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Trip Report Old Nepal

Discussion in 'Less Travelled' started by GS, Sep 5, 2015.

  1. GS

    GS A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I’m slowly scanning my way through old slides from various trips, they still seem to be in reasonable condition and I figured folks may find these interesting. Excuse the weird faded colours on some and fungus on others.

    Taken on a 3 month trekking based trip to the Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal. Beautiful country, friendly people and fantastic walking all in the constant shadow of the Himalaya.

    Home to the world’s highest peak is certainly a drawcard – as the welcome sign heading into Kathmandu points out.

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    First glimpses of distant snow capped peaks from the roof of the guest house in Kathmandu

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    There’s certainly competition for accommodating travellers!

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    From memory this was down the main road to the palace in the distance

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    Spent a few days in Kathmandu organising trekking permits etc before catching a bus to Pokhara

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    I loved the rural areas out of Kathmandu, I was intrigued how almost every square metre of land was used for some sort of crop

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    And what wasn’t cultivated was usually rather steep! Lunch stop in Mugling on the way to Pokhara

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    #1 GS, Sep 5, 2015
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
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  2. GS

    GS A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    First morning in Pokhara and woke to this view…it was stunning

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    ...along with the morning tranquillity of Phewa Tal.

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    Simply spectacular .....

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    Went off trekking although it was a little too early in the season with snow still blocking higher areas

    Classic teahouses dotted the trails at regular intervals

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    …and those views of the Himalaya, never tire of them. Often it was a good excuse for a break to simply stop and gaze.....and take yet more photos.

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    The "Fishtail" of Machapuchare
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    It was very easy to understand why Nepal is such a popular trekking destination, particularly if you have a love for surrounding yourself with big mountains

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    Still one of my favourite spots, eating breakfast at Ghandruk under the towering bulk of Annapurna South. One of the blokes in the pic was a pom on his way to work in Australia and happened to be in the same industry as myself so I jokingly said I’d be away for a while, have my job! So he did! Was still there when I got back 12 months later.

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    #2 GS, Sep 5, 2015
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
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  3. GS

    GS A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    It seemed the older teahouses were originally farmhouses, then converted to cater for trekkers

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    Often dark and rather smoky inside!

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    I remember taking this pic as I was at about the height of Mt Kosciuszko, suddenly our mountains seemed very, very small.

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    Terraced hillsides everywhere

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    Great walking

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    The track into Annapurna Sanctuary snaked its way up this valley

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    Evenings certainly brought the mountains to life, often during the day the brightness of the reflected sunlight washed photos out.

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  4. GS

    GS A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    After trekking half the day through snow I turned around here as this guest house and all the others higher up were still closed.

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    The amount of manual work in these new constructions was amazing, the walls all looked like dry stacked rock. Often there would be a few blokes perched atop a mound of rock with hammers shaping the rock into stackable shapes. I didn’t even want to think about how they got the rock there!

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    Often it was best not to dwell on the structural integrity of the bridges

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    View from Sarangkot near Pokhara

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    Went down to Chitwan NP

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    and took the obligatory elephant ride

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    It’s worth doing the scenic flight along the Himalaya from Kathmandu to Everest, amazing views

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    #4 GS, Sep 5, 2015
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
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  5. GS

    GS A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    The flowering rhododendrons were spectacular, I had no idea they grew that tall

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    Dhaulagiri dominating the view from our lodge

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    Who can resist a hot shwer?

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    Occasionally the track would meander thru forest

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    Many of the houses had stone roofs, although some were straw or the like

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    I’m sure it didn’t just look like hard work

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    More of the terracing

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    My partner stayed at a village called Chhomrong while I had another crack at getting into Annapurna Sanctuary…the difference a few weeks make, this was under snow and closed on the first attempt

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    #5 GS, Sep 5, 2015
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
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  6. GS

    GS A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Plenty of avalanche debris to negotiate

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    Not sure why we bother with lightweight down-filled inflatable mats when a nice timber pad would suffice J

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    Unfortunately my spell of brilliant weather came to an end at the wrong time

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    With only a 50mm lens is was difficult to capture the scale

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    The final lodge in the sanctuary had only just been opened and only partially cleared of snow inside…it was a cold night.

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    New Zealand Alpine Club were there, along with low cloud. I could only imagine how spectacular the views would be.

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    Constant rumble of avalanches rolling down this face and from further up in the clouds

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  7. GS

    GS A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    More of the house construction techniques, the hours of labour in those dry stacked walls......great result though.

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    Kids are the same the world over….give them a patch of dirt, some water and there’s fun to be had.

