Keep watching for our daily blogs once we hit the road.

Also see our Trek cam images

Our journey ends

My gorgeous husband, David, made a surprise visit to meet Mitch and I in Kuala Lumpur. He arrived three days before us and checked out the best places to eat and drink, and had settled in nicely beside the hotel pool.

Mitch spent one night and headed back to see his girlfriend in Melbourne, leaving David and I on an unexpected romantic short holiday together.

I checked in beside David at the hotel pool soaking up the warmth, dipping in and out of the water, enjoying a Tiger beer and handful of rambutans, the exotic, red prickly fruit. We ambled the streets, found the night hawkers markets and the piece de resistance ‘cheap foot massages’. Yah, my heaven on earth!

It was unexpected. It was lovely. It was the much needed recharge station before we headed home to Melbourne to brace for Christmas and all the preparations.

What an adventure this trip has been.

Travel leaves me exhausted temporarily. But as I say to Mitch, travel is the only thing you can spend money on that makes you richer…


Oh! I forgot to mention Air Asia has the most wonderful flat beds you can enjoy for a little bit extra.

Until our next adventure, thanks for joining us from the comfort of your lounge chair…

PS. There are two outstanding videos: the helicopter flight and the bungy jump. Both are fabulous and Mitch is about to load them. Please understand they are competing with a beautiful, much-missed girlfriend, exam results (which were fabulous), and the euphoria surrounding both! Come back in two days.

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Namaste from Nepal

Day 14: Kathmandu

On our last day in Kathmandu we got lost in the labyrinth of streets in Thamel, the tourist area. We were forever challenging one another on where we were, and what was around the next corner, with great amusement. We enjoyed the last minute bartering with the locals, buying cashmere, some yak wool shawls and trinkets to take home with us.

Mitch walks beside me now with confidence. Gone are the insecurities and the frowns, for his is quietly comfortable with the hustle, grime and noise of Kathmandu now. Like me he finds the city interesting. We share a few laughs over the disorder, the wild pace of the town, nearly getting bowled over in the streets by cars and motorcycles and avoid the cow dung on the roads. We have a good laugh as we walk past the office of the traffic police. Not sure what they do! The vendors open up early and try enticing us to part with our money. Mitch understands the game and at one point stares down a bag seller who thinks twice at short changing him.

There is a rhythm here. It may be chaotic but it works.

We both appreciate Melbourne and feel blessed it is our permanent home. Mitch looks forward to the familiar and the comforts he has always taken for granted. We both look forward to clean water from the tap, rather than bottled water that must be sterilised and filtered and hot showers. Neither of us could imagine a life lived in Kathmandu or Nepal. I will not miss the dust and Mitch says he can happily live without the blaring car horns and impatient drivers. Fortunately, neither of us has succumbed to Nepalese belly.

We chat about our journey and Mitchell reflects on the highlights for him: great food; access to 3G in such a remote area of the world; he enjoyed the walking and the serenity of the Himalayas; was overwhelmed by the scale of the mountains; and the bungy jump was beyond description.

Our motto, ‘life being outside your comfort zone’ has been very apt for this trip. Nothing could have really prepared Mitch for the encounters and he now understands what third world countries are. He thought the trekking would be harder and the food much worse. One day he hopes to return and experience more of the Himalayas, through more mature eyes, and with someone else special in his life. (That doesn’t mean I wasn’t special!) He loves that he can say, unlike many people on this earth, that he has seen Mt Everest, the tallest mountain on earth, and it will be something he treasures for his lifetime.

I am so glad I took him on this journey. It has been a delight to expose Mitch to a life previous unknown or appreciated, and watch him grow.

Ganga from Nepal Hiking Team once again meets us and organises for us to get to the airport on time. He has been a reliable constant with a big smiling face to boot. Today he presented us with a Nepalese shawl as a goodbye token. When we first arrived it was a marigold lei around our necks – Small unexpected rituals that make Nepal and it’s people something special.







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Shopping and jumping off bridges

Day 12 / 13 In and around Kathmandu

We had two unexpected, fun filled days in and around Kathmandu.

We spent one day doing a bit of retail therapy, bartering at every corner. Mitch bought himself a couple of yak wool jumpers and a cashmere jumper and I got some Tibetan CDs. The cashmere is more expensive than I hoped but I will indulge in one or two items, as well as some yak wool blankets. The trek gear is particularly cheap and there is a great array of cotton embroidery clothes, pillow cases and rugs. There is plenty of jewellery, scarves and knick knacks. After walking our feet off we took a rickshaw back to the hotel.

