Gooooooal!

Reflecting on the last few months going through a rough patch at work I have realized I am a goal oriented person. Winter is just about here and I decided to set myself some winter goals. I am a person who just seems to focus better when I have some aims in mind. I usually have a good think and talk to MK about what I am thinking about then I write them down and stick them up on my notice board as a visual reminder.

 

  1. Winter swimming – My fitness will be through swimming this winter in the outdoor pool near Central station….going to be chilly but a good achievement.
  2. Really focus on eating well and healthy – I lost 22KG last year and I have put 10KG back on so really want to focus on getting that extra 10 off this winter.
  3. Meditation, reading and writing – These 3 things I find really help me personally  take care of myself. They make me calm and remain focused. I have bought a few books from charity shops and have my journal and blog for writing.
  4. Working as hard as I did in Nepal at my new job – Read the ‘Werk It’ blog for my update on my job. I just want to really put 110% into this new opportunity and see what happens these next 6 months.
  5. Putting my energy into the great friends (near and far) around me and enjoying life – Basically just be there for friends through the good the bad the ugly and try not to take life to seriously and enjoy it with them.

Your turn…Do you guys set goals?

If so and you want to share let me know on my Instagram what your winter goals / summer goals are!

Annapurna Base Camp Part One

Day 11 (continued)

We were on a flight and in Pokhara in the blink of a eye.
MK was very quiet, our guide was still smiling and I was trying to keep conversation going. It was just soul destroying after a year of dedication that we were not even going to attempt the Everest Base Camp Trek. After a short taxi ride we arrived at our hotel. In the space of our 20 min flight the travel company had changed all our arrangements. We were now doing a 10-day trek to Annapurna Base Camp.

 

In the hotel room we called home and checked in. We freshened up before meeting Raju in the lobby. Raju took us down to Lake Pokhara. It was very over cast and the mountains were hidden behind the clouds. The lake had lots of colourful wooden boats waiting to take people out on the water or transport them to the temple in the lake. It was a quick trip to the lake before Raju took us out to dinner. We asked a few questions about the hike and if he thought we made the right choice. After dinner we headed back to the room for our last night of comfort because the next day we would be finally putting our walking boots to the test!

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Day 12

After a lovely breakfast in the hotel we packed our duffel bags and headed back down to the lobby. We met our Sherpa who had caught a bus from Kathmandu overnight (8-hour bus ride) to be here this morning. He was a young lad wearing trendy clothes, skinny black jeans and a purple v-neck T-shirt. It was his first hike as a Sherpa. We all got into a mini bus and headed to the police station to collect our permits for the trek. Once all the paper work was done, we began our 2-hour car ride to the start of the trek. By this point we were not fazed by the road works, busses backing up along the edge of cliffs and cows in the middle of the road. We climbed all the way up to the top of a valley then began going down on a incredibly bumpy road. At one point there had been a landslide and a huge bolder was blocking the way. One car at a time had to slowly and carefully drive around it. We finally reached the start of the hike. We bought rope and a plastic sheet to cover our duffel bags. Our Sherpa tied up the duffel bags with the help of some more experienced Sherpa and carried them with the weight on his head. It is a sight to be scene. Raju explained to be a mountain guide you have to have at least 2 years’ experience as a Sherpa beforehand.

