Nepal
















23/3 2006 Sunauli, Nepal
Lat N 27° 28,76', Long E 83° 28,06'
Today: 77 °F ( 25 °C)
23 Mar 2006
40663 km

A new country. Nepal is less chaotic and much cleaner and airier than India. The traffic is calmer and slower. People are friendly and helpful. Nepal has a kind of restful peace lingering over it.

There is a lot of police, military, check points and road blocks everywhere, but they never stop us, just wave us through. Along the way to Katmandu we drove by three burnt out military vehicles. It looked like it had happened recently. It is nice to know that tourists like us are not the target. But still we can end up in crossfire if we are not careful.

In Narayangadh there was a huge line of vehicles. We thought it was jet another check-point and jumped the line. Minutes later we found ourselves right in the middle of a Maoist riot. All over the place there were burning tires and theÖverallt låg brinnande bildäck och det fullt pådrag med stirriga poliser och militärer och det såg ut som de alldeles nyss fått kontroll över situationen. De sprang längs gatorna och letade efter rebeller. Vi skyndade oss därifrån allt vad vi kunde för att undvika korselden av eventuella efterattacker.














24/3 2006 Katmandu, Nepal
Lat N 27° 42,91', Long E 85° 17,09'
Today: 80.6 °F ( 27 °C)
24 Mar 2006
40946 km

We are straying at the only kind of campsite there is in Katmandu. You never find this place if you don’t already know about it and have the exact coordinates. Hidden behind the big blue iron gate with a white triangle written on it there is a nice and very safe garden to park. We pay 3 $US per night.

In downtown Katmandu there are a lot of tourists, especially in the Durbar square area and in Thamel – the shopping and hotel mecca for budget tourists.

In the afternoon we tracked down Christian and Elisabeth. Yesterday we got an e-mail telling us they were still here. We went to a steakhouse to celebrate we now were in a new country with a steak and imported French red wine. Excellent steak! We have not had a steak like this since we left Sweden.














25/3 2006 Katmandu, Nepal
Lat N 27° 42,91', Long E 85° 17,09'
Today: 78.8 °F ( 26 °C)
25 Mar 2006
40946 km

Today we walked the famous and beautiful Dubar Square area. Right in the center of Katmandu there is an old palace and a big temple area. In one of the houses lives a real life goddess. A young girl and her family lives there. When the goddess reaches her puberty she transforms in to a normal young girl and move out. Another young girl that fulfills certain criteria and passes the tests becomes the new goddess.

There are plenty of outdoor life stores in the Thamel area that sell expensive brands for nearly nothing. North Face seems to be the most popular brand to copy. You can get a North Face down jacket for only 35 Euro.

In the evening we went tout with Elisabeth and Christian again, this time to spend the evening drinking happy hour cocktails at an Irish pub.














26/3 2006 Katmandu, Nepal
Lat N 27° 42,91', Long E 85° 17,09'
Today: 78.8 °F ( 26 °C)
26 Mar 2006
40946 km

We live next to the famous Monkey Temple – a big Buddhist temple area that rise high above Katmandu. The reason it is called Monkey Temple is the huge colony of monkeys living there. All visitors keep a close eye on them because they can sometimes be really scary and far to close for comfort. Maybe even try to steal food from the visitours.

At the temple area there is also a monastery. The monks had a musical session when we were visited. Some of the monks seemed awfully young, we thought.

At several places in the temple there are rows of brass prayer wheels. The Buddhists put the wheels in motion as they pass them.










27/3 2006 Katmandu, Nepal
Lat N 27° 42,91', Long E 85° 17,09'
Today: 78.8 °F ( 26 °C)
27 Mar 2006
40946 km

We arrived at the Indian embassy at 10.30 AM to apply for a new six months visa. Already there were a hundred people in line before us. After two hours of waiting the civil servant informed us that they were closing now and that we have to come back again tomorrow! To get dismissed after waiting in line for two or three hours, makes you really mad. But there is nothing we can do about it. Tomorrow we have to try again and to be there well before they even open.












28/3 2006 Katmandu, Nepal
Lat N 27° 42,91', Long E 85° 17,09'
Today: 78.8 °F ( 26 °C)
28 Mar 2006
40946 km

Today we were in line at the embassy already one hour before they even opened. We were number 36 even though we were there that early! If you are not within number 50 in line you have not even got a chance, because they are only open for 2,5 hour a day for visa applications.

After three hours in line we came across a clerk that was not only rude but also loved to show he was in power of the situation. He said that he would not give us a visa if we did not go to the Nepali Immigration Office to transfer the Nepali visa to Catharinas new passport.

The Sweish embassy had reassured us that it was not necessary. As long as Catharina carried both passports the visa was still valid. At the Indian or Nepalese border there was no problem at all. But this asshole wanted to show his power.

At last we have found a place that sell solar panels and also actually can deliver them! We have ordered a 50 watt American made solar panel for 310 $US. It is about the same price as we have to pay in Sweden. We are going back to get it on Thursday.

Catharina ordered a tailoring job. She had two dresses that were a little bit too short. Traveling countries like this they at least have to be knee long.








29/3 2006 Katmandu, Nepal
Lat N 27° 42,91', Long E 85° 17,09'
Today: 77 °F ( 25 °C)
29 Mar 2006
40946 km

Now everyone can see what route we have taken. One side of the car is covered with all the countries we have traveled through this far. Future countries we will have to paste on the other side. The letters are cut out of reflecting material and they glow very nicely in the dark too. It looks really nice we think!










30/3 2006 Katmandu, Nepal
Lat N 27° 42,91', Long E 85° 17,09'
Today: 78.8 °F ( 26 °C)
30 Mar 2006
40946 km

Today we went to Solar Energy Shop again, N 27° 43,22', E 85° 19,89'. We planed to buy a 50 watt solar panel. But when we were at the shop we came up with an even better solution, two 32 watt solar panels of a Japanese brand. Those suits us muck better and cost us less. We only have to pay 6 $US a watt. Great!

