In the weeks after an earthquake struck Nepal we spent a lot of time searching the web for images of the disaster. Most shots were depressingly familiar: piles of rubble, collapsed walls, trails washed away. But many more were filled with something else: hope.
“Tourism creates jobs, jobs support families.” All your Nepal questions answered by our man on the ground
Nicholas Cowie lives with his wife and children in Budhanilkantha, Kathmandu. He was there when the earthquake struck on April 25th, when pictures fell from the walls and the ground snaked and shook beneath his adopted hometown.
The traditional greeting in Nepal is ‘namaste’, spoken with a slight bow and the palms pressed gently together. It’s the acknowledgement of the soul in one by the soul of another, and there’s no gesture or word that better sums up the spirit of Nepal.
Sure, you can turn up at the foot of Mt Kilimanjaro with nothing but a song in your heart and a pocket full of dreams. But you’re going to be in for a bit of a shock.
Trekking may just seem like walking for a long time up and down hills (and to a certain extent, it is), but there’s usually a lot of preparation required to do it successfully.
Stepping off the plane into the midnight air of Kathmandu, a wave of excitement rolled over Tom Svensen.
A new destination, new sights and of course a new culture was just waiting for him to explore…
We all know that the more we prepare for our Himalayan trek, the greater chance we have of successfully rising to the challenge. But how?
Before I list what got me to the top (and back) on my first Nepal trek, I need to let you know that I’m no gung-ho hiker. I love bush walking and keep relatively active, but I wouldn’t consider myself an adventure junkie by a long shot.
Going on holiday is synonymous with three of life’s purest pleasures: eating, drinking and relaxing.
So if, like me, you’re someone who enjoys the sadistic ritual of regular exercise, then you are a prime candidate for succumbing to ‘Travel Bulge Syndrome’ – TBS – where you feel you’ve earned the right to relax your diet and exercise routine a little, so you go ahead and eat your bodyweight in patatas bravas and chorizo all day every day. And follow it up with gelato. And a beer. Because, you know, you earned it, right?
We always know that our travels are going to leave us with lasting memories, but as journalist Brenda McCormick discovered, our adventures can also leave us with lifelong new friends…
“I was heading to Australia and wanted to travel a little on the way there. My brother had been to Kathmandu and always spoke highly of the experience, so my friend Leanne and I decided to join Intrepid’s Kathmandu to Delhi tour as it also offered us the opportunity to see the Taj Mahal, which remains one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.
By the time Christmas rolls around again, it can be tough trying to recall what we were doing this time last year. But that’s an easy question for Intrepid’s Judith Radicke, who travelled to Nepal in 2012 to enjoy her most memorable ever Christmas and New Year…
“I met my group in a grand Kathmandu hotel, that would be our base for exploring this exotic city. Kathmandu is a one-of-a-kind type of place, not comparable to any other city I’ve known before. In its centre is Durbar Square, with even more pigeons then the piazzas of Milano or Venice! It is an impressive square though, with pagodas and many small details that make it all very beautiful.