With all our bags secure we began. It was not long until the heavens open. Quick pit stop to put on our water proofs and collect our passes for the national park. We walked through a small village then on to a windy road which went up and down. We crossed a river and stopped for lunch. We were so used to eating big meals we had a sandwich each and a can of soda. Such a big mistake for me. I was so full after lunch I struggled to get going again. My day pack was also to heavy for me to carry. The next two hours were long and hot. It was incredibly humid and raining, it was very sweaty with the rain coats on. It was a slow incline all the way up to our first tea room. The scenery was rolling valleys rich green fields with small villages set in to the valley side. We had to climb up through the village we were staying in. It felt like it was never ending steps, but little did I know that tomorrow I would be climbing 1500 steps. Finally, I saw Mike and Raju sat outside a tea house, day one was complete. I sat down MK was laughing as I had steam coming off my head. I was so hot but as soon as I had sat for a few minutes the cold set in. Raju got us some water and a local tea. The tea was delicious and really warmed us up. The tea house was in our first stop of the trek Tikhedhunga. We went to our room which was a dark room with two single beds either side of the room. There were posters on the wall of places around the world. The beds have thin foam strips as a mattress and the bedding is dropped off in your room later. We both had a shower and got ready for the night. It wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be. We didn’t need thermals on. When we came out of our room the clouds had rolled in and the beautiful view had disappeared. We sat on the balcony with other guests. Raju came up to take our order for dinner and our order for breakfast the next morning. The choices for dinner are the same in every tea room. It is a choice between the local Nepalese food and western. MK chose the Nepalese food every night and I was not as brave and ate pizza every single night. I didn’t have to worry about any issues in the toilet area. Raju came back after dinner and gave MK and me a plate of apple and pomegranates. Whilst we tucked into the fruit Raju explained the plan for the next day. The next day was one of the toughest out of the 10 days. We would be walking uphill for 7 hours and conquering 1500 steps. At the top we were told we would have a fancy tea room. The owner of the tea room loved to share his jokes and stories with us about his guests. Once he had finished, we headed to bed. I was a bit worried about bugs so I had a bug proof bed outfit on in bed which consisted of sweat pants tucked into socks, t-shirt tucked into sweat pants and ear plugs. MK was not so fussed just sleeping in his undies!!

 Day 13

It was a early start. I was a bit anxious about the challenge that lay ahead on this day. It would really test my training. Breakfast was great and with a full belly we packed up our bags and set off. There were a few groups walking the same way as us and the whole day we just kept passing them. We soon realized that a few of the groups were like us an had changed their plans as they could not get to Lukla for the base camp Everest trip. The morning was spent slowly making our way up the never-ending steps. They were very uneven which made it hard for me to get into a rhythm. I was super slow but Raju kept saying ‘ slowly, slowly’ ‘bistarai, bistarai’ to us which did keep me going. MK was fine and walked a lot faster then me. We would take breaks as the sun in the morning was incredibility hot. Raju provided us with a cucumber at one of our stops, freshly picked from a farm we were walking through….so fresh and delicious! We passed through marijuana farms as we carried on climbing up through the valley. After lunch we only had 2 hours of walking left. I could not believe it we were nearly there. After lunch I pushed on and kept up with MK and Raju I just wanted to get to the tea room. The village came in view and just like the night before we had to walk up the entire village as our tea room was right on top of the village. I had exerted all my energy on the last stretch of the walk which meant it took me 30 mins to get up to the tea room. It was a big building and it looked more like a hotel. There was lots of construction going on in the village getting all the accommodation ready for peak season. This village seemed like it was built for tourists. This village was popular because of the trek we were doing and because this was the last stop before Poon Hill. Poon Hill is a popular shorter hike. MK was already checked into the room and chilling. I did some stretches as my legs had begun to ache slightly. It was so cold in the room we took off our wet clothes as we waited for the Sherpa to catch up with us. Obviously, this day was so tough for every one and it took our Sherpa another hour to reach our tea room. By this point i was wrapped up in the spare bed keeping warm. We had an ensuite in the room which was very fancy. There was a pair of little shoes in the bathroom for us to wear. We soon realised why when we flushed the toilet and it flooded the bathroom. After a warm shower (my last shower of the hike) we went downstairs. The dining area had a huge fire pit in the middle of it. It was lovely and warm in there and people had all there walking gear hung around it. I began to journal and MK was on his phone. We just relaxed and reflected after a long day of uphill walking. Same routine for dinner, we would eat then the fruit came out and a cup of tea. Raju explained about the next day and taught us how to play a local card game. This card game became very important to us all throughout the rest of the trip.