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    Hmmm, interesting grass too

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    Lakeside in Pokhara

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    Ok it was a few years back

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    Thamel, Kathmandu

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    The popular tourist area of Thamel

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    Women and their jewellery shopping

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    #7 GS, Sep 5, 2015
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  8. GS

    GS A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    My girlfriend flew back to work and I caught a bus to Jiri with the intention of walking up to Everest.

    I can honestly say the fourteen hours in this bus was the least enjoyable part of my Nepalese experience. I guess it didn’t help that I had come down with dysentery.

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    It did eventually arrive in Jiri, the end of the road and the start of the brilliant (illness aside), walk to Everest.

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    The sign says it all

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    Things seemed to be on a larger scale at this end of Nepal, first of many large suspension bridges

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    Buddhist Chorten

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    Well trodden pathways around the Mani walls

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    Impressive bridges

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    Saturday market in one of the villages

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    The planes en-route to Lukla airstrip fly low over the Lamjura Pass at around 3500m. The dysentery was taking its toll on me and these long climbs were a struggle. I ended up losing over 10kg before reaching a medical centre at Pheriche where they had the correct drugs for whatever I had. The ones I carried were of no use.

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    The very Swiss like village of Junbesi

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    Rounding a corner provided the first glimpse of the Khumbu and roof of the world

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    Never bumped into him as he was a few days ahead of me but there was no doubt Sir Edmond Hillary was revered in these parts

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    Best not to daydream on some of the sections

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    #8 GS, Sep 5, 2015
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  9. GS

    GS A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    No wonder Lukla is one of the most dangerous airstrips on the planet….the tiny ‘level’ bit of mountainside that it is perched on

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    Cute small bridges too!

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    I loved the work these carpenters produced with only hand tools

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    Not a battery or motor in sight!

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    We couldn’t communicate too well but they were keen to get me on the tools!

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    Lukla airstrip

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    Quite obvious the track up above Lukla carries enormous amounts of traffic, it was like a highway in comparison to below Lukla

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    Wasn’t keen on passing animals on the bridges so on more than one occasion a hasty retreat was called for

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  10. GS

    GS A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Above Namche Bazaar the tip of Everest is just visible, but still quite a few days walking away

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    The burnt out remains of Thyangboche Monastery

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    One of these buggers swung its head at me on one occasion and luckily only grazed my arm, got well off the track after that. Obviously not happy about carrying so much gear…even though it wasn’t my gear!

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    The Khumbu is rather spectacular, I’d like to go back with the better camera gear.

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    The climb from Pheriche up to Lobuche follows the valley to the right. Halfway up that climb at around 4300m was the first time I noticed the altitude, in the form of a rather severe headache. After resting for awhile the headache subsided and I continued, albeit at a much reduced pace.

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    The south face of Lhotse from Chukkung on an acclimatisation day, a group of climbers lead by Reinhold Messner were supposedly on the lower section. Even through binoculars I couldn’t spot anyone, the scale is just mesmerising.

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    #10 GS, Sep 5, 2015
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  11. GS

    GS A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Almost impossible to comprehend the sheer scale of the landscape

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    Looking down the Khumbu glacier from Kala Pattar, my highest point

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    And one of the big fella

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    Still feeling the after effects of illness combined with altitude I only spent two nights up high before electing to give base camp a miss and descend. Not wanting to retrace my steps just yet, I instead wandered around to Gokyo and ended up spending four days in a lodge with only the owner. We got on well and he was a great cook….I just told him to keep cooking, I’ll eat it, I needed to put some weight back on!

    Track to Gokyo

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    Spectacular view of Everest from above Gokyo.

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    Everest is further away and the viewpoint is slightly lower at 5300m, but more of its bulk is visible

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    Although the climb above Gokyo was steeper than Kala Pattar, I had obviously acclimatised to the point where I didn’t even notice it. Quite incredible how the body adjusts.

    Gokyo from 500m above

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  12. GS

    GS A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    A big crew of Korean climbers came in on one of the nights and a rather large sake party ensued. Altitude and alcohol is a potent mix!

    Cho Oyu fom Gokyo

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    Having spent more time than originally planned in the area I shelved the plans on walking back to a road head and instead spent 3 days in the waitlist line at Lukla hoping for a flight. I probably could have walked out in that time!

    The waitlisted passenger queue

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    I was able to jump the queue for the last single seat on a flight due to being the passenger who weighed the least…so there was a benefit to losing all that weight!

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    Spent the last few days in Nepal rafting on the Trisuli river, a great way to end the trip.

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    Excellent way to relax after a trek

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    Of course it helped having a good crew…and being the only male amongst passengers

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    Thoroughly enjoyed Nepal and had promised myself to return and walk the Everest route again without being hindered by illness, many years later and I still haven’t been back….next year maybe!