Mitch’s greatest dream had been to do a bungy jump and it just happens that Nepal has one of the biggest jumps in the world. It is a 160 metre jump from a swaying suspension bridge into a tropical gorge near the Tibetan border.

The Last Resort is the adventure capital and has a bungee, a giant swing from the same suspension bridge, canyoning, white water rafting and a high ropes course. It is 12 km from the Tibetan border and a three hours drive, or 100km, from Kathmandu. The resort is set amidst terraced slopes suspended on a high cliff top gorge. The only way to the resort is to cross the suspension bridge. This was a task in itself.

We had a little Suzuki and driver for the incredible journey up to the resort. The roads were a ride in themselves, covered in pot holes, hanging perilously above a raging river, passing through Nepalese villages and eventually the bitumen just ran out. We needed a four wheel drive, and had a good shake down both up and back. We passed through seven police check points along the way and had to stop while they searched the car and asked about us. One police man was a bit enamoured with the Australians and got Mitch to wind down his window before running his hand up and down Mitch’s face. He was a bit freaked out and found it very unsettling, much to my amusement.



Mitch had been quite nervous about his bungy jump in the days before. However once we arrived we had to wait three hours before he could jump. They categorise the jumpers by weight. So by the time it was his turn, he was pumped and excited. He met some fun German guys on the bridge and they had a good laugh and calmed each other’s nerves. Then when it was his turn he just walked out and did the most amazing swan dive. I couldn’t see the bottom of the fall from the viewing point but could hear his squeals of delight! A video was taken and he wore his Gopro mounted to his chest, so in the next couple of days we will load them for you to enjoy. (when he gets round to it)

I had planned to make the big swing, but after feeling uncomfortable on suspension bridges in the Everest region, I was very happy to forgo the idea. I enjoyed laying In the sun on a lounge chair and hearing the energy in the voices of the jumpers and adrenalin junkies that were staying at the resort, or like us had popped in for the day.

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Back to civilisation

Day 10-11: Lukla to Kathmandu

We left Lukla white-knuckled as the little plane tore down the runway on a 30 degrees angle like we were on a roller coaster. At the end of the runway was a huge ravine and thank goodness the plane lifted off! I think it was worse than landing as the pilot has to get it right. There are no second chances.

Thirty minutes later we touched down in Kathmandu once again. Welcome back to the hustle, bustle, dust and honking horns.

We had a lazy rest of the day soaking up a bit of luxury in our hotel. Steam room and spa for a long overdue clean. Then a wonderful massage to soothe those aching muscles. Room service and a good movie completed the day. Mitch was very excited about sleeping in sheets rather than a sleeping bag too.


Reflecting on our trek, we decided there are three types of trekkers: 1/ polite trekkers who greet you with ‘namaste’ or ‘hello’; 2/ those too exhausted to say anything and who walk past without acknowledging you; 3/ those who tell you that you have a long way to go as they walk past on their way downhill. Mitch calls them the ‘smart a***s’. A lot of the time when you are walking you don’t talk, either because you are too exhausted or you are in your own world, lost in your own thoughts. It is lovely to have the time to let your mind wander.

All trekkers in Nepal are required to register and report, and we past many checkpoints along the way. It is reassuring.

There were a couple of key things we took that were invaluable: heat pack, good boots and socks, water bottle with filters, thermals, gloves, our Ugg boots and a few Mars bars. There were also a few things we could have taken such as a towel, another set of thermals and other set of clothes.

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Hot off the press

Mitchell survives 160m bungy jump in Nepal! ( one of the highest in the world) photos and video will be loaded in next couple of hours

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Heading down the mountain

Day 9 Namche to Lukla

The high altitude has affected my lungs and made them very sore. Walking has been hard and we hoped a couple of rest days might have helped settle them. Unfortunately, this meant I could not walk down the mountain.

Instead we took a chopper and it was an unexpected highlight. We flew with our guide and Sherpa down through the valley we had walked up days earlier. It gives such a different perspective, Mitch videoed the short flight, so look for it in trek cam. (when he gets round to loading it :) )


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Rest day at Namche

We spent a quiet, relaxing day in Namche soaking up village life. Not a lot goes on I might add.

