Goodbye Nepal

Posted: November 10th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: travel | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

I am sitting in what might be the fourth pre-departure area in the Kathmandu airport, waiting on SpiceJet Flight 046 to Delhi, which will mark the beginning of a month in India. I’ve spent just over a month here in Nepal, a week navigating the bureaucracy of getting an Indian visa, I learned how to kayak in a fast moving river and surprisingly didn’t capsize when going through Class 3 rapids, and I climbed up to where the air is thin well over 5000 meters above sea level.

To anyone thinking about visiting Nepal, I say do it, there’s tons to do and to be honest there’s a part of me that wants to stay and maybe do some mountain biking, or perhaps rafting instead of kayaking, or even to visit the everest region for more trekking.

If you’re thinking of doing the Annapurna Circuit (and I really recommend you put it on your bucket list) I would add to go either sooner, or ten years from now. The reason is that they’re building a road right where substantial portions of the trekking route lies, and I expect that in 5 years they’ll have blacktop road to most of the remote towns which will change their character irreversibly, so go in the next couple years to see the towns before easier access changes them. If you can’t, then wait even longer for them to establish new trekking trails, otherwise your trek will be for substantial portions on a road. I’m pretty confident once the road is in they’ll prioritize new footpaths, there’s too much money at stake from the tourism to do otherwise.

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Oh, and a wholehearted recommendation for Paddle Nepal, they were a great outfit and I had an awesome time (once I could consistently figure out how to get my kayak to go in a straight line) going through progressively difficult rapids on the lower seti river.

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Finally even though I hated the pollution and noise of Kathmandu, a big shout out to the walking tours in the Lonely Planet. I’ve had mixed experiences with these walking tours before, but this one was gold. It really revealed all the quiet spots that lurk hidden within the chaos of the city, sometimes it’s as simple as stooping down through a low doorway and all of a sudden you’re in an oasis of peace and quite with a giant stuppa covered with prayer flags.

click the photo for full album


2 Comments on “Goodbye Nepal”

  1. 1 Lina said at 2:08 am on January 6th, 2014:

    Hi. Thank you for posting this!!! I am actually looking to book the Nepal tour through GA adventures and have been doing a ton of research. I keep running into really mixed reviews for this company, but from your blog and pics I can tell it was an amazing trip. I was thinking of doing a two week trip to Nepal, including the GA tour, in the month of March. Could you give me any tips/ recommendations/ advise on what to see and do in my ten days?

  2. 2 Darren Chartier said at 9:20 am on January 6th, 2014:

    The reason for the mixed reviews is that how much fun you have will depend a huge amount on how good your tour leader is and the group you end up with. But if you go in with a good attitude you’ll have fun no matter what.

    I’m not sure if you have two weeks with GA and 10 days on your own, or just 10 days total. If 10 days total just read the trip notes carefully and plan to do as many optional activities as your budget/energy allow. You will get tired at altitude unless you’re from altitude.

    If you have 10 days on top of your 2 weeks with GA, I’d really recommend the kayaking clinic if you’re adventurous, or if that’s too much perhaps renting a motorcycle in pokkara and exploring that area (something I wanted to do but didn’t get around to). If crunched on time I really recommend the walking tour of kathmandu in the lonely planet guide to nepal,

    Have fun 🙂


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