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Day 14

We were up at 5AM in the pitch black. We would be using our head torches this morning as we did a short hike up to Poon Hill to watch sunrise. We had to bring our big down jackets as it would be cold at the top. It was also our first taste of walking at high altitude. Torches on we started to walk up to the top. It was very busy with lots of other groups going up hoping to catch a glimpse of the mountain range. I again was back to a slow pace and focused on my breathing. We saw a peak for the first time walking up and MK got excited and rushed up to the top which did leave him short of breather due to the high altitude.  Everyone was gathered at the top looking around at all the clouds. I didn’t really know what to expect. Then for about two minutes the clouds parted and a entire mountain range of peaks appeared.  I have never witnessed anything like it in all the traveling I have done. Raju was as excited as we were. He had my camera and was snapping away while explaining to us all the different mountains. We took lots of pictures and soaked up the view. In a blink of an eye the clouds rolled back across and it was gone. We had so much adrenaline from the morning we quickly descended back to the tea room talking about what we just saw. We learnt later on we were very lucky to see the whole mountain range as the weather is very temperamental. A couple of hours later after a feed we were back in the walking boots and heading off for our next 7-hour day. The day began with a steep incline up out of the village and then we walked downhill until lunch time. We walked next to a river the whole way down the valley. Along the way we came across a section of the path covered in small rock formations which from first glance looked like grave stones. Raju explained that hikers staked the rocks on top of each other as a symbol of luck. We walked across a very old looking wooden bridge to our lunch stop. The heavens opened and we did feel a little smug being inside while we watched other hikers get caught in the rain. Well as you probably guessed we started to walk after lunch and the rain retuned in full force. This part of the day we had to climb up a step path which was now slippery and in some small areas had a waterfall hitting your face from the rain bouncing off the rocks. I had a break with some of the Sherpa’s, one of them told me it was his first and last trek. He did not like the walk at all and was exhausted. I noticed he had blood on his clothes, he had been bitten by a few leeches along the way. The rain got heavier and the path got steeper. I decided that not looking down or behind me was my best option for getting to the top. I trekked on until I saw the tea room. Raju as always was waiting for me and as always MK was already in the room. MK did have his first leach on him which we got off and out of our bedroom. We spent the whole night in the dinning hall as the rain continued. There was a huge fire pit covered in clothes drying from the days wet walk. The room kept us nice and warm until bed. I did not shower as MK had spilled my shampoo in the last tea room which meant my hair for the next 8 days took on a life of its own.

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Day 15

In the morning at this tea room we woke up to the clouds parting and an incredible view of the valleys and one mountain peaks called ‘Fish Tail’.

It was still raining when we left the tea room. It was a slow decent as there was lots of mud and slippery surfaces to contend with. We walked through a forest then across a farm until we reached a steep part of the valley and walked down a windy path. The best bit about this walk is you can see where you are walking down to and then the steep climb up waiting for you on the other side. Once at the bottom of the valley we started to climb up again. We had lunch at the top in a tea room and we even saw a line of horses carrying goods up to the villages ahead of us. It was either by person or animal that anything and everything would be transported up to the villages from this point on. We passed a primary school and some children hanging around outside the school. Raju asked them why there were not in school…they just giggled and asked MK and I for chocolate. On this day there was a section of the path which split into two levels I went on the lower level and Raju yelled for me to go back on to the higher one as the ground was weak and it would slide from beneath me. It did scare me a little but also made me thankful to have such a experienced guide looking after us.We were so high at this point all you could see was clouds. Our tea room came into view at the top of the village. It was the best tea room we stayed in. We were told we got the honeymoon suite, which I think meant double bed. They also had a barista machine so for the first time in the trip I had a great coffee half way up a mountain! When we arrived in the tea room there was a bit of panic from people. We later found out a hiker had fallen down a waterfall and died. The mountain police where searching the river for her body. The thought of what happened to this hiker stuck with me the rest of the trip. I also could not work out how she fell and at this point no one knew any more information. It was a terrible tragedy that happens a lot on these mountain tracks. Raju walked us down into the village. Along the way the dogs of the village decided to join us which made my day. Raju told us to wake up early in case the clouds moved over night as at this point in time there was no view. 