The ladies wash clothes in the stream that runs through the village. The ponies, dogs, jap q and chickens roam the stone streets going nowhere in particular, but sometimes one latches on and follows you around for a while. Nobody takes much notice unless one of the animals tries to enter a shop and then there are terse words. Kids play with a make-shift frisbee, a man cuts another’s hair in the street and there’s a handful of trekkers and monks walking through.

The shop keepers tout for business and you dare not look at anything unless you want a negotiation to start, There are bells to buy, pashminas, yak blankets and shawls, turquoise and silver jewellery, t-shirts and trekking gear.

There are also a host of bars, bakeries, a pool hall, ATM, book stores, Internet cafés, pharmacy, post office and massage centre. There are many hotels or tea houses. But that is about all in this thriving little village on top of the mountains.

After breakfast of apple pancakes and milk tea and porridge and hot chocolate for Mitch, we read books, took a wander and idled the hours away. The sun still shines but we have noticed how damn cold it gets here when the sun sinks below the nearby mountain tops.








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Lunch with Everest

Day 7: Namche Bazaar day trek

Mitch and I lunched on the terrace of the Everest View Hotel which is at 3880 metres. We were there with a Russian, Australians, Polish man, Japanese waiters and our Nepalese guide and we devoured spaghetti bolognaise! Mitch’s coke was 400 rupee or about $4.40. The vodka and gin were 280 rupees or $3 per shot. The only reason we didn’t order a shot was the long and treacherous walk we faced back down to Namche Bazaar


The Japanese hotel is very classy and very zen, and looks like a ski resort. It has the most amazing views and we sat there in the glorious sunshine and soaked it all up.

This region of Nepal has four of the world’s tallest mountains and they appear like a frozen fortress. The peaks of Everest 8848′ lhotse 8516′ peak 38 at 7500′ Ama Dablam 6856, Kantega 6685′ Thamserku 6604′ and Kusum Kangarou 6367 were in view. It was breathtaking and the highlight of our adventure. This might actually be as close as you get to nirvana on earth. At least for me anyway.

Mitch’s idea of nirvana was noticing we got 3G on the iPad which meant he could get an update on the cricket scores and Facebook his friends.

The area is all part of the Sagarmatha National Park which extends over 1148sq km and is recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site of outstanding universal value. Apparently it is a refuge for musk deer, red pandas, snow leopard, Himalayan tahr and many spectacular types of pheasant. We saw a yak. Actually we saw a few yaks glued to the terraced hillsides.




The two hour trek up was really tough for Mitch. I spent the best $50USD ever and hired myself a horse. I might have saved my legs and lungs but got the scariest ride of my life. The track in some places was about three to four feet wide with a drop hundreds of metres to the side. The horse man walked behind me whipping the horse’s rump. I balanced as best as I could and closed my eyes on so many occasions. I kept wishing he would stop hitting the horse in case he got grumpy and bucked me off.

Thankfully, I only organised the ride up the mountain as it would have been even more hair-raising had I came down on horseback. It took us two and a half hours to walk down and it was incredibly unsettling. It was like walking off the edge of the earth and I felt giddy. I thought I had conquered my fear of heights, but not to be. Despite this, it was unbelievably spectacular.

On the way back we stopped to visit a Sherpa museum and a photo gallery that honors all the people that have climbed Everest. This year the oldest man to conquer the summit was 81 year old Japanese man. Mitch and I concurred the neither of us has a desire to climb mountains.



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To rest or not to rest

Day 6: Namche Bazaar

Oh, such an easy conundrum! I decided to rest today. The uphill five and a half hour trek yesterday was exhausting, so I decided to stay put and enjoy Namche Bazaar. Mitch on the other hand relished the idea of testing the limits of his body.

Mitch and Lal took to the trails at a cracking pace. They climbed to the village of Kumjung at 3780m, that’s 340 metres uphill via Syangboche, the highest airport in the world. The normally three and three quarter hour round trip was completed in two and a quarter hours – and that included sightseeing. I think Mitch’s competitive nature came to the fore and he was keen to see just how quick Laal was on his feet. The poor guy had patiently inched his way up the mountain with me the precious day! Mitch now has a new found respect for Laal and his abilities. So in between the sprint up and back they visited the yak farm, saw the Sir Edmund Hillary school and monument, and visited the Kumjung monastery. The yak head and scriptures in the monastery were something new and left Mitch a little more educated about the importance of spirituality to the Nepalese people.




