mount Everest from out the window. This is the ONLY time i saw Everest on my trip, so if you think you see Everest in any pictures from hereon in, well you'll just be wrong. Leaving the airport, i almost immediately became confused by flocks of people all wanting to carry my bag and get me a taxi, and in a state of overwhelmed confusion ended up tipping a nepali about a weeks' wages for carrying my bag 30 feet to a taxi. Live and learn...
Ah, Kathmandu. probably one of the most addictive cities i've ever been to. This picture pretty much says it all - cows sleeping in busy streets, crazy traffic, pollution. Kathmandu has a very organic approach to driving. The rule of the road (as in most non-western countries) is that the larger vehicle has the right of way. Traffic is a mishmash of cars, motorcycles, trucks, bicycles, busses, cows, rickshaws and pedestrians, all trying to squeeze past each other in a braided pattern of cross-currents. I don't ever recall seeing a traffic signal, stop sign, or even painted road lines anywhere in the country. You need to have your wits about you any time you're on the streets, or you risk becoming roadkill.
After two weeks apart i'm reunited with my travel buddy Ed, here seen sitting up top a temple in Durbar Square in Thamel, the main tourist area of Kathmandu. The Nepalese kept thinking he was Japanese when he's really from Hong Kong. Konichiwa Ed!
A cow tries unsuccessfully to graze on pigeons.
A Sadhu. These are men on a spiritual journey from India. Many Hindu men (usually around middle age) will give up all their possessions, leave their families and spend years on a religious pilgrimage to visit many of the holy Hindu places in Asia. They smoke lots of weed and live entirely off the generosity of others. It's like they're from British Columbia!
Go Home ..... Continue Travelling