Stop #3 is Nepal with 2 couples and 8 kids. A journey we will never forget. From Nagarkot to view Mount Everest, Pokhara the boutique jewel of Nepal, Chitwan National Park with rhino safari, and ending with Kathmandu shopping galore. What do you say when your doctor friends offer their frequent flyer miles to travel to Nepal with them? Yes, of course! But, with their 4 and my 4 small kids? Crazy, I know. But, we did it and there is plenty to write about.
First, I’ve got to say that if you are a coffee addict like me, you need to be prepared. You might find good coffee in Kathmandu but instant coffee may be your only option. Here is a coffee addict travel hint: Buy an Aeropress before you leave home! You can drink fresh grounds pressed to perfection with just adding the hot water. Perfect to prepare a weary body for a day long trek. Here is what we travel with (I already admitted my addiction!).
We spent time in 4 areas of Nepal in order to see as much during those 10 days as possible. The first night we slept on top of Nagarkot and woke up to the sun rising over Mt. Everest. That day we traveled the harrowing road from Kathmandu to Pokhara and were surrounded by the Annapurna mountains which includes 17 peaks over 7,000 meters. With the help of porters, we did make it to 5,000 meters and enjoyed our coffee, the many tea shops, and Dahl on the trail.
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Traveling up into these mountains, it was inspiring to see so many Nepalese carrying heavy loads on their heads and backs up inclines that put our tallest American mountains to shame. How do they do it? I realized that they they know no different. I reflected on my life which began in America until I was 26 and moved to Asia. This move stripped me of material goods and comforts that I had known my whole life. As I have lived among the poor of rural Cambodia, I am continuously challenged to become more and more a minimalist. To leave behind comforts and choose a life that includes more walking and less riding, more carrying and less delegating, and the scenic incline instead of the easy paved path.
The next stop was Chitwan National Park to take an all day safari to see alligators, rhinos, and elephants, along with many beautiful birds. This area was unusually hot and flat being in South Nepal but sneaking up on bathing rhinos made it well worth it.
Lastly, we enjoyed the rest, air conditioning, electricity, and city comforts in Kathmandu. The shops were picturesque with unique items for sale including leather artisans, beautiful Persian style rugs, knives and swords, and many other interested goods.
Now, you’ve got to let me know! Would you consider taking your family to Nepal?