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Stupa in Kathmandu I’ve been to Nepal only once, for a week, as part of a travel from London to Kathmandu with Encounter Overland, in 1982


Nepal is a popular destination for people who want to see some really big mountains. A bit too popular to my taste. Many tourist visit Nepal, and many of them have no manners, Empty cola bottles, plastic rubbish, waste all over the tracks. Many Nepalese have adjusted their style from being utterly polite and helpful to a style with no space for tourists not paying tips. See the picture of the young street musicians who insist on their “wage”.

Pokhara Valley Nepal consists of some wide valleys, with the highest peaks mainly in the north. These valleys are surprisingly green and lush. Nepal is a 200 km. wide zone between the Indian lowlands and the Tibetan highlands (4 km alt.) In the west there’s an interesting jungle with rhinos and tigers. It’s not too hot, and the climate in the valleys is perfect.

Personally, I prefer Pakistan, as the mountains over there are more steep, without the big valleys. It makes you feel more “in the middle of the mountains”, sometimes to a claustrophobic level, where Nepal has more of a panoramic view.

With Encouter Overland we went for wild camping at the shores of a lake in the Pakhara valley. Two volunteers were assigned to guard the truck, and I shared the tent with a guy from Denmark. He had a big Indian rupee note exchanged for Nepalese rupees by a twelve year old kid. I should admit that the note was torn on the outside. Not much, just a centimetre or so. Fact is that torn note are considered void. A hole in the middle the size of a euro coin is no problem, but local wisdom has it that when a note is torn on the outside, no bank will accept it. When there is enough people to believe that, then it becomes a fact.

An hour after his trade the boy returned with the note, but was torn deeper. After a lot of negotiation and arguing, the danish guy took it back.

The next day we noticed that all the backpacks were floating in the lake, and that my tent was cut open with a razor blade. The Danish guy lost his passport and wallet, mine were still there.

me in good hands I understand that the population was much more friendly, years and years ago.

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Map of Nepal
My Google Maps of the Far East

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