Kathmandu Take Two

Day 6

We had a very lazy day. We just chilled out watched some movies in the hotel room. Late morning we ventured out to Thamel for a coffee and some postcards to send home. In just two days we would be starting our hike so we were just trying to relax.

In the evening we met Raju for dinner. Raju led us through Thamel to a restaurant. We were served local Nepalese food and watched a traditional dance show. It was great to get to know our guide Raju. We discussed the hike and he answered any questions we had. Raju has been a guide for 10 years so his knowledge on hiking in the mountains was endless.

Day 7

Today we had a day tour around Kathmandu. We met our guide at the hotel and then she lead us to our driver. Our first stop of the day was The Monkey Temple. The temple was the oldest temple in Kathmandu. It was actually built before Kathmandu existed. As you can imagine there were monkeys everywhere. We walked up to the top where our guide explained the concept behind the Buddhist Temples. She also told us in the earthquake the original temple was the only bit which survived and everything else had to be re built. This temple gave us a great birds eye view of Kathamandu. Our next stop was to visit a real living goddess called a Kumari.

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The Kumari is selected at birth and she lives in a building on the second floor as she is not allowed to touch the ground. People come from all over to see her. A few times a day she will come to the window to give people blessings. Unfortunately when we showed up she was having a nap…she is only 3 years old after all. We did see a photo of her. They are a goddess until they get their first period then they return to the local village and a new Kumari would be selected. Just around the corner from the Kumari was the Royal Palace. There is no longer a royal family in Nepal but the palace is still there and is currently being rebuilt after the earth quake. There was a Hindu festival going through the area we were in. It was a long line of women all dressed in orange and chanting whilst carrying small vase on their head. They were walking on the pavement in bare feet whilst passers by would throw water on there feet to keep them from burning from the red hot pavement. We followed the parade back to our car and ventured on for our last Buddhist Temple of the day.

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Before we had lunch we walked around Boudhanath Stupa. The Temple was surrounded by shops. The first shop we visited sold medicine bowls. The owner of the shop gave us a demonstration on how they work. I sat on a chair and he placed the bowl on my head up side down and began to hit the bowl. The vibrations from the bowl worked there way down through my body giving me a relaxing feeling. He then moved the bowl to my knee and did the same thing the vibrations felt amazing. MK had his turn and the man put the bowl on his chest and back. The next shop we went into sold paintings of the circle of life. Each painting was so detailed and you had to be trained to a certain level to be able to paint the circle of life. Monks would draw them in the sand and it could take weeks to create and at the end of the process they would just destroy it. The detail of the pictures was incredible. The circle of life is about life always changing and how nothing in life remains the same. After checking out the gallery we headed to lunch. At lunch our guide chatted to us about our lives in Australia and she told us about her two children. She then asked us if we would like to visit the Hindu temple and see them do the cremation of the bodies. I immediately was not keen on the idea but MK said we should go as this is why we were here to experience new cultures.

 

 

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The last stop of the day was to visit a Hindu Temple. You can not go inside the temple unless you are Hindu. We had a walk around the grounds of the temple then went around to the back. At the back of the temple is where they cremate bodies and bath them in the river which leads to the Ganges river. It was extremely emotional to watch families say good bye to there loved ones. I did notice other tourists taking photos which I did find very strange. For me it was a moment to take in for yourself and not through a lens. We were watching someones funeral and watching people at their saddest moment. The guide took us back to the hotel for us to enjoy our last night before flying up to Lukla (the start of the Everest Base Camp Trek).

This night we went out for a big carb dinner and then came back to the room to pack our duffel bags. Our day packs had to be 5KG and our duffel bags had to be 15KG and no heavier. It was pretty hard to fit all our essentials in and keep it under 15KG. There was a weighing scale in the lobby of our hotel, we did a few trips to the lobby weighing the bags. We had to get up at 4AM. I was pretty nervous about the flight to Lukla and it took me a while to get to sleep my brain just wouldn’t shut off. Our big adventure was about to begin.

Chitwan National Park.

