Nepal Reflection – Mountain Top experience

Nepal Reflection – Mountain Top experience

As I read the request for ‘Mountain Top’ experiences, I reflected about my trip to Nepal in February to March this year. Not quite the ‘Mountain Top’ experience to which you may be referring, but I thought I would share it anyway.

The planning for our trek began early in 2019 after a group of friends and I completed the ‘Three Capes Track’ in Tasmania and we thought let’s do something bigger! 

So, the plan to trek in Nepal started to take shape and with leave applied for and locked in, the anticipation grew as the time for our departure grew closer. There were concerns with COVID19, as it was becoming a big issue around the world, but we would be OK. 

A small group of us set off from Australia in late February. Many of us have known each other for 20 plus years and some not so long. We arrived in Kathmandu a couple of days early, to get a feel for Nepal and to get out body clocks into sync with the time zone. The area that we stayed in Kathmandu was a vibrant but somewhat run-down tourist area.

We caught a flight on Buddha Air to Pokhara and commenced our trek. 

As it was Spring, the weather was lovely and clear in the mornings, but from midday on the weather would come in with rain, hail or snow depending on the altitude. As such the ‘window’ for the walking was reduced and we needed to beat the weather to reach the next teahouse. Sometimes we would beat the weather but sometimes we did not, but fortunately we were prepared with appropriate clothing and gear.

The teahouses were often ‘rustic’ and as such we often wore many layers of clothing inside even though we were close to the fire! The food whilst also ‘rustic’ was ample and nutritious. Our hosts at the Tea Houses were always happy and obliging.

In the remote areas we were able to experience Nepalese culture and were fortunate to participate in the Holi celebrations.

So, on reflection, what were my ‘Mountain Top Experiences’?

  1. Ten days prior to leaving Australia a friend had passed away from a heart attack as a result of an asthma attack. We had a mountain top memorial to reflect on and celebrate Margie’s life. 

So, never Take Life for Granted – I have had many ‘best days of my life moments’ and they will continue, so live life to its fullest.

2. On our return to Kathmandu, due to COVID19 the Nepalese Government was closing its borders the next day. 

The previously vibrant area that we were staying now had many shops closed and those open were desperate to sell their goods at any price. 

The small family-run trekking company that supported us, just had a group of twenty trekkers cancel as they were not able to leave England. This would be a massive loss for it, as it employs brothers, cousins and in-laws. 

There is no welfare or social security payments in Nepal, the people need to work to provide for their families. So, in Australia we live in a very privileged society where our government is in a position to look after those less fortunate. 

So, we are privileged and there is no place like home.

3. Standing on what seems to be the top of the world, the realisation that we are nothing more than a speck in the magnificent landscape. 

So, it is a beautiful World and we need to look after it.

A wonderful trip with good friends that will leave me with memories to add to ’the best days of my life’!