Nepal Trek

November 1992

Updated 1999-03: Captions have been added. My journal-taking abilities on this trip were lacking and now that it is many years later, trying to pinpoint the exact location of many of these photos is proving to be difficult. These photos are arranged chronologically, according to my negatives.

Technical Notes: The photos were taken using my Pentax ME Super 35mm camera. The prints were scanned more than five years later, but they had already started to turn brown in color. I've attempted to run these through some color correction to restore the blues and greens.

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This is just one of the many spectacular views on this trek from Pokhara to Jomsom. This was self-guided, self-supported tour that I did along with CRL's own Leslie Davies. This trip has the unique distinction of being the best vacation I have ever taken. And to think that I never would have done this trek if it wasn't for Leslie twisting my arm enough for me to eventually cave in (I'm a wimp anyway).

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Our route was unplanned at the time of departure. In fact, there was no destination in mind. This was unfortunate because Leslie and I determined afterwards that we could have done the entire counterclockwise loop around the Annapurnas in the period of time we were on the trek. It would have, however, left no rest days. As it turned out, we started our trip clockwise which would have made the pass through Thorung La (upper right on the enlarged map, 17700 ft./4793 m) quite deadly due to the fast alititude gain. Not only that, but I had a little incident near Jomsom which made things a little miserable for several days. It resulted in my foot turning almost completely black. No need to get into details, but it had to do with stepping on a loose rock. Our highest point on the trip was a day hike to Poon (Pun) Hill (10478 ft./3194 m), a short day hike from Ghorepani (9250 ft./2819 m).

Our day-to-day decisions and events produced the trek route indicated by the numbers above. The numbers indicate the day of the trip, and here's what they are. Arrival dates and times are in parentheses.

1. Pokhara (11/12, noon)
2. Birethanti (11/12, 6pm, getting very dark)
3. Ulleri (11/13, 5pm)
4. Ghorepani (11/14, 2pm)
5. Tatopani (11/15, 4pm)
6. Kabre (11/16, 5:30pm)
7. Kalopani (11/17, 4pm)
8. Marpha (11/18, 5pm)
9. Ghasa (11/19, 4:30pm)
10. Tatopani (11/20, 4pm)
11. Deorali (11/21, 6pm)
12. Ghandruk (11/22, 5:45pm)

The letters indicate mountain peaks. You can see some of them in the photos coming up.

A. Dhaulagiri
B. Annapurna I
C. Annapurna III
D. Annapurna IV

01.jpg (25638 bytes)A temple in Bangkok, Thailand.
02.jpg (18620 bytes)A stork posing behind a Thai temple.

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04.jpg (22548 bytes)Cleanup crew.
05.jpg (17627 bytes)Another kind of cleanup crew.
06.jpg (20500 bytes)The Kathmandu Guest House. Leslie and I stayed here and on the very first day, I broke the toilet in our room.
07.jpg (7896 bytes)Waiting for a plane to take us to Pokhara. We waited for hours. By the time we left, the weather cleared up. We also got a plane that wasn't backfiring!
10.jpg (17478 bytes)Oh my gosh! Look at that skinny thing! Oh yeah, and I just noticed that the dog is pretty skinny, too.
12.jpg (19723 bytes)The first full day. I thought I'd get a shot of both of us before we possibly killed each other towards the end of the trip.
13.jpg (38399 bytes)One of the hundreds of traffic jams on Nepal's highways.
14.jpg (23324 bytes)Water buffalo.
15.jpg (22078 bytes)And you thought you had to use one of those buckwheat pillows to get some sound sleep!
16.jpg (17258 bytes)I'm not going to climb all this way and not look down over the valley below.
18.jpg (19938 bytes)Perfect, except could you just take a few more steps back? No, wait!
20.jpg (11761 bytes)Oh, that's OK. She was blocking the view, anyway.
21.jpg (21979 bytes)Looking down on GhoRepani during the descent from Poon Hill (which is where those spectacular views above were taken).
22.jpg (26680 bytes)Weaving a belt.
23.jpg (29827 bytes)I don't even remember how many times we crossed this river up through the valley, but there were a lot of bridges like this.
24.jpg (22504 bytes)Rush hour in [insert village name here].

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29.jpg (29458 bytes)This was a rare metal bridge. Most were wooden and much more rickety.

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Wow, what a journey so far. But it's time to take a break and have something to eat. What's this? There's Buff on the menu?

This is an actual menu from a restaurant in Kathmandu. I've taken all the "Buff" items and consolidated them into this buff-colored menu. Prices are in rupees. One rupee at the time I was there was about a nickel. So, for less than a dollar, you could get a bowl of hot Buff Noodle Soup.

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For those who are curious and don't have the time to Ask Jeeves "What the heck is Buff", I'll just tell you that Buff is short for water buffalo, not Buffington. I was petting one earlier on this trip and I wasn't about to eat one now. If you ever get a chance to walk around Kathmandu, you might find other good reasons not to eat any meat there.

And now, back to the adventure...

31.jpg (32812 bytes)A spectacular waterfall.
32.jpg (27304 bytes)This is a knife sharpening station. The flat round stone (on the right) sits on the spindle and turns. Then you sharpen the knife on the rotating stone.
33.jpg (20858 bytes)"So, I was going to ask Bob for directions, but that got us lost before, so I'll ask you. Which way are we supposed to go?"

This is a very wide dry riverbed. I see somebody ahead with a large backpack. Let's speed up and get a closer view...
OK. I promise I won't complain that my backpack is too heavy anymore!
Free delivery service! "Guys, you can set the TV and the couch right over there. I think the Simpsons are about to come on."
A Nepali school. This is hours before my dreadful incident that left me nearly stranded. It involved my foot turning a blackish color after spraining it.
That fuzzy gray thing is a monkey.

Back in Pokhara. Here's a little spot where I rested and had some coffee.
Another in a series of things you can carry on your back.
This is a laundry pit. I tried to be discreet, but I was spotted.
Back in Kathmandu for our final resting days.
"Oh no, I wanted the gray one, not the tan one. Can you take that back?"

This is the best wild animal shot I have ever taken. This is a monkey chewing on some plastic.
"That's right - the gray one. And hurry back!"
Hairstyles in Kathmandu can be quite interesting.
This is where the dead are cremated. Taking this photo is taboo, but I found this fascinating, especially since these burned bones are dumped into the water below, where there are other downstream washing their clothes and bathing in the same water.
One final view of Kathmandu.

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