    I know the pics are old but hope you enjoyed them.
     
    #12 GS, Sep 5, 2015
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
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  13. rukva

    rukva One of Us

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    Great memories, did the Annapurna circuit in '13 and base camp in '14 and I would love go back again. I have many photos as well, I carried 10kg of photo gear up with me. If you need a walk buddy let me know.......
     
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  14. dr80

    dr80 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks heaps. Pics are fabulous. Brought back many memories for me, though trekked Langtang valley in '87.
     
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  15. bluestick

    bluestick One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    loved the photos thanks....brought back memories of trip in '83 ....Annapurna circuit /chillums/ hippies/chai and totally amazing hills and people ..is it still the same?
     
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  16. Telestrom

    Telestrom A Local

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    Thanks for going to the effort of scanning all those slides and posting them.

    Brings back great memories of Nepal for me.
     
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  17. GS

    GS A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks, we'll need to ask @rukva if it's still the same as my pics are from 89. I have read that roads are slowly making their way further into the mountains. How much they impede on the trekking I don't know.
     
  18. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Brought back many memories, thanks GS. I was there that year too!
     
  19. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thread of the year. Thanks so much for taking the time to share. :)
     
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  20. GS

    GS A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    What time of year were you there? Bumped into a few people I knew and fair number of other Australians....I guess without big mtns here we need to go OS for our fix
     
  21. GS

    GS A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    cheers, but needs more skiing for that title LOL

    I must say, using a DSLR is great way of digitising slides. Had tried various scanners in the past but found them way too slow, the camera is ridiculously quick and I'm happy enough with the results
     
  22. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Brilliant. Love the Annapurna shots. What a peak
     
  23. Gimp

    Gimp One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Apart from the Chitwan and rafting shots, I have pretty much same photos also from the 80/90s, nice one, also need to digitise mine. Thanks for the memories causes mine are a tad haaazzzyyy.
     
  24. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Arrived mid December and stayed until after New Year's. Had Chrissy at the consulate. I was doing my medical elective at Bir hospital - saw some amazing stuff: leprosy, tetanus, malaria, plus all the diseases that the anti-vaxers would like to re-introduce!
     
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  25. GS

    GS A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Can imagine working as a youngish fella in a third world hospital would be an eye-opening experience, and one you wouldn't forget in a hurry.

    Probably a topic for elsewhere but I sometimes wonder if the anti-vaxers are natures way of keeping the population in check!
     
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  26. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Great pics of epic country GS. Walking there gives you a crick in the neck.

    BTW, most failure to vaccinate isn't due to principled objection. It's from geographic mobility and remoteness, forgetfulness, not getting organised etc.
     
  27. sara777

    sara777 A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Love all of it. Thanks for sharing :thumbs: Nepal is still on the list of my 'next adventure' ! Was looking at work at a local hospital, then trekking. Need to take career break!
     
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  28. rukva

    rukva One of Us

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    here is my link, 2013 Annapurna, 2014 Base Camp. See if you can find me in the pics :) I hope the link works.
    http://kbogos.com/myphotos/Travel/Nepal/

    It has changed a lot and I have a lot of photos but you just look at the thumbnails before clicking to enlarge them.
     
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  29. Gimp

    Gimp One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Valium made the Kathmandu jiri bus trip bearable, I think
     
  30. GS

    GS A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I reckon something a bit stronger would have been good..... an anesthetic maybe....and a general at that LOL
     
  31. Jeevan NEPAL

    Jeevan NEPAL First Runs

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    WOW ! wonderful PHOTOS, Thanks for sharing.
     
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  32. soza

    soza One of Us

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    Great photos. Stayed in the same lodge in Chomrong as in the photo.....had the best chocolate cake.
     
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  33. GS

    GS A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    From memory they did a great Tibetan bread too
     
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  34. sastrugi

    sastrugi At the centre of it all Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks so much for scanning and sharing. I bet it was a fantastic trip down memory lane for you too.
     
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  35. sn0wbunny29

    sn0wbunny29 One of Us

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    Great photos. Wish I was there! Thamel was much busier last week!
     
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  36. Richard

    Richard Maintenance Dept Administrator

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    Dunno how I missed this first time round - awesome TR.
     
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  37. cruisin along

    cruisin along A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I have fond memories of slide nights with friends who did the up to base camp treks in the eighties and then this thread pops up just as another friend starts the intense training to go this year.
    Amazing images indeed !
     
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  38. Xwing

    Xwing One of Us

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    Much gratitude for the effort in posting one of the best threads I have seen. Fascinating...
     
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