Day 8 - NEPAL
For Day 8 of my world tour, I have landed in the mountains of NEPAL.
I have had the pleasure of visiting Nepal twice so far, once when crossing from Xian in China and across the Tibetan Plateau (detail of Tibet will be on another day!) and a second time when I trekked up to Annapurna Base Camp to view some of the highest peaks in the world.
Nepal is a spectacular country. Lush forests and rice fields in the lowlands, full of wildlife, give way to the highest snow-capped mountain peaks on Earth. There are only a couple of 'windows' to visit the Himalaya, with heavy snow throughout the winter and monsoon rain all summer. I trekked in spring, when the mountains are full of rhododendron flowers and clear blue skies ... though the melting snow increases avalanche risk!
The capital city (won't mention its name as you have to discover that) is a bustling area of markets, ancient temples and tuk tuks!
MAGIC MEMORIES: The flight from the capital city to Pokhara in a small 16-seater twin-propellered plane with breath-taking views of the Himalaya. Waking up in my frozen tent at 4000m at midnight, looking outside and seeing the blackest sky I had ever seen, filled with a zillion stars and the cream of the Milky Way. And more terrifyingly, driving on a mountain pass without any barriers, a 1000 metre drop on one side, with only 'just' enough space for oncoming traffic to pass. Gulp!