Trek: Day 1

1:52:00 PM Brooke Neal 10 Comments

Trek Day 1: Nayapul to Ulleri
Goodbye Civilization!
Written by my good friend and trek mate Trish Johnson
Photos taken with a combination of my cell phone and the "big camera" when I felt like pulling it from my bag.

The first leg of the trek was from the "flat" plains of Pokhara to the small village of Ulleri. Almost as soon as we left Pokhara the landscape changed from small town to intensely rural. The buses dropped us at the roadside village of Nayapul and after crossing a small river we began trekking on a dusty dirt road. The road ran out after about 1.5km and for the next 12km we walked straight up. We trekked past small villages, women working terraced corn and barley fields, children on their way to school, water buffalo grazing, and the mountain ponies who go up & down from Tibet to Nepal carrying everything - from soap to coffee to water to candy bars - that the people living in the mountains need. If the ponies (or people) don't bring it, you don't need or have it. There are no stores, save what people sell out their windows to the trekkers - mostly water, soda, cookies & candy. Have you ever been somewhere with no roads? Not even a dirt road or path? It's mind-blowing. The only way out is by foot, hoof, or MediVac.
The link between the villages are rough, hand-placed stone steps. They climb steeply up the mountainsides, broken only by the occasional suspension bridge. The high mountain villages consist of some houses, a couple tea houses (restaurant/rest stops), and the guest houses (hostels) where trekkers can get a room for the night.

Our guesthouse was clean & basic. I'm not really a hostel kinda girl, but it's amazing where you can sleep (or pee) if you're tired enough. The food though is a miracle of creativity and resourcefulness. A delicious feast of fried rice, curried veg, momos (dumplings) was cooked for 18 by one woman in a tiny kitchen on a gas stove by a single light bulb (no electricity in the village last night.)


Porters carried our bags up the mountain--I was amazed at how much these small men could carry up the mountain and arrive at our destination before us!







After a stop for lunch (the national dish of Nepal is dal bhat: lentils, rice, veggie curry) we arrived in Ulleri in late afternoon, tired & sweaty. The clouds and fog that had obscured our views all day gathered strength, and turned into a monsoonal mountain downpour. Lightning, hail, and torrential rain swept the mountainside. The reward though was waking to our first glimpse of the snow-covered massif of Annapurna South.

10 comments:

  1. Was this a group tour? Intrepid?

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    1. This was an organized tour--18 women mostly from our compound in SA--we had an organizer on the ground here, but once in Nepal we were led by Samsara. Great organization, they took care of everything!

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  2. Wonderful pictures, this is from a world I have not experienced.
    Thanks for photo tour it was exciting.
    Have a great May week.

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  3. What a wonderful opportunity to see this part of the world through your lens!
    Thank you so much for sharing at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2016/05/snorkeling-on-saint-thomas.html

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  4. WOW! Curious as to how this trip evolved given it is so different from your other trips.

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    1. I met the women heading up the trip during a side trip to Madain Selah. I mentioned it to my husband who was super supportive, so then I told my running partner who said "YES!!!" and so I signed up. My husband is a mountain climber, but I'm more of a hiker. He regularly invites me to to bigger climbs with him, but snow, crampons and a 60lb backpack don't sound fun to me. The trek to Nepal was much more up my ally--It was a tough trip, but good.

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  5. Your photos tell the story! Love the pic of the toddler in the window, with the blanket and the view of the stone steps around the mountain from one village to another:) I totally get your passion for new vistas, curiosity about other cultures and how they live. Since I/we've done it, I understand your passion: it's addicting to keep traveling and putting up with the discomforts.

    Has been a while that I visited you. It's because I've been extremely busy with a new meme called SEASONS. It's about anything and any experience during a Season. So that is beyond the weather or landscapes! Would love for you to join, because I know you'll bring a whole new aspect. The photo link is open from Sunday- Wednesday 7pm, US Pacific time. If you don't see this today, I'll give you a reminder on Saturday, for the new week. Hope to see you there, and have a happy week!

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  6. So interesting! This sounds like my kind of trip/hike, seeing a world that right now as I sit behind my computer seems so far away from mine. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. Man Brooke the imagery here... Nepal is calling my name. What a once in a life time trip for you. I'm in awe.

    Lisa @ Life Thru the Lens

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  8. So amazing to see this culture and realize that people are living like this today, right now. Such a wonderful experience for you to undertake. Glad you had those porters to carry your gear. Such incredible terracing this is!

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