15
Mar 2014
POSTED BY Brad
POSTED IN

Asia, Blog

DISCUSSION 17 Comments

Langtang Phooey

A while ago in the Andes mountains of Argentina we passed through a place called Uspallata, and thereafter began our ill-fated international food smuggling debacle, which saw us retreating to Uspallata. Uspallata, as it turned out, was the home base for the filming of the movie Seven Years in Tibet, turning the surrounding Andes into the surrogate Himalayas. As we drove from Uspallata to the Chilean border, passing the iconic Aconcagua and other imposing Andean peaks along the way, we just kept thinking, wow, these mountains are just like the Himalayas. Imagine. Just like Tibet.
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25
Feb 2014
POSTED BY Brad
POSTED IN

Asia, Blog

DISCUSSION 19 Comments

The Maoist Revolt

You may recall a reference that I made a short time ago regarding Nepal’s turbulent recent history involving the fall of the monarchy, the rise of the Republic, and the persistent problem with those rebellious and violent communists, the Maoists. You may also recall my mentioning that the country is still plagued by periodic Maoist assaults. It should come as no surprise then, that as a function of Murphy’s Law, no sooner had our friends Nathan and Claire booked their plane tickets to visit us in Nepal for a ten day vacation, that the Maoist rebel leaders announced that the entire country would be completely shut down for a period of—get this—ten days, by force if necessary, coinciding perfectly with our friends’ visit.
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19
Feb 2014
POSTED BY Sheena
POSTED IN

Blog

DISCUSSION 3 Comments

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Tiger

It was harvest season in Pokhara Valley. During our trek of the Annapurna circuit the rice fields surrounding our camp had changed from neon green to gold. Harvest season was the most time critical event of the year and everyone was cutting down the rice paddies with their sickles, beating the rice off the ends, and stacking the dried grass in heaping mounds.
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09
Feb 2014
POSTED BY Brad
POSTED IN

Asia, Blog

DISCUSSION 17 Comments

Around Annapurna, Part 3: Little Tibet

<< Read Part 2

We stood atop the roof on the edge of Muktinath and hung our laundry from the lines, glad to have put the grueling Thorong La behind us. A chilly wind cascaded down the canyon from the direction of the pass, stirred our hanging socks, and then swept into the canyon below. Behind us the Himalayas towered miles high, and on the other side of the canyon in front of us was a different world altogether: the former Kingdom of Lo.
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02
Feb 2014
POSTED BY Brad
POSTED IN

Asia, Blog

DISCUSSION 24 Comments

Around Annapurna, Part 2: Snowbound

<< Read Part 1

For the second consecutive day in Braga the rain continued to fall. Plan A had been to make a three day diversion to Tilicho Lake, the highest lake in the world at over 16,000 feet. The mountain shelf on which Tilicho sits was visible from the dining room of our lodge, and it wasn’t looking good. Word soon trickled down that the trail had been closed due to avalanche danger.
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29
Jan 2014
POSTED BY Sheena
POSTED IN

Asia, Blog

DISCUSSION 13 Comments

Around Annapurna, Part 1: Into the Wild

Before we left on our trip I met exactly one person who had hiked in the Himalayas.  That happened to be Baroon, our dear friend whose family we had just spent a week with in Kathmandu. I was green with envy when he told me about his adventure; just imagine! The person sitting in front of me had trekked around the Annapurna range and seen the exact things my eyes dreamed of seeing.  Our discussion had the sealed the deal, I was going there, damn it. Somehow my mind was even able to skip over the minor details, like the part about the hike being three weeks long.
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26
Jan 2014
POSTED BY Brad
POSTED IN

Asia, Blog

DISCUSSION 12 Comments

The Kingdom in the Clouds

Crossing India had consisted of two thousand kilometers of pancake flat driving on the worst roads in the world. Now the roads were well maintained, and within a few miles of crossing the border we began winding through foothills, and then climbing into the mountains. The terrain rapidly transitioned from low, hot plains to grassy valleys, to alpine meadows with crystal clear meandering streams and evergreen forest. Sheena and I were ecstatic. This was the place we’d looked forward to the most when we left our driveway two years ago. We’d made it to the Mountain Kingdom of Nepal.
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