It’s a long uphill climb but smiles are back on innocent faces and time it seems has healed.
The beaming and curious smiles of the locals watch on as we load our bags into the back locker of our overland truck. The dirt road snakes its way onwards through gentle hills, punctuated by traditional thatched straw homes. Smoke from early morning cooking dots the horizon and mixes with the cool mist in the early morning sun. Another epic day on the road awaits.
With eight of the world’s 10 tallest mountains in its borders, it’s not a big surprise most travellers visit Nepal for the trekking. Flying into Kathmandu you’ll find dozens of adventurous looking groups about to set off into the snow-capped wilds of the Himalayas, usually carbo-loading on their second plate of momos.
In a city in where ramen enjoys cult-like status, Ivan Orkin’s achievements would be no mean feat for a Japanese chef – for a foreigner they’re unheard of.
Okay, I’ll admit it, I was nervous about using a Japanese onsen. I’m not a big nudist. In fact I think the best time to be nude is when you have a lot of clothes on, and maybe a coat.
Fluorescent lights hummed on the edge of hearing. I watched out of the corner of my eye as a thin bead of drool ran slowly down a sleeping woman’s chin.
When I read ‘monastery stay’ on our Intrepid Japan itinerary I was a little sceptical about what I’d find. Truthfully I was picturing some 1980s brick building staffed by Canadian expats with names like ‘Floating Leaf’ or ‘Jarod’, and dotted with plastic Buddha statues and inspirational posters.
Everyone knows you don’t make friends with salad. But everyone also knows rules were made to be broken.
The awful news that a 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck Mt Kinabalu on Friday has affected the entire Intrepid community of staff and travellers.