Day 3 (continued…)

The bus was pretty comfy and we had air conditioning. We were pretty confident we would survive our 8 hour trip. Leaving Kathmandu we slowly made our way through the busy roads, cows and people trying to sell us food through the bus window.  Once we had left the city we drove down a windy mountain road. The edges of the road were just sheer drops down. I was so glad we were on in the inside of the road for most of the journey to Chitwan. About 4 hours in we had a pit stop and some food. I bought some biscuits and MK had some traditional Nepalese food. It was like a Indian veggie samosa. The rest of the journey to Chitwan was on a windy road which followed along side river. There were some pretty narrow bridges we had to cross in the bus and some hairy moments when the bus would over take another bus on a corner. The next stop was in a busy town and all the tourists on the bus got off, but not MK and I we just sat there. We had been told to sit on the bus until the last stop so we did. Maybe we should have used our common sense and got off when all the other tourists did. After the town the bus went out into rural Nepal dropping off the local people. On the last stop we got chucked off by the ticket boy with our bag…this did not look like Chitwan.

 

We stood in a small village surrounded by dirt roads, fields and a few huts. There was a lady who was trying to get MK’s attention and a man stood behind us.  It did not take us long to figure out the lady was just trying to sell something to us or worse. I turned to my phone and saw we where a hour from Chitwan. I called the hotel and gave the phone to one of the local people stood behind us. The hotel asked the villager to flag down a tuk tuk for us to get to the resort. About 10 minuets later a tuk tuk drove through and stopped. Finally we were getting out of this village and heading to the right destination. The tuk tuk driver agreed a price and I showed him the map. We were about to leave when two motorbikes pulled up with men on the back. They got off the bikes and ran up to the tuk tuk window and started to hand us Nokia phones asking us to wait. We realized they were all arguing over who got to drive us. It got a bit intense when more and more villagers started to surround the tuk tuk and they were asking us to get out so they could take us. In the end we just asked the driver to go. A hour later we were in Chitwan national park and at our hotel. The hotel manager was very confused on how we ended up where we did. We showed him our tickets and he explained the bus company we were on sometimes turns into a local bus and you have to change…lesson learnt, always follow other tourists!

We were staying at the Chitwan Village Resort just outside of the main village. Whilst we had some dinner the hotel manager ran us threw our options for our stay. We had one full day in the park. We decided to do the Jungle Trek in the morning, watch the elephant baths and then go for a jungle Safari in a Jeep in the afternoon. That night after a long day of travel we headed to the village to watch the cultural show. The show was a hour of traditional dances put on by the local people. After the show we had a early night as we had a long day of exploring the park the next day.

 

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Day 4.

We woke up early to have breakfast before our jungle guide came to pick us up. Our jungle guide picked us up, a man called Ram. We hopped into the car and drove into the park. The first part of the morning was going down the river in a traditional kayak. The kayaks where trees hollowed out. They were used to transport goods across Nepal until roads were built. When the roads were built the people used the boats for tourists. We climbed inside the tree boat and floated down the river with our guide and a local steering the boat. Only a few seconds into us leaving the river bank we spotted our first crocodile sunbathing. The next 10 minuets were full of crocodiles in the water and on the river bank. The craziest thing was seeing locals picking grass and just meters away there would be a big crocodile chilling on the river bank. We arrived at the Elephant Sanctuary. The sanctuary was not what we expected at all. The elephants where all chained up. We do not support that at all. We just smiled and nodded as our guide took us around, they are very proud of there elephants and how they take care of them. It didn’t seem it was our place to bring up our views on elephants being chained up.

The jungle hike started from the back of the Elephant Sanctuary. Before we began the trek we had a safety briefing from Ram. There were two basic rules…

  1. If you see a Rhino, hide behind a tree
  2. If you see a elephant, run in the opposite direction

It was at this point I became a bit nervous about the next two hours. The grass was long as it was coming to the end of Monsoon season. It was humid and we were walking under the midday sun melting. I did get a leach on me but Ram was quick to remove it off my leg. The jungle was beautiful and we saw a lot of deer. I am relived the only animals we saw on foot was a group of deer. Mike did spot some tiger footprints in the mud as we were coming to the end of the hike. We crossed the river in a wooden kayak again and headed back to the hotel. On the way back they showed us the elephants bathing in the river but again it was not something we really wanted to see as they let tourist climb on them. We had a few hours for lunch and then we met back up with Ram on the Safari Jeep.