To travel like us is tough on our cars. Christian and Elisabeth went to a car work shop today to take a look at their brakes. We don’t think there is no need to mention they have a diesel car...












31/3 2006 Katmandu, Nepal
Lat N 27° 42,91', Long E 85° 17,09'
Today: 78.8 °F ( 26 °C)
31 Mar 2006
40946 km

Today we also went to the car work shop. We needed to check up the steering and the strange sounds coming from the rear axel. This is a good work shop, N 27° 39,38', E 85° 19,67', they seem really professional. They found a few things that needed to be done. We also needed some welding, because the frame was rusty and had been badly beaten traveling the terrible roads.

The workshop was in Patan area, and we took the opportunity to take a walk while they checked our car. The Durbar Square area in Patan is even nicer than in Katmandu. At the square there was a big Maoists meeting, heavily guarded by armed police and military.












1/4 2006 Katmandu, Nepal
Lat N 27° 39,38', Long E 85° 19,67'
Today: 78.8 °F ( 26 °C)
01 Apr 2006
40946 km

We have decided to fly home to Sweden to visit our families. The car we leave at the work shop. It is a safe place to park and while we are gone they will do the welding needed. Great!

Not many companies fly direct from Katmandu to Europe, and it is difficult to find cheep tickets. Instead we decided to buy a one way ticket to Delhi, India to try finding cheep tickets from there to Europe.

In the afternoon we fly to Delhi. At the airport in Delhi we did not manage to find any cheep tickets. The best offer we got was a return ticket with KLM for 200 $US per person. They must be completely insane?

Finally we came across a very helpful clerk that called in a favor from a friend to help us get a ticket for 650 $US per person. The travel agency was closed but he asked the owner to go in to the office to arrange the tickets for us. Already at midnight we left Delhi for Europe.










18/4 2006 Katmandu, Nepal
Lat N 27° 40,37', Long E 85° 19,59'
Today: 57.2 °F ( 14 °C)
18 Apr 2006
40946 km

After two night of nearly no sleep at all we were completely wearied. And today we had to wait 14 hour of at the air port for our flight to Katmandu.

Arriving in Katmandu it was only 14°C and rein. The general strike is still on since 14 days. Everything is closed and there are hardly any cars in the streets. From the air port we had to take an illegal taxi, because all the taxi drivers are on strike.

We went strait to the work shop to dump our luggage and leave the spare parts to the mechanics. After that we took a room at a hotel in the neighborhood. We were in a desperate need for a good night sleep and a warm shower…












19/4 2006 Katmandu, Nepal
Lat N 27° 40,37', Long E 85° 19,59'
Today: 57.2 °F ( 14 °C)
19 Apr 2006
40946 km

We woke up at 1 PM. Turned on CNN to get some news of the situation in Nepal. There were reports of demonstrations around town. They also told us about that they were planning a huge demonstration tomorrow and that there probably will be riots and violence.

A few minutes later we heard a lot of noise outside in the street. We looked out the window and saw a big demonstration pass by. One minute you hear about it on the news and the next we see it live outside our window.












20/4 2006 Katmandu, Nepal
Lat N 27° 40,37', Long E 85° 19,59'
Today: 57.2 °F ( 14 °C)
20 Apr 2006
40946 km

Today it has been a curfew in Katmandu due to the demonstrations and the expected riots. The curfew started at 2 AM this morning and continued to 8 PM.

We stay inside the Ringroad that surrounds Katmandu. The Ringroad also form the boundary line for the "shoot on sight curfew". The streets are completely empty. From outside the Ringroad over 100 000 protesters have been trying to get in to the center.

We have spent the day behind big iron gates at our hotel. If we had stayed in our car we would have been in the midst of everything. The work shop is right by the Ringroad.

During the day we have regularly checked out the news on CNN and BBC. According to the reports three people have been killed and about a hundred have been injured.

In the evening the curfew was extended to late in the night. Well, we have to wait and see what will happen tomorrow.














21/4 2006 Katmandu, Nepal
Lat N 27° 40,37', Long E 85° 19,59'
Today: 68 °F ( 20 °C)
21 Apr 2006
40946 km

Yet another day of ”shoot on sight curfew” in Katmandu. This morning they said that it was supposed to be until 8 PM, but during the day it was extended to the rest of the day. Not even the red cross or the human rights organizations are allowed out.

The protests along the Ringroad around Katmandu have been going on all day. The police and the military still keep the barrier for Katmandu.

We do not see much of what is going on. Where we are the street are empty due to the curfew. The Ringroad is about 500 meters away. We can not see what is happening there, but sometimes we can hear the chants.

At 6.30 PM the king made a TV speech handing over the power to the people. The seven political parties will appoint a PM. Until that point the king will role. Obviously there are still very important questions to be answered that has not been addressed in the speech.
















22/4 2006 Katmandu, Nepal
Lat N 27° 39,38', Long E 85° 19,67'
Today: 69.8 °F ( 21 °C)
22 Apr 2006
40946 km

After 48 hours of curfew it is nice to be able to get out again. On the news they were all were talking about if the kings action to give up the power was enough – or if it all had gone too far already.

Several important questions still linger in the air. Can the king remain on his throne after all this? How big is the demand of Nepal becoming a republic? If the king stays, is he still going to have absolute power over the police and military force? How much of a democracy is it then?

A question not concerning the king, but still important, is if the seven party alliance actually can manage to appoint a PM? Looking back at the past 10 years they have not been very successful on this point – at all. Last but not least, what roll will the Maoist rebels play in all this mess?

We went strait to the work shop to get the work on our car going. At 11.30 AM we got to know that a new curfew was set from noon. We had to hurry up getting our things together and retire to our hotel again. On the way we tried to get money from the ATM at Durbar Square. But there was a huge crowd of protesters, police and military all over the place so we had to give it up to be back in time for the curfew.

On the news during the afternoon we could see several hundred thousands protesters marching towards the center and the royal palace. Even though the protesters were breaking the curfew the police and the military didn’t do much to stop the protesters. If they go down hard on the protesters it could end up in bloodshed.












