Places we visited: Kathmandu, Pokhara, a portion of the Annapurna Circuit

Length of stay: 16 days

High point: Shopping for a Buddha statue, eating pastries and croissants for
breakfast, enjoying one hot shower in the middle of our trek, seeing the beautiful
Himalayas and the picturesque terraced rice fields along the Annapurna trek.

Low Point: Erin suffering for three days from her first encounter with food poisoning,
adjusting to the Nepalese style of conducting business, going on a trek in the
Himalayas to get away from "it all" only to find "it all" all along the trek--we were
never more than an hour away from a shop selling Cokes, Snickers, and potato chips
the entire six days, general disappointment with Nepal after looking forward to it as a
top destination on our trip (especially after hearing other traveler's rave about it).

Local food/flavor: Dal bhaat, dal bhaat and more dal bhaat! The Nepalese eat this
twice a day and so did we! Dal bhaat is an all-you-can-eat dish consisting of rice
mixed with lentil soup and typically two to three additional items, such as curried
spinach, potatoes, and pickled cabbage.

Language: Nepalese

Currency: Nepal Rupee

Unique Sights: Buses literally overflowing with people (packed shoulder to shoulder
inside the bus, hanging out every window and door, and covering the entire roof),
seeing a mother hold her six year old son by the back of the pants as he peed off the
roof of a bus careening down a mountain road, thinking the lentil soup that came with
our dal bhaat was nicely spiced with pepper only to find it was actually tons of dead
ants floating in our soup (we promptly left that restaurant), running into Maoists
rebels on our trek

Purchases: a wooden Buddha statue, embroidered shirt (Erin), waterproof covers for
our backpacks (Thanks Hollie! The garbage bags lasted from May all the way to

Things we did:
  • Shopped in Thamel, the tourist area of Kathmandu
  • Enjoyed several rooftop dinners overlooking the sprawl and pollution of
  • Walked to Swayambhunath Temple, also known as "Monkey Temple", due to
    the hundreds of monkeys that live and play on the temple grounds
  • Meandered through the maze of streets in Kathmandu stopping to look at the
    plethora of temples, shops and people along the way
  • Soaked up the energy from the 15-day Dashain festival which is punctuated
    with animal sacrifices and the tradition of elders putting "tika" on the foreheads
    of younger relatives to bless them with good fortune in the coming year.
  • Endured a truly frightening bus ride from along a mountain road from
    Kathmandu to Pokhara as the bus driver liked to pass vehicles when he was
    approaching a sharp bend in the road
  • Went on a 6-day trek along a portion of the Annapurna Circuit
  • Stocked up on books from Kathmandu's great selection of used book stores
  • Erin spent three days cooped up in our Kathmandu hotel room suffering from
    food poisoning while Jarrod explored the city on his own
  • Spent four hours trying to negotiate a ride from the China border to
    Kathmandu. After several agreements fell through (i.e. they left us) we finally
    embarked on the six hour ride to Kathmandu, including many stops at Maoist
    checkpoints and fake "Maoist" checkpoints set up by kids.
Nepal Overview


Nepal Photos


Nepal Books
Nepalese Puppets