Tuesday, December 27, 2011
I haven't written a new post for my blog for almost 2 months now. Christmas is always a busy time but my big excuse is that I have been in Nepal for the past month. What a beautiful country. My daughter Jennie and I went together, first trekking on 2 four days treks in Annapurna and then the Helambu regions. We then spent almost 10 days volunteering in a school just outside Kathmandu and feeling very much part of the school community. It was a great way to experience the real Nepal rather than just the tourist version....more on that in another post though.
As I expected, the treks were hard work, either uphill or downhill for long stints but all my pre-trip exercising paid off in that I had no problems with my knees. I just got blisters from sweaty socks on particularly long days of walking and especially trying to keep up to Jennie's speedy pace. I really enjoyed the quiet of the treks, getting a glimpse of the self sufficient life that the villagers live and of course the fantastic views. You really learnt to appreciate good energy giving carbohydrate rich foods and plenty of fluids on route. Chai masala was our favourite tea and we would order a big pot to rehydrate when we arrived at our tea or guest house. Another little tip that Jennie learnt from her previous visit to Nepal was to take a mini bottle of Khukuri rum with us to add a dash in the tea. Very warming on cold winters night! The pots came in various sizes but this one was the best.
A little guest house (not often patronised if the kid staring at us eating breakfast was an indication of how many Westerners actually stayed there) at Chipling in the Helambu region served us up this thermos which by my reckoning held about 2 litres of tea.
My favourite food on the treks was Gurung or Tibetan bread .
Apologies that this is not my photo but I was usually so hungry or exhausted and this always tasted so good that I didn't think about taking photos, only eating it! It is a fried bread that had a doughnut like texture and maybe there might have even been a hint of cinnamon in there as well. Main meal menus were pretty much the same wherever we trekked – a choice of dhal bhat (the dish of rice, curry and dhal that many Nepalis eat for lunch and dinner) or various versions of more exotic foods such as pizza, macaroni, chop suey or chow mein.
And how about this for a restaurant with a view.