23/4 2006 Katmandu, Nepal
Lat N 27° 39,38', Long E 85° 19,67'
Today: 69.8 °F ( 21 °C)
23 Apr 2006
40946 km

Curfew between 9 AM and 8 PM again, but today we sneaked out anyway. Most of the action has moved from our neighborhood to the area close to the palace. In Patan everything seems kind of quiet now. We saw burning tires in the streets here and there and everything is still closed. In the streets some people move about. Everyone seems to stay close to their home. As soon as a police patrol truck came around they all disappeared instantly.

We have been in the work shop all day. Our two new solar panels are now in place. We only need to fix the wiring.












24/4 2006 Katmandu, Nepal
Lat N 27° 39,38', Long E 85° 19,67'
Today: 73.4 °F ( 23 °C)
24 Apr 2006
40946 km

This is the fifth day with a curfew. At Durbar Square in Patan a police man approached us saying; You know there is a curfew, don’t you? Catharina; Yeah, of course but we need to get somemoney. Do you know were we can find a ATM that is open? The police man took us to a bank clerk ordering him to open the ATM for us. Great to have cash again!

We now started our hunt for petrol. Finding petrol right now is not easy. All the privately owned petrol stations are closed to due to the general strike. Finally we found a petrol station run by the military. After some hesitation they promised us to fill up our tank if returned at 8 AM tomorrow morning. Super!


















25/4 2006 Katmandu, Nepal
Lat N 27° 39,38', Long E 85° 19,67'
Today: 71.6 °F ( 22 °C)
25 Apr 2006
40946 km

No curfew today. What a relief! We were at the petrol station already at 8 AM. But today there was no problem at all getting petrol. The general strike had been called off today. Late last night the king addressed the people - in a TV speech he promised to reinstate the parliament.

The opposition parties had planned for the biggest demonstration in Nepali history an estimated1 million people. But after the kings speech yesterday the demonstration became more of a merry carnival than an aggressive protest. We got stuck right in the middle of it with our car when coming back from the Indian Embassy.

Many are satisfied with that the democracy now will be reinstated. Yesterday’s speech is a first important step in the right direction. But still there is powerful forces that want to overthrow the king. Well, we have to wait and see what will happen.


















26/4 2006 Katmandu, Nepal
Lat N 27° 39,38', Long E 85° 19,67'
Today: 73.4 °F ( 23 °C)
26 Apr 2006
40946 km

Everything is now back to normal. The only trace we can see of the past weeks of demonstrations is the public buildings that have been wrecked.

Today we leave Katmandu for go to Nagarkot. Halfway we meet Steven and Marlous. They have traveled here by bicycle from Holland. They now work in newly opened children’s home. Read more about their trip at www.wereldtrappers.nl.

Steven is a social worker at home and Marlous is a primary school teacher. Here they take care of the children , play with them and help them with their homework. They will also help the teachers to develop their teaching.

The children are mostly girls from the villages. Every one of them has a sponsor that pays 33 Euro per month for their food, housing and school fees. You find more info about the project at www.engely.nl.

We gave the children pens. They got all exited. The pens could click and had blue color! All of them started to make drawings. One of them made a drawing of our car that he liked a lot.
















27/4 2006 Nagarkot, Nepal
Lat N 27° 43,35', Long E 85° 31,61'
Today: 77 °F ( 25 °C)
27 Apr 2006
41076 km

Nagarkot is best known for the fantastic view over the Himalaya. We found a great place to camp. This morning we watched the sunrise from our bed through our window. Super nice! We were really lucky; this was the first time in a week that it was possible to se the mountain range. It is starting to get a little late in the season and the mountains are often covered in a haze.

We had a guest at breakfast; a woman from Belgium. She was sick and tired of the Indian and Nepalese food and she really appreciated the old fashioned western breakfast with tea, proper bread, cheese and juice.

Later in the afternoon we made a three hour walk up a hill to a 360° view tower. Unfortunately the haze and the clouds covered the Himalaya ridge by the time got up there.












28/4 2006 Nagarkot, Nepal
Lat N 27° 43,35', Long E 85° 31,61'
Today: 77 °F ( 25 °C)
28 Apr 2006
41076 km

Today we visited Bhaktapur – a small, cozy town 15 kilometer from Katmandu. In an attempt to preserve the nice old buildings the center of town was closed for traffic. It is great not have to endure all the pollution.

In the afternoon we went back to Katmandu to settle the bill with the car work shop. We took a room at Goodwill Hotel in Patan again. Now when the strike is over they had opened the gym too.














29/4 2006 Katmandu, Nepal
Lat N 27° 39,38', Long E 85° 19,67'
Today: 89.6 °F ( 32 °C)
29 Apr 2006
41136 km

Finally we are heading for Pokhara. It feels like we have been on the way here for ages but things always seem to get in the way. The seven hour journey took us along two of Nepals nearly dry rivers. The monsoon start soon and right now it is a water shortage. The road was bordered by lush green terrace cultivations. It seems like all of Nepal is covered in these kinds of terraces.

When arriving in Pokhara we decided to go strait for the top at Sarangkot. Stupid or foolish; don’t know what best describe this brilliant idea. Our poor car had to work hard on the terrible and steep dirt road. We had to zigzag ever so slow between rocks and potholes all the way up there.

But up there we both agreed it was worth the trip. The panoramic view was superb! Unfortunately we arrive too late to see the sunset. We have to hope for a great sunrise instead tomorrow morning.
















30/4 2006 Sarangkot, Nepal
Lat N 28° 14,88', Long E 83° 56,75'
Today: 93.2 °F ( 34 °C)
30 Apr 2006
41327 km

Peter; a Scottish officer woke us up in time for the sunrise. When looking out we realized it was not completely clear, but definitely very nice weather for the season. It was really nice to watch the first rays of the sun hit the snow capped mountainsides in the Anapurna ridge.

After breakfast we went down to Pokhara to try to find our friends Bennie & Debbie that we knew were there somewhere. With the help of the GPS coordinates we found them. Arriving at the campsite we discovered yet another bunch of familiar faces; Corina, Pascal and Robin that we met in Goa and Ingo that we met in Croatia.

