Archive for the ‘Pokhara / ポカラ’ Category

Annapurna Photos

Posted: November 22, 2011 in Pokhara / ポカラ

So far all the photos I’ve posted on this blog have been from my iPhone. This morning I tried to upload some photos from my camera using the computer in our hotel. Unfortunately it took about 20 minutes for one photo and even then it didn’t work properly. So you’re just going to have to wait until I get near a better pc before you can see the photos from Annapurna Base Camp. Probably some time after the 2nd of December. But they are worth it. Honest.

We’re back!

Posted: November 21, 2011 in Pokhara / ポカラ

We’re back safe and sound in Pokhara. In the next few days I’ll upload the diary of our travels and some photos from my phone. When I get near a computer I’ll add some more photos from my camera. Enjoy!!



Radio silence begins

Posted: November 7, 2011 in Pokhara / ポカラ


Still nearly ready

Posted: November 7, 2011 in Pokhara / ポカラ

It’s 10pm now and Julian is snoring peacefully while I finish dividing our belongings. We both had showers tonight; I’m not sure when I’ll be able to say that again. The rain is hammering down outside and Hum Raj admitted tonight that he has not known a November like this. But we have to start tomorrow to keep to our Nepal schedule. Despite the weather, this trek is something that we both really want to do. In the few days that we’ve been on holiday we have had a lot of fun moments as we have bimbled along. However far we get towards Annapurna Base Camp and whatever happens I consider this trip a success and have no regrets. If only it would stop raining…

こちらの おまもりは、たかおかようちえんさまからの プレゼントです。
けんこうで いられるように、みまもってくれる かみさまです。
どうも ありがとうございます。
トレッキング中は、はだみはなさず、たいせつに もっていきます。

On my last day of work at Takaoka Kindergarden, I was given two talismans by the Principle, Mr Watanabe. They are to wish us good health on our trek and they are attached to our bags now. Thank you very much everyone at Takaoka Kindergarden.


This morning we went shopping to hire some sleeping bags and down jackets for our trek. We went with Hum Raj our contact at the hotel who knows everyone in Pokhara and has been giving us good advice during the last few days. Hum Raj used to be a trekking guide and today as I gave him a photocopy of my passport for the trekking permits, he said that he and I are about the same age. Anyway, Hum Raj took us to a shop owned by his friend and after some negotiations we got what we needed and within our budget.
This afternoon, Hum Raj introduced us to our Porter. His name is Narayan and he speaks some good English. He has been to Annapurna Base Camp many times; in fact he just came back from there yesterday! On that trek he took a family with a boy of only 4 years old! The boy had to be carried at times but it shows that these things can be done. Narayan has a great smile, a nice way about him and I have a really good feeling about this.
We discussed the route with Hum Raj and guess what, we’re going to do it backwards! No, we’re not going to walk backwards and we’re not going to start at the Base Camp and walk down. But we are going to drive to Naya Pul and walk up that way to Ghandruck and Chhomrong and then on the return leg go through Tolka and Dhampus. Have a look on the Annapurna Trek page of this blog and you’ll see what I mean. We decided this because Dhampus to Tolka is a hard climb and it could put us out for the first few days. When in doubt listen to the local knowledge.
Tonight we have to pack and decide what we want to take in our one big rucksack and what we will leave in the hotel. That could take a long time!



After the International Mountain Museum, our taxi driver took us to a waterfall which was pretty powerful and then a cave which was beneath the waterfall. After that we drove up a very twisty-turny dirt road which the poor taxi had some trouble managing. There was a terrible noise coming from the front left wheel which we all tried to ignore. Most of the time we were in first gear and when another taxi came down towards us, we had some interesting views over the precipice. At the top our driver joined us for the short walk to the pagoda; well he probably didn’t want to sit in the car what with the engine very nearly at the point of exploding. As we walked it began to rain and I took out our raincoats from our bag. The path was slippery and in a touchy scene, the taxi driver took Julian’s hand and helped him along. At the top there was a teahouse and we decided to stop for a drink because the weather was getting worse. After a few minutes, we were joined by an American and his Nepalese guide. They had walked all the way from the lake. It had taken 2 hours and had rained most of the way. As I talked to the man I became more and more convinced that it was Stephen Spielberg! He was wearing a hooded rain jacket but he had the same glasses, eyes, nose but especially the voice. He sounded just like Spielberg. I was busy thinking of how I could ascertain if it was the movie director and had even thought of humming a few bars of the Indie Jones theme when the man volunteered that he was a teacher in Saudi Arabia. Ah, so close but not quite. We spoke for a few more minutes but then the rain stopped and we went to look at the Peace Pagoda.

The Pagoda was the idea of some Japanese Buddhists 50 years ago. It was paid for by this Japanese group but only finished a few years ago. When I visited Pokhara in 1996 building work had only just begun. The view from the top should be a spectacular one of the city, the lake and the mountains in the background. But today it was cloudy and raining so we saw nothing. I hope the weather improves before we start the hike on Monday.


Julian and I woke up early today and got into a taxi at around 9:30. Our first destination was the International Mountain Museum which I thought sounded rather odd because mountains are quite big and best viewed outside. But it is a very modern museum and has many displays about all the mountains of the world over 8,000 metres; most of which are in Nepal. There was information on how the mountains are formed, rock formations and fossils (yes, you can find fossils on Mount Everest!). There were also exhibits on the different people in the various areas of the Himalaya. The next section was about famous climbers with artefacts donated by the climbers and their families. There was a whole section devoted to Hillary and Tenzing but what caught my eye was a display case for Maurice Herzog. Not only did it have the same photograph which I used on another page of this blog but it also had the same jacket on display that he was wearing when the photo was taken and when he climbed Annapurna I. That brought history to life.

Japan has played a greater part than most countries in the exploration of the Himalaya. There was a display about Junko Tabei, Japan’s greatest female mountaineer and Ken Noguchi, a modern-day mountaineer who has lead expeditions to clear up all the rubbish that has been left on Mount Everest over the years. There is tonnes of rubbish up there including oxygen cylinders, camping gas cylinders, other camping equipment and … corpses.

Finally there was some information on Yetis. We’re getting closer!





Pokhara Weather Report

Posted: November 5, 2011 in Pokhara / ポカラ

Somewhere else on this blog I said that November is the dry season in Nepal and the weather is beautiful with blue skies. Well, I was wrong. Since we arrived the weather has been cloudy and during the nights it has rained heavily. This has repercussions if you’re trying to run your gear on solar power. The solar panel was in our window for two days but barely charged the battery halfway. In desperation I therefore tried something a bit risky last night. I have another spare battery for the iPhone which can be charged from the wall and then clipped onto the base of the phone. Using an array of adaptors and cables I plugged this into the Nepalese electrical system and stood well back. I don’t now much about volts and amps but I expected one of several things to happen. Either there would be sparks, smoke and the hotel would burn down or the battery would be charged nicely or nothing would happen. I, and the hotel manager, are pleased to report that the battery charged nicely. This means that I can charge all our batteries and the iPhone in this way and we don’t have to rely on the sun at all …. until we get into the mountains. So I can type away to my heart”s content or until Julian complains that he’s hungry again. Which will probably be quite soon…