Mitch said it was the hardest climb he had ever done and was really steep. It was dry, rocky and quite slippery on the way down. He took a video that you can enjoy on the trek cam. He was lucky to get another good view of Everest which is about 20 km away and a host of other impressive snow peaks.

I sat in the sun reading, then embraced village life in Namche. This included the obligatory visit to the famed Namche bakery for ginger tea and cake. I also enjoyed looking at the village souvenirs which included every imaginable piece of trekking gear, pashminas, yak rugs and scarves.



Namche is full of brightly colored houses that cling to the natural horseshoe-shaped amphitheatre. Outside our tea house, which is at the entrance to Namche, sits the Buddhist stupa and prayer flags that whip in the winds that come up from the valley below. The stupas are highly symbolic and serve as a three-dimensional reminder of the Buddha’s path to enlightenment and nirvana.


I came here hoping to relish the silence of these mountains. The streets are blissfully free of cars, the jap q roam freely, you can hear the crows, roosters and bells ringing on the animals. A couple of times a day the silence is punctuated by the whirl of the evacuation helicopters heading down the mountain. They are a stark reminder of the serious vulnerabilities trekkers face in this remote area. Namche sits at an altitude of 3420 metres. The only way out is to walk or take a chopper.

When it gets dark here, it gets really dark and we have been tucked up in bed by 830pm. This lodge is heated. Yah!

We have decided not to trek onto Tyengboche. As Mitch puts it, it’s a lot of hard work! We are waiting to see how I pull up in the morning.


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We are safe and arrived at Namche Bazaar as planned. Our blogs have been delayed due to the valley and wifi coverage was not strong enough to load the photos. Mitch has finished three videos which will be uploaded in the next 12 hours. They are fabulous!

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Tough climb out of the valley

Day 5: Monjo to Namche Bazaar

Last night I wore the following to bed; my thermals, pair of socks, wind cheater, a hat to keep my head warm and mittens for my hands. Mitch was the same. The saving grace has been our heat packs that we get warmed up and tucked into our sleeping bag. It took about half an hour to muster the courage to get up this morning. On the plus side, apart from trekking pants and boots we were already dressed. On the minus, warmth and style are distant memories.

We were the only ones in our lodge last night and madam of the house would not light the fire, so we were cold when we went to bed!

After a warm porridge we headed off early for our long and arduous climb of more than 600 m which should have taken three hours. As our tea house was deep in the valley the sun had not yet cleared the mountain tops so we were rugged up with gloves and extra clothes. There is a bit of ice on the track, the houses had their fires lit and there was a distinctively unpleasant smell wafting in the air. They do not burn wood but collect the jap q dung, and it smelled literally like shit.

The first hour of the trek is quite spectacular as we walk along the edge of the river bed over big boulders. It reminded me of the walk from Halls Gap up along the creek bed to the pinnacle in the Grampains. Then it was up, up and up. We crossed three long suspension bridges and one was incredibly high and hair-raising. I started to get very uncomfortable halfway along it, much to Mitch’s amusement. I kept focus as best I could on the prayer flags tied to the sides that flap in the wind.




Mitch walked ahead with our Sherpa, Padu, today. Actually he is like a mountain goat, jumping from one rocky outcrop to the next. He powered along and found it pretty easy. That was not the case for me. Our guide Lal walked every slow motion step of the way with me as we zig zagged up the hill to Namche Bazaar. We arrived five and a half hours later. I counted my steps, 50 then rest. Sometimes it was 10 and rest. I rounded each corner hoping for a reprieve but the dusty path kept going upwards. My lungs were burning and I could not go any faster.

At one stop Mitch waited an hour for me so we could enjoy looking at Mt Everest for the first time together. I got all emotional and could feel the allure of this majestic giant drawing me closer, despite my struggle.


The town of Namche was a welcome relief and I sat completely drained for the next two hours, unable to talk or move.



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One kilometre per hour

Day 4 Phakding to Monjo

In the morning it is cold in the valley until the sun peeks over the mountain tops. We have decided to sit tight and drink milk tea and read our books this morning. I had a bit of altitude sickness. Headaches are easily fixed with panadol, loss of appetite is a bonus actually, but the nausea and dizziness is a bit unsettling. Just packing my sleeping bag into its cover exhausted me.