In the afternoon we walked the 15 kilometers in to town to take a look around. The walk took us three hours return and we were completely exhausted. It I hard to walk in the sun and the heat of +34° C. But we plan to go for a trekking and we need to get in shape.










1/5 2006 Pokhara, Nepal
Lat N 28° 14,16', Long E 83° 54,40'
Today: 95 °F ( 35 °C)
01 May 2006
41350 km

Hot again. We really did not expect this kind of heat in Nepal; not even in the summer. Also in the night it is hot; +28° C. Poor Angel with her thick fur. Luckily we gotsome rain in the afternoon, but what a rain; we were nearly blown away by the strong winds.
















2/5 2006 Pokhara, Nepal
Lat N 28° 14,16', Long E 83° 54,40'
Today: 95 °F ( 35 °C)
02 May 2006
41350 km

We live in the small village of Pume seven kilometers from Pokhara. The Overland traveler campsite we stay at is newly opened since just a few months. Shower with hot water, clean toilet, cozy garden to park in – great!

The camp site is completely surrounded by rice fields, farmers working their land, cows, and goats with their cute kids and buffaloes taking a swim when the heat is to much for them. Here are also some unwanted animals. A few days ago Bennie & Debbie found a cobra under their campervan…

In Pume there are a couple of hole in the wall restaurants and a few small shop were we can get essentials like water, beer, toilet paper, soap and some vegetables. If we want something more fancy we need to go the seven kilometers in to Pokhara.














3/5 2006 Pokhara, Nepal
Lat N 28° 14,16', Long E 83° 54,40'
Today: 91.4 °F ( 33 °C)
03 May 2006
41350 km

Or campsite is surrounded by a fence. It is nice in a way because this means we get our own living space. But still there are a lot of people checking us out. Sometimes we feel like the animals in a zoo.

We now know how the weather works about a month before he monsoon season. In the morning it is nice, warn and sunny. In the afternoon the big dark clouds come rolling in over the mountains.

Between 3 PM and 4 PM hell brakes loose; thunder, lightning, hailstones big as sugar cubes, pouring rain and strong winds that lasts for several hours. We really need to be home in time and to prepare for not leaving the car for maybe the rest of the evening. Today we did not mange to get home in time from our shopping round…










4/5 2006 Pokhara, Nepal
Lat N 28° 14,16', Long E 83° 54,40'
Today: 89.6 °F ( 32 °C)
04 May 2006
41350 km

Today we have checked the map and read about different trekkings to find a suitable route for us. We are really in a poor shape after a year of traveling by car and drinking beer. We wanted to pick something easy for a start. The Hot Spring Loop – a four day trek with the opportunity to stay the nights in lodges along the way sounded seem to be a perfect start. Next trek will be a more advanced and longer on a grater altitude, for example the Anapurna Base Camp Trek.












5/5 2006 Pokhara, Nepal
Lat N 28° 14,16', Long E 83° 54,40'
Today: 86 °F ( 30 °C)
05 May 2006
41350 km

To go trekking is not cheep even though we decided not to have a guide or porters on this trek. Today we went to the ACAP Office to get a Anapurna Conservation Area Permit for 24 $US per person. At the Maoist check points on the trail we are expected to pay about 18 $US per person. When all this adds up it is a lot.

When in town we shopped some equipment for the trek; rein covers for our backpacks, silk sheets and good quality cool max socks for only 2,50 $US a pair. Perfect!




















6/5 2006 Pokhara, Nepal
Lat N 28° 14,16', Long E 83° 54,40'
Today: 84.2 °F ( 29 °C)
06 May 2006
41350 km

The taxi picked us up at 7 AM to take us the 70 kilometers from Pokhara to Nayapul. The Hot Spring Loop trek starts in Nayalpul at 1 070 meter. We had a tough start. We walked 11 kilometers with an ascent of 1 000 meters up to Ulleri at 2 200 meter.

The final part to Ulleri with its 3 280 steps was especially hard work. In between the steps we found an interesting flora and fauna.

Stiff legged we staggered in to the guest house. There was no shower. Instead we got a bucket of hot water to wash ourselves. Already at 6.45 PM we hit the bunk and fell asleep at immediately. The sun was not even down yet…
















7/5 2006 Ulleri, Nepal
Lat N 28° 21,68', Long E 83° 43,97'
Today: 78.8 °F ( 26 °C)
07 May 2006
41350 km

The hazy morning cheated us of the sunrise over the mountaintops. We woke up feeling fit and without stiffness. Thirteen hours of sleep can make wonders. We had freshly baked Tibetan bread with jam for breakfast. Very tasty!

Another day of ascending. Luckily not as steep as yesterday, only 600 meters on an 11 kilometer trek.

I Nepal you do not trek in the wilderness as in Sweden. Instead you trek along well-worn paths through the mountain villages . All the time we meet men, women and children carrying their big heavy baskets at the steep and rocky paths. Bert and Catharina tried to lift one basket – it was extremely heavy.


















8/5 2006 Chitre, Nepal
Lat N 28° 25,12', Long E 83° 41,87'
Today: 77 °F ( 25 °C)
08 May 2006
41350 km

While eating our breakfast the clouds scattered and we got a very nice mountain view to rest our eyes on. Magical!

At 8 AM we already were on our way to Tatopani. We wanted to get there early in the afternoon to take a swim in the hot springs. It was a steep down hill all day. And in the last hour it started to rain. But we decided to continue anyway. We were so close to Tatopani.

Half way to Tatopani Catharinas boots went to pieces and we had to throw them away. We knew that this might happen so we had brought Catharinas flippers.

In Tatopani we took a nice, long swim in the hot springs. Afterwards we had inner at a place that clamed they served Yak Steak. Of course we wanted to try it! We are not that picky, but the meat was terrible. Probably it was one friend of the donkeys outside we had on our plates…


















9/5 2006 Tatopani, Nepal
Lat N 28° 29,73', Long E 83° 39,21'
Today: 77 °F ( 25 °C)
09 May 2006
41350 km

Long day to get to our final destination Beni. It was an easy walk, but seven hours of walking still makes your legs and feet kind of tired.

