Getting there was a near death experience! It was 12 hours in a non air conditioned car along questionable roads from Delhi to the Indian/Nepalese boarder. I didn't mind this so much as I got to see parts of India that not many people fall upon and got to taste some exquisite fruits and raw cane juice from the villages along the way.
We walked across the border and settled down on our backpacks under a tree for our six hour wait before our over night bus to Pokhara.
The bus pulled up, we boarded and sat on the front row, there was space for say 20 people on this bus, I remember turning around and counting 56 people, 7 chickens and 13 bags of rice. How!? I still don't know how!
The bus stopped every 10 minutes so the locals could hop on or off and barter over rice and fruit.
It stared to get dark and we started to climb the mountains, finally I thought it was time to get some shut eye, think again lady!
The Bollywood music came blaring out, my glass window shook with rattling force next to my ear and every 30 mins we were pulled over by the Nepalese army who would barge on and shine torches in our faces and demand passports, if thats not terrifying enough, we were flying around the mountain tops at full speed in the torrential rain with little to no light, passing over turned and crashed lorries, I thought...'this is it, were going to die, I'm really sad I never got to have my own pet cat'
18 hours after boarding the death trap and much to my amazement the sun started to rise and we were still alive, hooray! This is when I got my first glimpse of Nepal. The spectacular backdrop of snowy peaks, serene lakes and an abundance of green, I felt an incredible sense of serenity come over me. We hopped off the bus into the crisp, refreshing mountain air and made our way to the lodge.
Now this was heaven! after India I feel like anywhere would be heaven, we had a kingsize bed with clean sheets, not a questionable stain in sight, cockroach and rat free floors, the lights worked and to top it all off we had a bath, a bloody bath, in my delirious state I think I might have cried when I saw that!
Our first port of call was to take the worlds most extreme zipline. Flying through the Himalayas was something I just couldn't miss out on. The zip line has a vertical drop of 2,000 feet and a distance of 1.8 Kilometres, that makes it the tallest and steepest zip line in the world, and when you have the wind on your side you can reach speeds of 140km/h (87mph) The closer to the top I got the more I started shitting myself. It was an experience I will never forget.
The next day we started our 5 day trek into the Annapurna Range. We took a 2 hour bus deep into the jungle and that where we started, sweat pouring off of us as we climbed close to 3,000 stairs on that first leg of the trip. It was 6 hours walking to get to our first overnight stop, a small village Ulleri. We met lots of other tired and dirty trekkers here, ready for some good food and a long awaited lye down.
Day two and three were spent carving our way through the green valleys and climbing, climbing more climbing, it was getting colder and the mighty mountains were coming into view. We spent the night in the village of Ghorepani. It amazed me to see these little old ladies hoping up and down the mountain side with no effort at all.
This was my favourite place in Nepal, this tiny village was so peaceful and beautiful, surrounded by the range and splashes of bright prayer flags, flowers and chickens. Its also where I discovered smoking Nepalese hash at such altitude was a bad idea, unless you want to fall asleep at a table.
The next morning we were up at 3am to start walking so we could catch sunrise at Poon Hill. Now this was a 'moment' in my life, sounds super cliche I know!
As I got up there the blood red sun light poured its way through the black, the magic started to happen, every mountain began to glisten in untouched monstrous glory, fresh snowy powder sparkled and danced on the horizon, my breath was taken away and I felt like a tiny small insignificant being next to these natural giants.