Being amongst really big hills

by backpackingbongos

I was looking for an unrelated set of photos and I stumbled across these two that I scanned years ago from prints (remember those?!).  In 2001 /2002 my partner Corrina and I were lucky enough to spend two months in Nepal as part of a nine month trip which also included India, Thailand and Malaysia.  For me Nepal was simply heaven, like being a kid in a sweet shop!  After the hustle and bustle of India it was a welcome relief to be surrounded by lush green valleys and the highest mountains on earth.  We entered the country by the backdoor after travelling around the remote Sikkim region of eastern India.  We felt like minor celebrities in the east of Nepal as so few foreigners head out that way.  It was a dangerous time to be in the country as it was at the peak of the Maoist insurgency.  We were witness to many bombed out buildings and burned out buses at the side of the road.  General strikes crippled the country with transport during that time being attacked.  On the positive side for us you could count the amount of tourists almost on one hand, although devastating for the locals.  The usual hot spots were deserted.

We managed two treks whilst there, firstly we did the Helambu trek which was then followed by the Jomson trek.  This was sometimes known as the apple pie trail due to its popularity.  Unfortunately that trek does not fully exist anymore as a road now links Jomson with the outside world.  That year we were nearly always the only trekkers in each village, probably for good reason when we heard gunfire one night.

Anyway I have digressed as usual as I had only really planned to post the photos!  The first was taken descending from Jomson following a spectacular deep river gorge from high altitude desert towards the tropical lowlands.

This photo was taken from the summit of Poon hill just after sunrise.  The mountain dominating the horizon is Dhaulagiri which is the seventh highest mountain in the world at 26,795 ft.  When you are there the scale is simply breathtaking, really hard for your brain to take in.  These are really big hills!

One day I will get round to doing a proper write up.  In the meantime I am very slowly posting our most recent 9 month trip during 2004 / 2005.  I have not got very far but if you want to read my ramblings from then check out the ‘Trips abroad’ tab just under the header from this blog.

I suddenly feel all misty eyed!

5 Comments to “Being amongst really big hills”

  1. You should do a write up. Looks amazing.

  2. On Poon Hill, I asked our guide what was the name of that long low brown hill I was admiring in the morning light. It ‘s just a hill, after all, and two to three times as high as anything in South Western Ontario we call ‘mountain”.

    “It doesn’t have a name. Not important enough.”

  3. Martin, I will get round to it one day…………….

    Hi Doug, looks like what is one persons mountain is anothers hill!

  4. Ahhh! Made my eys mist up too. The view of Dhaulagiri is a familiar one, having walked the Annapurna Circuit some, erm let me see… aagghh! Twenty years ago! Boohoo, where does the time go?

    Anyway, many warm memories of Nepal in the days before the Maoist insurrection. Mind you, when I was staying in Kathmandu the country was holding it’s first democratic elections, which that any number of candidates were being assassinated as a matter of course.

    I remember seeing one painted slogan exhorting people to ‘Vote for Karma’. Hmmm, there’s an idea. I feel that I must have been very naughty in a former life to have deserved David Cameron as my PM.

    Anyway, I feel that the pre-digital past is a fine resource worth dipping into James, it’s a bit like the contemporary equivalent of looking at pictures of sepia-hued chaps in Harris tweeds off to conquer K2 before tiffin.

    • Hi Pete, I often feel the need to return to Nepal. So much to do there and a great place to stay for a couple of months. I need to get a scanner and scan in some of my old photies, they look so different from the digital images we take these days. I have just realised that it is now 12 years since my first backpack across Asia, where does time go to?

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