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Again it was just MK and I on the safari tour with Ram. We drove through the national park for 3 hours. Ram could spot a deer in the bushes miles away, he had eyesight like a eagle. There was no sign of any Rhinos. After 2 hours of driving around taking in the views we had began to loose hope on seeing a Rhino. We were on our way out of the park when Ram spotted a Rhino. We drove right up to it as it munched on the grass. It seemed un-phased by us approaching it in the jeep. We took a few photos then all of a sudden many other jeeps came roaring up to the Rhino. Ram asked us if we could leave in case the Rhino spooked. We left the jungle on a high seeing a Rhino that close was incredible. It was so big and I was also so relieved we did not see one that morning whilst on foot. Our guide explained they do charge and tourists have died.  Traveling back to the hotel we got caught in a huge down pour. Luckily I had my rain jacket, not so much for MK who got soaked, but we didn’t really care after just seeing the Rhino. On our last night we had dinner in the village centre and had a early night as we had to be up early again for the bus back to Kathmandu.

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Day 5

Our tour company had phoned the hotel to ensure they made sure we got on the right bus after our disaster on they way to Chitwan. We were basically hand held to our seats, which I didn’t mind as I was nervous about us missing something on the way back.

The bus ride back to Kathmandu was pretty terrifying as the driver seemed to love taking over on corners, it was raining and we were on the edge of the road the whole way back. MK went to sleep and I was so jealous as I just wanted to wake up and we would be back in Kathmandu. The last bit we slowly made our way up the mountain road with the drop just getting higher. I tried to just look out the front window and not to the side. I was so relieved when we got back into Kathmandu. The bus pulled up on the street we had left a few days prior. I saw our guide Raju waiting for us. Raju walked us back to the hotel and let us know about the plan for the next day.  We would be having a day to ourselves in Kathmandu and our welcome meal in the evening with Raju.

Kathmandu.

The time had final come for us to leave Sydney for and start our trip around Nepal.

Day 1.

The first leg of our flight was 14 hours long to Dubai. We only had a two hour gap between flights. After a bit of a rush to the correct terminal for our flight to Kathmandu we were hit with a delay for two hours. This two hours soon stretched into another two and ended up being a 10 hour delay in Dubai. Finally we got a call over the speaker that the Kathmandu flight was boarding. I was just so happy to be finally boarding the plane I never even thought ‘Why were we delayed for so long?’. The flight was smooth and empty, we stretched out to get some rest. The pilot let us know due to the delays in Kathmandu airport we could not land so we would have to circle. I was to tired to care about us circling. Looking out the window at the mountains it was just a relief to be so close to finally being in Nepal. All of a sudden a huge plane came from under us and up the left hand side of the plane. I have never seen two planes so close to each other in the air, it scared me to death. All of a sudden I was wide awake and just wanted to land. My wish was granted only a few minuets after our close encounter with a China Eastern plane we were landing.  The plane came to a halt, we had finally touched down in Nepal. When we were exiting the plane two men got down on there knees and kissed the ground. It was at this point MK let me know the reason for our delay was due to a plane crashing off the end of the run way that morning…Welcome to Nepal!