We headed off just after lunchtime along an uphill path that snaked beside the fast-flowing milky river. Distances on the map quickly became irrelevant with the many ups and downs, twists and turns. There is no such thing as flat walking. The ground is incredibly rocky and the stone stairs have incredibly high risers up to 18 inches, so it is hard work.

We crossed our first suspension bridge over the river and it required nerves of steel. Although the metal slats add some comfort they wobble and sway when somebody else walks on them at the same time. You just prey that a Sherpa with a heavy load or a convoy of jap q do not come in the opposite direction for they do not stop for anyone! That’s when you have to grab the wire railing and lean towards the perilous drop to get out of their way.



We trekked for just under three hours and covered about three kilometres! Walking has been in slow motion for the entire day. My legs grew increasingly heavy with the altitude but are holding up well. Mitchell is bounding along, literally, without a care in the world. There were many waterfalls along the path as we trekked deeper up into the valley.

Around every bend is a telling glimpse of rural Nepalese life. Vegetables patches with cauliflowers, bok choy, spring onions, cabbage and herbs. There are goats, cows, chickens and donkeys in small enclosures. We have seen lots of mountain ponies today and they also have bells hung around their necks so you can hear them coming along the path, but at a much faster rate. There are prayer wheels along the path that we spin in a clockwise direction when we pass.


The clouds envelope the snow peaks in the afternoons. Every now and again you get a glimpse of another snow peak and we both would stop walking to admire how big and majestic they look sparkling in the sunlight.



The tea houses are a pleasant surprise. They are like little Swiss chalets, albeit without the luxuries. There is a common room warmed with pot belly stove and trekkers sit round the tables playing cards, regaling trekking stories, eating, reading and drinking. It is a hub of activity and there is always a television on in the background. We met a young Melbourne couple tonight and Mitch was taken aback to hear she danced with the same teacher as him and her partner went to school with my step-son Ross!

The sleeping quarters are a bit more basic; an unheated plywood box with small window, twin beds, foam mattress, concrete floors covered in thread bare carpet and we are lucky to have an ensuite with a sit down toilet! Mitch has seen a few squat toilets now and commented on how easy it is to pee down one’s legs. So the sit down toilet was a significant bonus. Ah, the small things one takes for granted.

My altitude sickness seems to have abated for now, fingers crossed.

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These boots are made for walking

Day 3: Kathmandu, Lukla, Phakding

We prepared with two pairs of socks, thermals, light trekking pants, long sleeve tops, fleeces and we had out gortex jackets on standby. Oh and walking boots and walking poles of course! All our gear was transferred into Nepal Hiking Team duffel bags and we made our way to the airport for our flight to Lukla early this morning.

Our 30 minute spectacular flight was aboard a twin prop 12 seater and we watched the mountain peaks unfold before our eyes. The airport at Lukla is renown as one of the most dangerous in the world with a 50 metre runway that falls off the edge of the mountain. Go search it on YouTube, and do not be tempted to look at the crashes at Lukla airport like we did. No wonder Mitch has been a bit anxious!

Arrived safely and were met by our guide La l, a 23 year old local, and Padu our Sherpa, before heading down the mountain. You do this to acclimatise before walking back up. The locals use the phrase: walk up, sleep down.


The path is more rocky than I imagined and quite hard to navigate. Our three hour walk took us four very slow hours. I was feeling quite nauseous and dizzy for the first hour. There is a constant stream of interesting people and things walking with us and coming towards us. Young boys as young as five carry huge loads on their backs and use their heads to support the weight. One young guy we followed for a while was an inspiration in more ways that one, as he was carrying nine slabs of Bintang beer plus a stack of cokes. Many carry wood that is being collected in preparation for the winter. There are lots of older trekkers which has surprised me and it’s a United Nations field.

Often we could hear ringing bells and know that a team of donkeys laden with supplies or Jhyokpyo ( pronounced jap q), a cross between a cow and yak, were either approaching us or coming from behind. Apparently yaks are used only above 3000 metres. They are an incentive to keep moving when a convoy of 10 approach from behind. Often I just moved to the side as an excuse to catch my breath. I did that a lot. The altitude is having a toll of my lungs but I can assure you my knees and ankles are in good shape. It’s a walk in the park for Mitchell. He is being terribly patient.