The mountain villages are in a roadless land. Everything is transported by donkeys or porters. All the time we meet big caravans of donkeys. It is a mystery how they get the donkeys to cross the suspension bridges. The bridges are like huge cattle grids but still the animals cross them without hesitation.

In Beni we took a taxi back to Pokhara. Arriving at 6 PM Bennies & Debbies ”Free Nepal party” already was in full swing. We took a quick shower and joined the party.










10/5 2006 Pokhara, Nepal
Lat N 28° 14,16', Long E 83° 54,40'
Today: 86 °F ( 30 °C)
10 May 2006
41350 km

Nice with a rest! We now have finshed the warm up. Now it is time to think about what to do next. We have been thinking of the 7-10 day trek to Anapurna Base Camp or the big Anapurna Circut Trek covering about 17 – 20 days.

We took the opportunity to get some information from Christian and Elisabeth about the Anapurna Circut trek they just finished a couple of days ago. Most of the days seemed to be comparable with the days we had on our worm up trek; except for two extremely heavy days going through the Thurong pass at 5 500 meter.

Today we also said goodbye to Corina, Pascal and Robin who are now heading for India and Pakistan.












11/5 2006 Pokhara, Nepal
Lat N 28° 14,16', Long E 83° 54,40'
Today: 82.4 °F ( 28 °C)
11 May 2006
41350 km

Today we had a lesson in making vegetarian steamed momos. Christian and Elisabeth showed us how to do it. We are impressed by them. They make breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday. And they don’t do easy cooking like we do, they really cook like at home.

Steamed momos is to the Nepali people like hot dogs and mashed potatoes are to the Swedish people. Everyone eats momos and you find it everywhere. It is comparable with dumplings or ravioli and all places have their own recipe. A momo lunch is only 50 cent. Delicious!












12/5 2006 Pokhara, Nepal
Lat N 28° 14,16', Long E 83° 54,40'
Today: 78.8 °F ( 26 °C)
12 May 2006
41350 km

Everything takes such a long time when you travel. Today we spent 10 hours in Pokhara and we still did not manage to make all errands. But we managed to extend our Nepali visa with one month, and we found out about a very exciting white water rafting trips. Marsyangdi is supposed to be a real four day adrenalin kick. To make this trip we need to find four more people to do it with us. That will probably be a bit tricky; the trip is 220 $US per person. It is supposed to be one of the best white water rafting trips in the world. We will definitely try to talk our overland traveler friends in to it…












13/5 2006 Pokhara, Nepal
Lat N 28° 14,16', Long E 83° 54,40'
Today: 80.6 °F ( 27 °C)
13 May 2006
41350 km

Yesterday when we were in town our sun/rain roof was ripped in the strong winds. Poor Christian hurt himself trying to save it from tear completely. He fell from our car scratched his arm, sprained his ankle and hit his head. Today we went to the tailor in Pame to get our roof fixed.

Poor Angel looks like a sheep after getting cut today. She look ridiculous!










14/5 2006 Pokhara, Nepal
Lat N 28° 14,16', Long E 83° 54,40'
Today: 86 °F ( 30 °C)
14 May 2006
41350 km

Now we are ready to go on a longer trek. We have decided to g for the well known Anapurna Circut Trek. It is the most popular trek in Nepal.

Our plan is to pick the best parts of the 21 day trek, and we think we will be out for approximately 10-12 days. The most exiting part s the Thorung La pass at 5 416 meter. It will be interesting too see how we manage that hight.

Today we have been in to town to get some trekking equipment. Bert got a rucksack and gloves and Catharina got a pair of mountain sticks and a pair of new Merrel boots for 30 Euro. One can really think that it is not a very smart move to go on a long trek in brand new boots. But up in the Thorung La pass it will be snow so boots is a must.

We took the bus to the campsite today. As usual the bus was full and we had to sit on the roof. We got a real pain in ass sitting, jumping around on the steel bars on the bumpy road. Not to fall off the roof we had to really hold on the bars all we could.














15/5 2006 Pokhara, Nepal
Lat N 28° 14,16', Long E 83° 54,40'
Today: 89.6 °F ( 32 °C)
15 May 2006
41350 km

The taxi picked us up at 7 AM to take us to Besisahar. After the the four hour drive we swiched to a jeep that took us to Khudi at 790 meter. This trip saved us a four day trek in the lowlands. Even though the ride took us most of the morning we managed to make a six hour trek.

With a extremely low blood sugar content we staggered in to a lousy lodge in Syanje. We were dead tired and it was getting dark so we had to stay there. No electricity, no shower, no hot water, lots of cockroaches and dirty in general. Not even the food was alright, and we are not picky. Hope this not sets the standard for the rest of the trek.
















16/5 2006 Syanje, 1 100 m, Nepal
Lat N 28° 23,25', Long E 84° 24,45'
Today: 95 °F ( 35 °C)
16 May 2006
41350 km

In Nepal threre does not exist something called flat ground. It is up or down. The trails are rocky and/or slippery. On top of this it is very hot. Today we had about +35° C. But on the other hand there are lots to see, beautiful scenery, snowcapped mountains and small mountain villages.

In the villages we can buy all we need. Today we got washing detergent and clothes pegs. We need to wash up some sweaty clothes.
















17/5 2006 Tal, 1 700 m, Nepal
Lat N 28° 28,02', Long E 84° 22,38'
Today: 86 °F ( 30 °C)
17 May 2006
41350 km

Today we felt big and strong. We made two days of walking in one. Our plan was to go to Danagyu at 2 300 meter. Already after four hours we were there, so we decided to go to the next village. Lata Manga Village turned out to be completely deserted and we had to continue to the next village Chamne another two hours away. A great part of the trail crossed steep lands slides . We guess that is the reason why many houses and villages were abounded.

Even if it turned out to be a long trekking day with eight hours of walking, a 1 000 meter climb and a 17 kilometer walk, it was a great day of trekking!

