A short update since our great motorcycle adventure in India. Since we were in India, we decided to combine it with another activity on our wish list: hiking in Nepal.
When we were traveling from the Netherlands to Vietnam (2003-2006), Nepal was right in the middle of a decade of unrest with the Maoists fighting for change. Over the years Nepal was safe to visit or not, or only by plane and not by car or motorcycle.
Two Dutch journalists friends in Nepal advised us to stay clear of the Nepal border areas because as soon as you entered the country, the Maoists confiscated private vehicles or set them on fire. We figured that Nepal could wait, and we continued our journey to Bangladesh.
Read more: The Journey
That was 18 years ago and, at last, we’re back. This time for, hopefully, a great hiking adventure in Nepal. However, we arrived in February, and the hiking season wasn’t about to start for at least another month, at least for the high-altitude hikes because it was too cold. As it turns out we’ll be hiking a low-altitude trek and easily could have trekked these weeks, but ala, that just characterizes our way of life – a proper lack of planning.
We booked an Airbnb in Kathmandu for a week and all photos in this post are from Kathmandu, where we did a fair bit of sightseeing. The city hasn’t really captured our hearts, and I suppose that after three months of green wilderness in Northeast India, the complete lack of green vegetation in Kathmandu’s downtown area and the narrow streets hemmed in by high apartment blocks simply felt a bit too oppressive.
It wouldn’t be the first time that we weren’t charmed during a first visit to a country or city, but fell in love the second time, so who knows, this may happen with Kathmandu as well.
Meanwhile we’ve been in Pokhara for a week or five. It’s entirely different with a big lake, newer buildings, wider roads, more green. Spacier in every possible sense. What the two cities have in common is that both are geared towards outdoor adventure and shop after shop is filled with hiking gear, shoes, and clothes.
Plenty of restaurants and cafés line the streets, and in both towns we were excited to be eating Korean food again. Kimbab and bibimbap – bring them on. They remind us of our great time in South Korea, possible among our top three favorite destinations on our journey.
Boek 3 in the Making
We haven’t seen much of Pokhara. It was great to meet some fellow overlanders who stood camping in a field near the lake, and others whom we met through the Internet. Most of our time was spent in the apartment as the writing fever hit me and I made huge progress on my third book (in Dutch). For those who are keen to know more, stay tuned by subscribing for our book newsletter.
The main reason to get outside was for our daily walks and runs to and around the big lake to get into shape for our next adventure, hiking the Guerrilla Trek.
The Guerrilla Trek
The 27-day, 300 kilometer-long Guerrilla Trek lies west of the famous Annapurna hiking region and, as the name suggests, is related to the Maoist guerrilla war, which was started here. Obviously it’s a totally safe area these days and since it’s still one of the off-the-beaten track areas in every possible way, we opt to hike there even though in terms of scenery it won’t be as thrilling as some of the higher-altitude treks.
You can’t have it all.
By the time you read this, we’ll be on our way, backpacks on our backs and ticking our walking poles on the trails that meaner through scenic landscapes, traditional villages with a variety of people who have lived here for eons. We expect wifi to be limited, but we’ll keep you posted via Facebook and/or Instagram.
Ready for a Long-Distance Hike? Here are some ideas:
- Books on Long-distance Hiking
- Long-Distance Hiking Gear List 4.0
- Hiking in South Korea – 465 Miles on Foot Across the Baekdu-Daegan
- Hiking the Israel National Trail
- The Jordan Trail Hike
- Hiking the Pieterpad, Netherlands
- Hiking in Turkey – The Carian Trail Thru-hike
- End of the Lycian-Way Hike, with a Broken Hand
- Hiking the Transcaucasian Trail in Armenia
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