We hiked down through rhododendron and pine tree forests towards the Dudh Koshi River, the milk river, and could hear its roar even before we saw it. We then walked up the valley enclosed by mountains to Phakding. The scenery is stunning- you have to stop to take it in as you need to keep your head down when walking and be vigilant with where you step. There are huge rocks carved with prayers and bright flags hang in high places. The air is crisp, the sun belts down making it rather warm when walking. I have been admiring the many stone houses and dry stone walls everywhere along the track. They paint the wooden window frames in bright blues and greens. Mitch took 376 photos with his go pro, so make sure you check out trek cam. While you take a look, make sure you read the trek map and about sections too, if you haven’t already.

The food has exceeded our expectations with pizza with tuna, tomato and cheese for lunch and tomato soup, chicken schnitzel with chips and veggies plus custard pudding for dinner tonight. Yum!


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10 out of 10 cultural experience

Day 2 Kathmandu
We started our day by indulging in a 90 minute Ayurvedic massage. In Nepal they come with a buttock and breast rub down, which was a little unexpected! However I must have wound down enough to put my light colored shirt on inside out and not notice until lunch time.

Then we hit the streets like good tourists for four hours with our guide and driver. Mitch was rather taken back at first and warmed to the attention of having the car door open for him at every stop, plus all the Nepalese hotel porters and guides stand to attention and salute us. The traffic mayhem has left Mitch, the new P plate driver, wondering how they road system works with cars going in every direction and jostling with motorbikes and pedestrians. The is a general lack of order.

Our adventures took us to three world heritage sites.

Stop 1 – Durbar Square, the historic centre of old Katmandu is full of medieval temples, pagodas , pavilions and shrines. It was also the cloistered home of the Nepalese royalty until 10 of them were slaughtered in 2001. We were taken with the cows in the streets. We also got to visit the home of Nepal’s living goddess, Kumari. She is five years old and is selected similar to the Dalai Lama, but looses her role when she hits puberty.


Stop 2 – Swayambhunath, or the monkey temple. It is an iconic white washed stupa that overlooks the city of Kathmandu. You can see the low hills in the valley that surround the city and one snow capped peak that is about 7000 m. There are lots of monkeys here and is an eclectic mix of Buddha statues, Tibetan chapels and spinning prayer wheels.



Stop 3 – Probably the most unexpected highlight. We visited Pashupatinath, Nepal’s most important temple on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. Today I am sure half of Kathmandu’s residents were there for it was a special time of remembrance for those whose family have passed on. They cremate people here on the edge of the river. I said to Mitch over lunch that he might be lucky to see a cremation, and his eyes nearly popped out in horror. Well of course today we were lucky. They lay the cloth covered body on a neat stack of wood and set it alight, then sweep the ashes into the river. Mitch’s classic comment of the day as we watched from the opposite side of the river was, ‘is is it a real dead body?’ We have not loaded that photo, but one in the opposite direction on the river. Also we saw the some Sadhus here. These men devote their lives to the religion and are easy to recognise – usually wondering around half naked, smeared in dust,with matted hair and carry tridents and begging bowl. They make for wonderful pictures, which you have to pay for.

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Kathmandu is a real spiritual melting pot, with the concepts of Hinduism and Buddhism, add some Indian and Tibetan influences and is blended with elements of animism, faith healers and some Tantric practise. What is most lovely is there is little, if any, religious tension. Everyone just gets on with their own beliefs and worshipping.
There are some ironies. The cow is sacred, yet we had sizzling beef for lunch at our Chinese restaurant today. We also indulged in momos, Nepal’s unofficial food, and we would call them Chinese dumplings. Yum! Eating here is an international gastronomic pleasure and the local Everest beer is fabulous.
We shopped for trekking clothes late tonight and have our bags packed. It is so cheap. North fake, aka North Face, gortex jackets around $20 and up. Mitch is enjoying the shopping and has already earmarked out some other purchases we have to make when we return.
Here are a couple of street scenes.



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That’s what I call mountains

Oh, our first glimpse of the Himalayas. I told Mitch to look out the plane window and he thought they were clouds at first. Rather spectacular snow peaks that stretch for miles against the beautiful blue sky.

Arrived safely in Kathmandu after taking about two hours to get our visa upon arrival. We were both exhausted from the travelling. Mitch did not say a lot as we drove through the chaos to our hotel.

The Hotel Shanker is four star and a former Rana palace – the kind of place where you expect some whispered old Rana prince to come shuffling around one of the wooden corridors. Rather idiosyncratic. Our room is split over two floors and features a hobbit sized half window, creaky staircase and much to Mitch’s dismay, hard beds. Although with him complaining of sore lower back at the moment, I think it will be a godsend.

