Historic Kathmandu Valley

Historic Kathmandu Valley

Kings in the three ancient towns of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan were in a competition to see who could have the most beautiful town. One story from this competition is about a pair of curly-haired lion sculptures in Bhaktapur. The Bhaktapur king was so pleased with the first lion that he cut off one hand of the sculptor so that he couldn’t create anything as beautiful for another king. The legend says the one-handed sculptor went on to sculpt the second, matching lion, so the king cut off his other hand!

Lion statue, Bhaktapur
Lion statue, Bhaktapur

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Nepal – Mt. Manaslu and Larkya La, Part 2

Nepal – Mt. Manaslu and Larkya La, Part 2

The trek around Manaslu, the 8th highest mountain in the world, took us from a hot, humid jungle to beautiful alpine forests; through Hindu and then Buddhist villages.Click for (Part 1) By the 6th day we reached the village of Samagoan which is set near the base of Manaslu. We stayed two nights in Samagoan so we could explore this scenic area. The architecture in the village of Samagoan is different from the other villages we had passed. The homes have shared walls, but each has its own roof which makes for an interesting looking village. These homes have their barn on the ground level and a home-made wooden ladder is used to access the living quarters on the second floor. The high peaks of Manaslu tower over Samagoan making the village’s setting even more dramatic.

For details on the trek click here Continue reading “Nepal – Mt. Manaslu and Larkya La, Part 2”

Nepal – Mt Manaslu and the Buri Gandaki River Valley (Part 1)

Nepal – Mt Manaslu and the Buri Gandaki River Valley (Part 1)

We thought the drive from Jomsom to Pokhara was bad (to read click here), but the drive to the start of the Manaslu trek made the previous 11 ½ hour, 160km drive look easy. The first 4 hours to Manaslu were stress-free as it was on the main highway to Kathmandu. It was when we turned off this highway that things changed. The road is cut into the side of the mountain with steep 100 m drop-offs at many points. It rained heavily the night before, so the bumpy, zigzagging, dirt road was also a muddy mess. Large transport trucks were ahead of us and created deep ruts in the mud. At times these ruts were deeper than the clearance height of the jeep. The further we got, the worse it was. We got stuck in the mud several times and at one point our jeep spun-out in the mud and came to a stop with one wheel dangling off the cliff.  After carefully sliding out of the jeep, it was decided that the jeep couldn’t continue. After a stressful few minutes deciding what to do, a crazy looking bus came bouncing up the road. It was a souped-up bus that is built for these roads. It had a beat up, 30-year old passenger bus body with 8 massive wheels (4 in front, 4 in rear), a high-powered engine and no shocks. We were skeptical that this monstrosity would fare any better but, with music blaring, the bus rammed its way through the bumpy, muddy road taking the hairpin turns at high speed. We bounced around on our seats and felt like we were on a 20 k, 3-hour Monster Truck ride. It was the worst drive we’ve ever been on, but after 10 hours of travel that day we made it to the starting point of the trek.

For details on the trek click here
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Nepal – Lo Manthang`s Tiji Festival

Nepal – Lo Manthang`s Tiji Festival

Upper Mustang in northern Nepal is an arid, mountainous area settled by Tibetans generations ago. The Tibetan culture along with the landscape make this area one of the most interesting parts of Nepal. We trekked for 5 days to reach the area`s former capital, Lo Manthang, to attend the annual Tiji Festival. Continue reading “Nepal – Lo Manthang`s Tiji Festival”