Up bright and early we jumped in a cab and made our way to Kathmandu’s domestic airport. Having decided we would head to Annapurna in a few days to go trekking – instead of doing Everest Base Camp, we agreed to treat ourselves to a scenic flight over the southern Himalayas, which includes of course, the top of the world.
The airport was packed with tourists piling into tiny propellor aircrafts, the majority of which were heading to Lukla – the starting point for any treks to Base Camp. We found our plane (the smallest of the lot) and waited patiently as they fiddled with various bits before finally deciding against it. After picking another plane that the captain seemed more happy with all 16 of us squeezed into it and off we went.
The flight was an hour round trip, up through the Kathmandu Valley and its rice terraces and into the Himalayas, were it then cruised level with the great mountain chain all the way to Mt Everest before making a u-turn and coming back.
The views of the great range were simply stunning and the sheer scale of the mountains, until viewed from that vantage point, is hard to comprehend. A very humbling experience.
With Stef having gone against every piece of advice and bought brand new walking boots before embarking on a 2 week trek, we thought it best to test them out.
Stef: In my defence I had little choice, I had no walking boots!
Nagarkot is a small village situated on a ridge about an hour outside of Kathmandu. The main draw to the place is its stunning panoramic view of the Himalayas – from Dhaulagiri to Mt Everest.
Unfortunately for us this incredible sight was hidden behind cloudy skies the majority of the weekend.
Still, there are some good day hikes in the area and on arrival we asked the guesthouse proprietor to recommend a short walk to fill the afternoon. We set of with vague directions to the “Nature Trail” which was a two hour loop near the village. A nice forest walk, but not that much in the way of nature, soon the well-marked trail ended so we took a stab at guessing which path led home. Needless to say several hours later we realised we’d chosen wrong, but with the help of a shortcut some giggling children pointed out we made it back just as darkness fell. Lesson learnt: next time, get a map (or actual directions).
The next morning we tried again – with a map – and walked up to the Nagarkot tower. A 2 hour uphill trek in beautiful sunshine granted us wonderful views of the surrounding terraced farmland and villages. Which was just as well, as the tower itself (which promised 360 degree views of the mountains) was of course, hidden behind cloud. We took a longer route back through forests, past monasteries and tiny village settlements. The only sounds were the birds. The peace was really lovely after the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu.
Perhaps the most entertaining moment of the weekend happened that night, as an irate German man went ballistic that his dinner was served to him 20 minutes too early: “It is not good! This is not nice! I wanted to eat with my hands! It is ruined! I had lunch at 4!”
His ridiculous and completely bizarre tantrum went on and on, being incredibly rude to the staff and stunning the entire dining room.
Thankfully he chose to leave the next morning
"Himalayas Flight & Trekking in Nagarkot"
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