Trekking in Nepal
Both India and Nepal are places I thought I would never travel to but both are places I cannot imagine not traveling to. Nepal was a much more intense experience than India but for reasons I did not expect.
On the surface your first impression of Kathmandu is that this is like India—noisy, crowded, dirty, chaotic. Both countries share those qualities. Nepal is different. For me it feels old even ancient in places but where India feels like it has always been this way and will in some way continue to be old Nepal feels as if it is in the process of transformation. It is not really something you can put your finger on precisely. It is almost as if Nepal woke up yesterday and discovered the outside world had set up shop overnight and it was time to catch up. India on the other hand has been awake to this for a longer period of time. The old parts of Nepal feel fresher—newer old if that makes any sense. In Kathmandu you can find all the western world intruders—restaurants, brands, stores—and all that but they have a tentative hold and are there for the tourists so that can feel they have not fully left home.
Leave home and travel.
My time in Kathmandu was very short at the start of the trip as I flew out the next day to Pokhara—a short 25 minute flight or a 3 day bus drive. We flew along the foot hills of the Himalayas and saw next to nothing as there were heavy clouds covering all but a couple of peaks that thurst up out of the clouds.
In Pokhara we prepped for the 10-day trek I was there for. A bit of shopping to get ready along with a first-time paragliding experience (drop in a bit of video).
We took a bus to zxxx to begin the trek. We had guides from Three Sisters (add in link) who carried a portion of our loads. I learned quickly that I had over teched (too much camera gear!). We hiked for the morning under sunny skies, stopped for lunch and then hiked for the rest of the day in pouring rain and fog. In fact when I finally arrived at the guest house I could only see the ground a few feet ahead of me. I had no idea where the guest house was but in most places the trail goes through the center of the village and you cannot miss the guest houses. The fog cleared just before dark and the sky at night was clear and filled with stars (insert night shot)
A trek in Nepal is just that—a trek. You walk all day from place to place stopping for lunch. The group breaks up with the faster walkers jetting out to the front. I was back walker as I stopped often to take photos. A guide stays with you all the time.