Nepal is a beautiful country that continually astonishes travelers. Recently Ker & Downey Travel Specialists Sara Kramer and Tiffany DeSalvo traveled to Nepal seeking a little adventure. Sara recounts her journey below.
For many Nepal is the pinnacle of the hiking world whether, it’s through the foothills of the Annapurna’s, to base camp of Mount Everest or perhaps even summiting the mighty mountain, it attracts a variety of different people of all levels and ages eager to be a part of of this culture. I wouldn’t consider myself a “hiker” although I do enjoy an occasional outing here and there. I was intrigued to visit Nepal for the opportunity to do something new and see a whole new part of the world. Nepal offered exactly that.
We stayed in Kathmandu for one night before heading to Pokhara by air and onto our first day of the five day hike. After driving for about an hour and a half outside of the city, we started our journey by foot with our guide Namgel. For about two hours we hiked down to the bottom of the river valley where our first lodge, Sanctuary was located. From the first day we got a taste of how many steps we would descend and climb during our journey – a lot. The next day we started upward to Himalaya Lodge, the highest of the four lodges we would visit. The five hour hike took us up and down steps and through several villages before finally reaching the mountain lodge. It’s here we had the best views of Annapurna South and Fishtail Mountain. Mornings were spent gazing at the mountain with a cup of coffee in hand to see how it changed as the light crept over it. We spent two nights here and enjoyed a day hike to the surrounding areas.
The following day we set out to Gurung Lodge, a four and half hour hike that would prove to be our hardest day in part because the heat and in part because of the terrain. The first two and half hours were a steep downhill and after crossing the river at the bottom, we headed straight uphill for 2 more hours in extreme heat. The last day of our hike was the easiest and and most leisurely as we made our way back to Pokhara, passing many other hikers from all across the world along the way. After a night in Pokhara (which we found very charming) we river rafted down the Seti River to Seti River Camp. Almost like a safari camp set in the middle of Nepal, Seti River Camp was an unexpected surprise. It’s pretty basic but perhaps that’s the appeal. The food was incredible and they even made us a cake. The last day we continued down the river by raft, and in the rain before returning to Kathmandu for our last night in Nepal and for a stay at the beautiful Dwarika’s Hotel.
Nepal is the poorest country I’ve traveled to but certainly not poor in spirit. The people are genuine and friendly. Beggars are few, if any, with the occasional child asking for a piece of candy. Accommodations are simple but adequate and not overdone and the mighty mountains linger in the background at every turn begging to be climbed. It’s a community of hikers, dreamers, and adventure seekers; I being the latter of the three. For those thinking it’s too hard, it might be, but it sure is worth it. For those looking to experience something new, you will. For those seeking adventure, it’s here. All you have to do is just go.
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