We hit the streets for dinner. Again, I am not getting much out of Mitch. His eyes are darting backwards and forwards taking the chaos in and every now and again a comment. “Why don’t they just clean the place up?”, he questions after noticing a bus stop with a couple of huge piles of dirt in front of it.

We play it safe for dinner and order pasta, ice cream and apple pie. Slowly over dinner I get more feedback. He is totally overwhelmed. The dust, the tooting of car horns constantly, the side walks, if you could call them that, are just rubble, potholes and a host of other things. He feels sorry for the dogs, is unsure what to make of all the children begging in the streets, is searching out for white-skinned people. He says he does not feel safe. There was some comfort when we arrived back at our hotel this evening when he saw a dozen Australians and English in our hotel lobby!

I love the energy of the place, although the dust is pretty thick and I long for the silence of those mountains.

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Ready, set…

Melbourne – just prior to departure

This trip was booked around 10 weeks ago when I decided to seize the opportunity and organise a special trip with Mitchell before he moved on with his life. Looking back now our preparations have been far from ideal, but it is all rather amusing.

Preparations – Kerry:

Two months out – graduated walking program in walking boots, bike riding to increase fitness, regular chiropractic visits, weight reduction etc

One month out – swollen ankle, unstable right knee, bout of gastro, (a host of other ailments) stopped walking and bike riding

Now – exhausted, excited, packed, body in working order although a touch fragile.

Preparations – Mitchell:

Two months out – ‘yeah, sounds great’

One month out – sitting final school exams, consumed by study pressures

Two weeks out – reluctant boot wearer finally tries on his walking boots that have not been worn for two years – thankfully they fit, runs 1000 steps up the Dandenong Ranges and tops off with 20 push-ups and runs back down, a couple of days later runs up the Eureka Tower’s 1642 steps and down again, spends following 10 days on a houseboat at Lake Eildon for ‘schoolies’ with a few mates, consumes much alcohol, sleeps only when must, bangs up leg (open wounds, bruises, grazes) by smashing into rocks off a rope swing, has  a drink to relieve the pain

Now – comes home on morning of departure to pack bags, fit and healthy, looking forward to the trip.

I think Mitchell will cope physically better than I could ever hope to, however I think I may be more mentally prepared for the adventures that lie ahead.

Stay tuned…

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12 Responses to Home/Blog

  1. Mum says:

    Hi Kerry,
    Trip advisor rates Katmandu 3rd in the Travellers Choice Award as the best place to visit in the world and many recommend visiting Bodnath Stupa. Reception must be bad as it has been a couple of days since your last blog. Take care. Love Mum xx

  2. Shane says:

    Wow! This looks amazing.
    I watched a couple of YouTube videos on the airport, I can understand Mitch’s trepidation. Looks like you are having a fabulous time.

  3. Lynnette says:

    So great to hear your stories- Enjoy it all Mitchell- Embrace every moment, every smell, every taste – it sounds pretty special! I cant wait to read more updates. xxx
    So Mitchell – any chance of you becoming a Monk while you are there? :-)

  4. Helen says:

    Love it, Kerry, keep those photos and reports coming! Beautiful to read.

  5. Mum says:

    Hi Kerry and Mitch, Love your writting Kerry as it makes one feel as though they are travelling with you. I think this trek will be a wonderful life changing experience for the both of you. Love you xx

  6. Michelle says:

    So happy you guys arrived safely.
    Kerry I love your writing style! So descriptive. Enjoy. Pics please? Or do I check the Trek cam images for those? xx

  7. Steph says:

    Kerry – and Shane! – a great website. I can’t wait to read your adventures and see the cams. I’ll be travelling with you

  8. Isabelle says:

    Ha ha!! Very entertaining already and you haven’t even left yet… Well, best of luck to both of you, mentally and physically ;)

    And a big welcome to the land of blogs, careful it’s a jungle out there… ;)

    Bon voyage les amis :)

  9. Michaela & Karl says:

    Kerry & Mitchell
    What an adventure you will have. Yet again, more lifelong memories. These are the things that matter most!
    Enjoy. Travel safe & look forward to the stories
    Michaela & Karl

  10. Sal says:

    What a blast this is going to be, Kerry. An enduring mother-and-son life experience. Enjoy!

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