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Himalayan Expedition

Written on: Sunday June 17th, 2007

A journal entry from: Elective

On Friday we decided that a trip to Nagarkot was in order, to see
the Himalayas in all their glory! Nagarkot is 34 km East of Kathmandu, and
a 90min taxi ride away. The taxi was very cheap considering the time it
took us to get there - only 1000rupees, which is probably around 8 pounds
(these computers don't have pound signs!).

The roads to Nagarkot were long, windy and narrow, with treacherous drops
at one side! The taxi driver wasn't phased though, and still overtook like
a madman, much to our panic!! The views were amazing on the drive though,
and we could see for miles! I took plenty of pictures to show everyone, so
hopefully they will be able to get across what we saw, but I doubt it! We
also saw plenty of people on the way up there, ranging from the very young
to the very old! One such old lady took it upon herself to chase the taxi,
flicking the V sign as she went! I don't imagine it means the same thing
over here, but we found it amusing! Further along the road, a few Nepali
children also chased the taxi for fun, and I managed to catch them on
camera! The children are all very friendly here, and often say hello,
although sometimes it takes them some time to work up the courage!!

When we got nearer to Nagarkot, we went through the clouds, and further! Nagarkot is 2175m above sea level, so you can imagine it felt like we were driving for quite some time! If I thought altitude was a problem in Kathmandu, here would have been a lot worse! Kathmandu is 1337m above sea level, and for the first few days I did have classical symptoms of altitude problems - fatigue, palpitations, breathlessness etc. Soon got over it though, and have been fine since!

On the way up, there were children scattered everywhere at the sides of the road, and people washing themselves and their clothes with taps coming from the side of the mountain. The clothes were left to dry on bushes in the sun. As we climbed the hills, we could see for miles - mountains, and paddy fields, and plenty of elderly Nepali people gazing out at the view.The further we travelled, the more interesting sights we saw, including buses with people sat on the top due to lack of seats! They looked quite happy up there, but I wouldn't have said it was safe!! There were also loads of goats clambering around the mountain! Very interesting!

When we finally reached Nagarkot, the taxi driver dropped us off near the lookout tower at the top but it was so cloudy we wouldn't have seen anything, so we set off down the hill back to Nagarkot town. It was an hour's walk, and quite cold so by the time we reached Nagarkot, we were ready for a rest! We had a look around some of the many hotels, and finally picked Hotel Viewpoint, which has the highest point in Nagarkot, at 7200ft above sea level!! We paid $55 for a super deluxe room, which was nice, and right below the tower so we could get up there easily.

Looking out over the valley, we could see massive birds soaring high above the ground, but I couldn't manage to take a decent picture unfortunately! Later on, we headed up to the roof tower to take some pictures, which was amazing! The views there were beyond description, and to even try and describe it wouldn't do it justice. I do have some pictures though, that might help!

After we'd finished taking pictures we went down to a restaurant for dinner. I had Hot 'n' Sour soup, which was nice, and then I had chicken curry which was slightly less appetizing, but not bad! We tried some 'Everest' beer at the restaurant, and listened to some of the music that was playing! An interesting fact - Everest was first climbed on May 29th 1953 - both Sophie and Hannah's birthday (though not 1953, obviously!)! We left the restaurant at 9pm, to get an early night as we'd been informed that the sunrise was at 5am the next morning! Just a note at this point to mum - we've been very glad of the sleeping bags that you made us, they've come in really handy and we've used them every night! :)

We got up early the next morning in anticipation of a gorgeous sunrise, and although it was cloudy, we weren't disappointed! As I said before, it's hard to describe, so I'll just have to show pictures when I get back, but even the pictures don't convey how nice it was! Due to the clouds, we couldn't see the mountains as clearly as we would have liked, but the peaks were still visible! For those that are interested, this is the Himalayan mountain range, in order from left to right. Those grouped together come as one group on the horizon:

Annapurna Dakshin 7219m, Machhapuchre 6997m, Annapurna 1st 8091m, Annapurna 2nd 7937m, Lanijung 6986m

Himalchuli 7983m, Manaslu 8157m

Ganesh Himal 4th 7102m, Ganesh Himal 2nd 7150m, Ganesh Himal 5th 6950m, Ganesh Himal 1st 7406m

Langtang 7246m

Gangacherpo 6297m

Sisha Pangma 8013m

Gur Karpori 6874m, Dorje Lakpa 6779m, Gyaltzen Peak 6705m

Phurbi Chyachu 6722m

Kharone Tippa 5647m Choba Bhamore 5970m

Cho Oyu 8153m, Gauri Shankar 7145m, Melungste 7181m

Lindartsubugo 6690m, EVEREST 8848m, Chobutse 6660m, Tacargo 6782m, Dongiragitao 6940m

Numbur 6945m, Karyolung 6681m