One of the reasons we felt big and strong was probably the heavy breakfast and the hearty Nepali Dal Bhat we had for lunch.

We come across ACAP – Anapurna Conservation Area Permit offices along the route. At every single office we have to register. We need to tell them were we come from and were we are going.

After a long day of walking we checked in to the Shangri-La Lodge. We got us a chilled beer, a hot shower and room with good standard and attached toilet. While we were sipping our nice cold beer the clouds scattered and showed us the beautiful snowcapped mountains they had been hiding. Life is great, isn’t it?












18/5 2006 Chamne, 2 670 m, Nepal
Lat N 28° 33,00', Long E 84° 14,73'
Today: 77 °F ( 25 °C)
18 May 2006
41350 km

Short day today, only five hours walking and a 530 meter climb to Lower Pisang. Our plan was to go further, but during our lunch it started to rain heavily. The decision to stay the night in Lower Pisang was easy.

To minimize the big mountain of mineral water bottles the tourists create, we always try to fill up our bottles at the ”Safe Drinking Water Stations” along the route. The money goes directly to the villages, and they are used to develop things within the community.
























19/5 2006 Pisang, 3 200 m, Nepal
Lat N 28° 36,87', Long E 84° 08,88'
Today: 62.6 °F ( 17 °C)
19 May 2006
41350 km

Another lovely trekking day between Pisang at 3 200 meter and Manang at 3 540 meter. It is getting hard to mange to wear the right amount of clothes . One second there is very sunny and hot and the next second cold winds are sweeping down the snowcapped mountains surrounding us.

Had lunch at a great place; Baraga Superrestaurant & Bakery . Excellent home made pasta in the middle of nowhere. This is the best meal we have had in weeks!

In Manang we saw that the voluntary organization Himalayan Rescue Association Nepal was throwing a lecture about AMS - Acute Mountain Sickness. This was highly interesting for us since we are going to climb from 3 500 meter to 5 400 meter within a couple of days. It turned out to be the last lecture in the season and that we were the only audience.

The American female doctor gave us a very interesting lecture. When over 3 000 meter one should never climb more than 500 meter per twenty-four hours. Every fourth day one should have an acclimatization day. The first signs of AMS are headache, nausea, lack of appetite and tiredness – it feels a bit like a hangover. If this happens one should stay at the altitude to acclimatize. Usually it takes only a day or two. When the symptoms disappears one can continue the ascend.

But if the early symptoms get worse one have to descend immediately until the symptoms give away. Often is enough to ascend as little as 500 - 1 000 meter. This condition is called HACE – High Altitude Cerebral Edema and can lead to unconsciousness and death within 12 hours.

20/5 2006 Manang, 3 500 m, Nepal # Lat N 28° 39,85', Long E 84° 01,52'# 238650# 13# 3#

Nice day! We walked in a really slow pace and didn’t even get sweaty or breathless. It was such a short trek to Letdar, only ten kilometers and 700 meter climb. We would like to walk a bit further today but the AMS recommendations are not to climb mote than 500 meter a day.

We had an extraordinary experience today. We got the opportunity to study 15-20 vultures eating of a dead horse in a steep slope. Had no idea that the vultures were that big! When they fly over our heads with their big wings we could hear a swooshing sound.

Next experience was to meet the Yaks. They use them to make cheese, milk and for the meat.

In the evening we played cards. It was freezing inside and we had to wear all clothes we had even indoors.






















20/5 2006 Manang, 3 500 m, Nepal
Lat N 28° 39,85', Long E 84° 01,52'
Today: 55.4 °F ( 13 °C)
20 May 2006
41350 km

Nice day! We walked in a really slow pace and didn’t even get sweaty or breathless. It was such a short trek to Letdar, only ten kilometers and 700 meter climb. We would like to walk a bit further today but the AMS recommendations are not to climb mote than 500 meter a day.

We had an extraordinary experience today. We got the opportunity to study 15-20 vultures eating of a dead horse in a steep slope. Had no idea that the vultures were that big! When they fly over our heads with their big wings we could hear a swooshing sound.

Next experience was to meet the Yaks . They use them to make cheese, milk and for the meat.

In the evening we played cards . It was freezing inside and we had to wear all clothes we had even indoors.
















21/5 2006 Letdar, 4 200 m, Nepal
Lat N 28° 44,36', Long E 83° 58,37'
Today: 41 °F ( 5 °C)
21 May 2006
41350 km

It was cold as hell last night. We slept wearing a cap, muffler and fleece sweater and fleece trousers. There was no heater at all at the lodge. When it is only +5° C and you have no were to go get warm you get frozen stiff in just a short while.

We know starting to feel the height, this far only some harmless symptoms. Catharina’s face has gotten a bit puffy. This is usually a thing that affects women. Bert´s breathing was clearly irregular during the night. He took 4-5 breaths and then stopped breathing for the longest time, and then it all started all over again. This kept going on all night. If we didn’t have known that this is a harmless side effect on high altitude we would have gotten a bit scared.

Today we went all the way to Thorung Pedi, right below the Thorung pass that we are going to cross tomorrow. It took us two hours and we covered 350 meter climb. After a second breakfast we decided to continue up to High Camp at 4 877 meter. This will make tomorrow one hour shorter. And tomorrow is a really tough day with 8,5 hours of walking over the pass.

But we were a bit concerned about climbing another 350 meter today, because both of us felt a slight headache and a slight nausea; the first signs of AMS. After discussing it for a while we decided to go on. We realized that it would take us just one hour to get down from High Camp to Thorung Pedi if the symptoms would get worse.

By the way, today we have been out traveling for one year exactly.






















22/5 2006 High Camp Thorung La, 4 800 m, Nepal
Lat N 28° 44,97', Long E 83° 58,07'
Today: 32 °F ( 0 °C)
22 May 2006
41350 km

This was the toughest day of the trek. Today we were up and away already at 6 AM. Crossing the Thorung La pass at 5 416 meter was today’s mission. The 600 meter climb from High Camp to Thorung La took us 3 hours. And still we already had made a one hour climb extra yesterday.