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30 hours later we were slowly making our way through Nepal immigration.  Immigration is slow and painful so just remain calm. It will be a long process. There is a line for the paper forms, then the electronic form and one for you to pay. After all that is complete you line up for the immigration desk. We were unlucky our immigration officer finished his shift. We had to stand and wait for the next one to come on duty. Once we were in the country we went through security again and collected our bags. As we exited the airport we were met with a crowd of people yelling names and holding signs. I spotted our name and waved. Our guide Raju came running up to us with a smile on his face welcoming us to Nepal. It was such a relief to see him as we thought with us being so late he might have given up on us. We got into a car and were given welcome flowers around our neck. Driving into Kathmandu at night was chaos, cars, trucks, people and motorbikes going in every direction. Exhausted from our travel it was hard to take it all in. We arrived at our hotel Kamuri Boutique Hotel in Thamel (tourist area). We arranged a time with Raju for the next day and we checked in. The hotel was lovely boutique hotel. Both of us were so happy to be safely in Nepal and at our hotel. We ordered some food and beer to the room. The night consisted of drinking our beers eating some great food and passing out.

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Day 2.

The hotel included breakfast, we made our way down to the dinning room. Breakfast was a continental style with all the favorites; tea, coffee, cereal toast and eggs.  Once we had food in our belly’s we went for a wonder around Thamel, which is a bit harder then you may think. The city is still recovering from the earthquake 5 years ago. The roads are dirt roads and there are no pavements. Buildings are still badly damaged or completely destroyed. Everyone seems to be working hard to get the city built up again. Walking down the small dusty roads you have to be alert as scooters and cars are just centimeters away from you. Electrical wires hang across the streets in mass quantity. We even saw two men trying to put one up and it was just hanging in the middle of the road. Most of the shops are hiking, tourist or food shops. There is such a buzz in this city it is beautiful chaos. After a small walk we decided to change some money and head back to the hotel. The only bit of dodgy trouble we had the entire month happened this day. Once we changed our money we did a quick count in the shop. As we counted the man at the counter was straight on the phone to someone and we heard him speaking Nepalese then say ‘Australian Dollar’. I assumed he was phoning the bank. We left the shop and not 30 seconds later a man came up to MK talking to him. When I turned around I saw another man very close to MK’s back pack. MK soon realized something wasn’t right when they complimented him on his Australian accent (neither of us are Aussie). We made a few quick turns and lost the two men. We figured the guy at the shop had tipped off his friend that we had changed a fair bit of Australian dollar. As I said earlier that was the only dodgy incident with people we had for the entire trip.

In the afternoon we met Raju in the lobby of our hotel and walked over to the trekking companies office. In the office we ran through our itinerary and paid the balance of our trip. We received a t-shirt each and a map for the route to Everest Base Camp. At this point it felt so exciting and nerve wracking to think we were so close to starting the trek. The trek did not start for another week but they really went over and beyond to look after us. We had booked to go to Chitwan National Park before the trek. Raju offered to take us to the bus the next morning and pick us back up from the bus when we returned. With all our questions answered we left the office and headed back to the hotel to get ready for tea. That night we walked around Thamel to a place called OR2K. Really laid back restaurant with a huge menu (veggie menu). Chilling on the pillows we tucked into different types of bread and dip along with a Everest beer. It felt great to relax and start to enjoy Nepal. Back at the hotel we packed a small bag for Chitwan and planned to leave our big luggage in our trekking hotel the next morning.

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Day 3.

Early start as we had to meet Raju in the lobby at 6AM. He pulled up on his bike and we popped our duffel bag on the back of the bike. We walked behind him with our backpacks. Our first stop was the trekking hotel were we checked in our backpacks. Next stop was the bus. We followed Raju down to the main road were about 10 buses were lined up. Everyone was trying to get us on there bus. Raju took us to our bus and sorted our tickets out for us. The roads were still busy even in the early hours of the morning. The buses have a unique way of reversing. The ticket boy stands at the back of the bus and bangs on the back to let the driver know hes fine to reverse. When he stops the banging the driver stops reversing and waits for the banging to start again. 7AM came and we were off on our 8 hour bus ride to Chitwan National Park.

Final…Nepal Health Update.

The countdown is on…..not long until we set off on our adventure. The packing list is getting smaller and we have ticked off our medical check ups as well.

