Friday, November 29, 2013


Sunrise on Manaslu.
Leah and I spent three weeks in early November trekking in Nepal.  We hiked around Manaslu in 14 days and also had a few days in Kathmandu to wander the streets, sample food, and visit ancient Hindu and Buddhist religious sites.

The trek was incredible, both culturally and visually, and sharing it with Leah was an experience I will remember vividly for the rest of my life.  With a flexible itinerary, we were able to get off the beaten path a few times, and the highlight of the trip was spending the night at the Serang Gompa, a Tibetan Bhuddist monestary perched a day's hike off the main trail.  An unseasonably cold snowstorm caused about a third of our fellow trekkers to turn around at the base of the Larkya La pass (5,213 m).  Fortunately, with a little patience and some very cold toes and fingers, we were able to squeak over without incident despite deep snow and bitterly cold temperatures.

Each day brought new insights into Nepali life, and I found the people's warm spirit, aesthetic sense, and intricate and deeply religious life fascinating and inspiring.  Physically, it was also a perfect opportunity to take a full 3 weeks off from running, which has allowed a whole host of minor overuse injuries to clear.  A complete description of the trip would be too long, so for now, so a few photos will have to suffice for now.
Nepali man winnowing grain in Bhaktapur.
Evening walking on the second day.
Walking up to Sringi Himal Gompa.  After 6 hours of arduous walking,
we reached the monestary and spent the night at the base of the background peak.

Nepali woman cooking dinner in Prok.
Pungyen Gompa view.
Pungyen Gompa at the base of Manaslu.
Little Tibetan girl, at home in the snow and cold.
Ice-cold Samdo village and a blustery Manaslu at sunrise.
Day hiking toward the Tibet border with the Laryka mountains behind.
Enjoying Larkya La pass with our guide.
The view from the teahouse in Bamthang.
Bodnath stupa at dusk.