At this altitude our bodies can assimilate only 50% of the oxygen in the air. The less oxygen in our bodies makes our climb more difficult. As long as the trail is flat or descending it is ok, but as soon as there is just a slightest ascend we loose our breath in an instant. We take five steps and then we stop to catch our breath again, then five more steps, and then a rest again. This is the way it goes all the way to the top.

All the way up we were walking in the clouds, hoping they would go away once we got up there. The view is supposed to be awesome. Unfortunately we did not get to see it for ourselves. The clouds did not go away and we could not wait for better weather. We had a long, steep and exhausting walk ahead of us down to Muktinath at 1 616 meter.

It was great to know that the doctor team from the Himalayan Rescue Association Nepal was on our heels all the way. The Manang clinic closed for the season two days ago and they were now heading back to the “civilization”. We run in to them now and then during the day, and had a break at the teahouse at the top with them .

Tired and satisfied after a long trekking day we arrived in Muktinath. We saw a a Russian MI 8:a coming in for landing. We got both got a stroke of nostalgia, thinking about the good old times in our Skydive club in Sundsvall. For several years in the early -90:ties our club rented Russian MI 8 helicopters for skydiving at our two week summer camp. We just got to fly the MI 8:a again, we thought and rushed to talk to the pilot. Unfortunately they were going to Katmandu. But why not, we can drop you in Pokhara if you want. We can always say that we need to fuel up. We agreed on the price, 50 $US each. That was still cheaper than to fly from Jomson. One hour later we landed in Pokhara .

Our trek came to an abrupt ending. We had four days left, but we could not resist to get a ride in a Russian MI 8:a again. Trekking we can always do later.








23/5 2006 Pokhara, Nepal
Lat N 28° 14,16', Long E 83° 54,40'
Today: 84.2 °F ( 29 °C)
23 May 2006
41350 km

Big laundry day and resting day. Now we don’t need to be cold anymore. Down here in Pokhara it is sunny and about +30°.

Check out the bottle. We finished this bottle at the Thorung La pass at 5 416 meter. This is what it looks like don here below 1 000 meter.








24/5 2006 Pokhara, Nepal
Lat N 28° 14,16', Long E 83° 54,40'
Today: 87.8 °F ( 31 °C)
24 May 2006
41350 km

Today Ester and Jan from Germany arrived back from their trek to Anapurna Base Camp. Ester and Jan are old friends from Agonda beach in Goa. They showed up here right after we left for our trek.










25/5 2006 Pokhara, Nepal
Lat N 28° 14,16', Long E 83° 54,40'
Today: 89.6 °F ( 32 °C)
25 May 2006
41350 km

We took the bus in to town today. We had to wait for several hours due to road works.

We have now decided to make a ten day trek to the Anapurna Base Camp at 4 095 meter. Rumors say that it is a hard trek with a lot of stairs up and down. But we feel strong now after the two previous treks.

To get past the road work tomorrow we rented a motorbike for 4 $US.




















26/5 2006 Pokhara, Nepal
Lat N 28° 14,16', Long E 83° 54,40'
Today: 91.4 °F ( 33 °C)
26 May 2006
41350 km

Took the bike to Pokhara. From there we took a taxi to Nayapul. In Birethani we stopped for lunch. At the bridge in Birethani we were supposed to cross the Maoists set up a bridge block. We really didn’t fell like paying the Maoists 13 $US per person to go trekking in the Himalayas. Instead we found another way not having to cross the bridge. Why do people agree pay Maoists? This is like steeling.

It was a hard day with lots of stairs. We stopped for the night in New Bridge. The last hours was the most exhausting. We discovered that we were in “Leeches land”. They came crawling from everywhere as soon as we stopped to get a breath. Leeches likes a damp and warm environment. They lure in the shade hidden in wet dead leaves on the ground and in the vegetation along the trail, just waiting to attach you.

They are really fast. It takes them only five to ten seconds to get in your boots and they bite right through your socks. Absolutely disgusting creatures!

To minimize the risk of getting bitten, our tactics was to more or less run through Leeches land. If we hardly touch the ground they will have a hard time catching us. We only stopped to take a breath when we found a big rock to stand on. Then we could see if a leech was coming at us. Even though we were really careful we had a bunch of leeches climbing our boots, but luckily none of us got bitten.














27/5 2006 New Bridge, Nepal
Lat N 28° 24,07', Long E 83° 49,25'
Today: 86 °F ( 30 °C)
27 May 2006
41350 km

Yesterday was a hard day but it was nothing compared to today. Stairs up an down all day. Hard work! ! For example between Jhinu Danda and Chomrong, a 400 meter climb strait up. Check out the angle and you will realize what we are talking about.

Today we also have had a fast phase trying not to get bitten by Leeches. The higher we climb the less the risk is. We stopped in Chomrong to buy tobacco . It is the only way to keep Leeches at a distance.

Up here it is probably even to steep for the donkeys too. Everything is carried by man up here. We even saw a man carrying a 200 liter water heater on his back. In Chomrong we saw a woman drying noodles on her roof.




















28/5 2006 Bamboo, Nepal
Lat N 28° 29,22', Long E 83° 51,62'
Today: 71.6 °F ( 22 °C)
28 May 2006
41350 km

Today we went strait for Anapurna Base Camp, a 1 800 meter climb and a 14 kilometer distance. We have never walked this far. Hight and distance converted means 32 kilometers in a day. It took us 9,5 hour actual walking time.

Normally it takes six days up to Anapurna Base Camp. We make it in three days. It is tough, but there is equally tough work to do it in twice the time, it just more drawn out. We feel like we are more fit and stronger than our first trek!

All day we walked through a gigantic cloud. Already at Himalaya Hotel at 2 920 meters we went in the cloud that lasted all the way up to Anapurna Base Camp at 4 095 meters. We could only see 20-50 meters and had no idea what things looked like along our way. Onece in a while the small villages just showed up from nowhere.