MK and I both went to the doctors to seek advice on what we would need health wise. We have both been to Asia before, we have had a lot of injections between the two of us over the years. The end result was a few booster shots to keep vaccinations active and our typhoid injection again (they only last 3 years). My advice to anyone traveling abroad is to always go to the doctors to make sure you are aware of any health risks on the country you are traveling too.  On top of the injections I also was prescribed altitude sickness tablets and Malaria tablets. I do like to make sure all my bases are covered so I took everything the doctor said on board and feel pretty set for the trip.

MK and I went to the chemist and bought tablets for nausea, cramps, headaches, the squirts and muscle pain. When we are on the trek we are really dependent on ourselves, we need to be a walking chemist for those just in case moments. We also have electrolyte tablets for hydration and a lot of hand sanitize wipes and gel to keep ourselves as germ free as possible. Our wonderful friend who is a nurse sent us a few pointers to get the right stuff…one great tip was to have vitamin C tablets with us as there will not be any vegetables or fruit on the way and we need to keep are immune system up (Thanks for all the help Em).

Our traveling chemist is ready for our trip and we have all our injections…now all that is left to do is to just make sure we are in good health before we leave. Both of us have given up alcohol for August and we are eating as clean as possible. Over the past year I have been exercising and eating well. I even did Optifast to shock my stomach into loosing weight and signed up to a gym and have been hitting the stair machine hard. We have both been hiking as well and have discovered some great walks through out NSW.  I am super proud of the effort we both put in and believe we will keep going when we get back as we have loved all our outdoor hiking and feeling in better shape. Personally I am super chuffed with myself as I have lost a total of 12KG this past year. Here is the photo proof below…

 July 2017                                                                August 2018img_6922

I have finally realized the trick to loosing some weight…you have to want to change and you have to change your lifestyle. There is no hidden trick to loosing weight just a lot of consistent hard work. I am not perfect I have eaten biscuits and enjoyed a pizza but I have learnt how to do it in moderation. I have also rediscovered exercise. This year alone I have been to the gym, boot camp, hiking, F45, kayaking, swimming, climbing and yoga. It does not matter what you do as long as you keep moving. I will share the things that helped me along this last year, support from friends and family, Optifast, reducing my booze intake, take photos so you can see the difference, set a goal weight and don’t put to much pressure on yourself. I still have a way to go until my goal weight but I am pleased with my progress and hopefully hit my goal weight early next year.

Ladies who…

Winter is half way through. It is actually unbelievable that back home everyone is melting in the heat and here in Australia it is cold, wet and miserable. I am not going to let the weather keep me in. I have a few activities on the social calendar over the next few months and I wanted to share them with you all.

I think the activities below are a perfect way to get together with your girls!

Once I have been to them all I will review them and add them on to the Sydney Social Page.

Little Succers

I found this company on Instagram. They build there own super cute Succulents. It is a great new idea for a gift and as the website says minimal effort in keeping it alive. On top of buying one of there plants you can also go to there work shop and build your own Terrarium Bar. I believe they still have tickets for there July work shops.

The Rock Christmas Markets

The markets are on the weekend of the 15th July. There will be mulled wine, Christmas carols and market stalls. It looks so festive on the website. It will be a great excuse to get wrapped up and head down to join in the festive vibe at the rocks. Even a trip now to rocks feels festive with the fairy lights around the trees.

 Paint and Wine

Book in for a painting lesson. You will drink wine and come home with your very own master piece or your attempt at one. I received a pair of vouchers for my birthday. I can not wait for a night of painting and relaxing. When you book you get to see which picture you will be attempting as well. My vouchers are for Cork & Chroma in Surry Hills.

New Coffee Spots

Avoiding nights out means I have been on the hunt for a few new coffee joints. I have had a lot of coffee dates with my girlfriends so we can catch up. So far I have been to the Lindt Cafe in the CBD, The Ruby Diner in Waverly and The Tea Cosy in the Rocks. All serve a amazing coffee and I have seen my friends eat a great breakfast at each cafe. The Tea Cosy is ideal for afternoon tea, the pancakes are a must in the Lindt Cafe and I would try the Nutella on toast in Ruby’s Diner. I do love going into the city on the weekend its so peaceful and quiet. Try somewhere new for a coffee this weekend with your mates.