Arriving at Anapurna Base Camp the clouds went away. Cool to be right in the pot – completely surrounded by 6 000 – 8 000 meters snowcapped mountains. At this time of year one can not count on see all of it at the same time, but we did see them all one at the time. It started with Machhapuchhre (6 993 m) then Anapurna I (8 091 m), Anapurna South (7 219 m), Anapurna III (7 555 m). All of it was crowned with a nice sunset view over Gangapurna (6 248 m). Impressive!


















29/5 2006 Anapurna Base Camp, Nepal
Lat N 28° 31,85', Long E 83° 52,65'
Today: 68 °F ( 20 °C)
29 May 2006
41350 km

Got up alredy at five. Yesterday we met a Nepalese guy offering us to come with him up to Tarpu Chuli at 5 663 meters. He was going there to look for ropes, ice screws etcetera that the international climber’s expedition left. Unfortunately the weather was not very good in the morning and we declined his offer.

Yesterday we walked in the clouds all day, but today the weather was a little bit better and we could see the landscape and the valleys. Between Machhapuchhre Base Camp and Anapurna Base Camp the terrain looks very much like in Sweden with green fields, murmuring streams, buttercups , cowslips , wild strawberry , ferns and mountain birches. A bit surprising we thought. It is the climate rather than the continent that decides the vegetation. But there are some big differences . We do not have bamboo woods and wild orchids at home.

When we got closer to ”Leeches land” again we greased our boots in the tobacco we bought before. The Leeches didn’t disappear. Instead they got a bit confused and were easier for us to kill.

Today we walked all the way to Jhinu Danda. Completely warn out we hit the bunk after a Dal Bhat and a hot shower. We had been walking for 11 hours. We now feel like real ”hard core trekkers”.














30/5 2006 Jhinu Danda, Nepal
Lat N 28° 24,54', Long E 83° 49,46'
Today: 68 °F ( 20 °C)
30 May 2006
41350 km

Fith day; all the way from Jhinu Danda to Phedi, a distance of 18 kilometers. First we had to climb 800 meters and then go down 1 000 meters. A lot of steps!

In New Bridge they were preparing for a big party. Today was an opening for a brand new suspension bridge. We were definitely one of the first people crossing it early this morning. All day we met men and women in their Sunday’s best heading for the party from surrounding villages.

When we reached the tarmac road to Pokhara after a ten hours walk we were exhausted and very pleased. The Anapurna Base Camp Trek was really a test of our strength and endurance. We made the trek in five days instead of ten – well done, we think!

This was our third trek in Himalaya. We started out with a four ay trek to check out the terrain, the maps and our fitness. After that we made the Anapurna Circut Trek in eight days to finish with the Anapurna Base Camp trek in five days. All and all we have been out trekking for seventeen days in Himalaya in the last month.

It works perfectly to trek without a porter or a guide in Nepal. We have been walking on the trails between villages and stayed at lodges along the way. There are no more than two hours between villages were you find water and food. Trekking in Nepal is highly recommended.










31/5 2006 Pokhara, Nepal
Lat N 28° 14,16', Long E 83° 54,40'
Today: 91.4 °F ( 33 °C)
31 May 2006
41350 km

Nice to be at home again, in the car. Now we are going to rest, make laundry and prepare for leaving Nepal. The heat and humidity is very demanding. The monsoon starts in June, with the highest rainfall in the year. So, it is really time to leave now.

All overland travelers living here are preparing to leave for northern India within this week. The cool mountains in Ladak Leh is were we all go.














1/6 2006 Pokhara, Nepal
Lat N 28° 14,16', Long E 83° 54,40'
Today: 87.8 °F ( 31 °C)
01 Jun 2006
41350 km

Our campsite is like a small zoo. Here we find lizards , dragonflys , butterflys and the chickens are pecking around our car. The lawn cutter is cheep and old fashioned.














2/6 2006 Pokhara, Nepal
Lat N 28° 14,16', Long E 83° 54,40'
Today: 93.2 °F ( 34 °C)
02 Jun 2006
41350 km

Today we leave Pokhara to go to India. We travel together with Christian and Elisabeth that are also traveling the same direction. Before Leaving town Debbie guides us to the supermarket. We wanted to buy the things we knew were hard to find in India such as hard cheese, cream and stock cubes. It was also our last chance in a while getting brown bread.

Wild camped along the way. Christian and Elizabeth invited us for dinner. We got Austrian potato salad, cabbage salad and fried sausage. It tasted very European!
















3/6 2006 Wild Camp before Butwal, Nepal
Lat N 27° 47,00', Long E 83° 30,00'
Today: 86 °F ( 30 °C)
03 Jun 2006
41512 km

Perfect weather for driving, +30° C, cloudy and rain. The roads are pretty good but very twisty. To Mahendragar it is 700 kilometers. The first two hours we had an average speed of 30 kilometers per hour. So we are guarantied not to get to the border today.

The plains and the fields are completely soaked by water. The monsoon starts this month. If it looks like this already, one wonder what it will look like in a couple of month’s of rain. We found a great population of big, noisy, bright yellow toads living in the soaked fields along the road.

Today we drove through our first flooded stream. It was exciting. We have been discussing how deep waters we can mange with our SAAB. This stream was luckily no problem for us.

We are getting closer to India. The people look more Indian than Nepali down here. Also the discreet Nepali curiosity is gone. Here it is more like in Pakistan. As soon as we stop our car gets surrounded by people. When we stopped to cook dinner the local bus stopped too. Everybody got out taking a look at us. After ten minutes they all jumped in again and drove away.












4/6 2006 Wild Camp, Nepal
Lat N 28° 47,31', Long E 80° 42,64'
Today: 89.6 °F ( 32 °C)
04 Jun 2006
41908 km

We are now back in the intense and chaotic India. The difference is significant. As soon as we passed the border there were people, more vehicles, more animals and more of everything.

Today we came across another Monsoon flooding. But this time we did not even try to cross it. It was by far too much water. Not even by the help of a tractor pulling us over we wanted to try it. Instead we made an 80 kilometer diversion to get across to the other side.