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Buck30 - Great Himalaya Trail Journal - 2018

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Brian (Buck-30)
Begins: Apr 4, 2018
Direction: Westbound

Daily Summary
Date: Fri, Apr 6th, 2018
Start: Kathmandu
End: Phidam
Daily Distance: 0

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 1,493
Journal Visits: 3,336
Guestbook Views: 78
Guestbook Entrys: 7

Great Himalaya Trail T-minus 1

Getting to the Trail

The ride to the airport was faster and calmer than the previous ride. We
met our guide Kishor there and somehow his English had improved
dramatically overnight. Maybe he was just shy yesterday but his English was
decent and he was hysterical with his giant selfie stick and constantly on
Facebook. We liked him immediately. Security at the airport was practically
non existent as our bags went through X-ray with the guy practically asleep
and the metal detector going off constantly and getting a half second pat
down. The plane was delayed a bit and when we landed in Bhadrapur after a
quick half hour we we walked out onto a rough lot, grabbed our bags from a
cart and headed out to negotiate a jeep ride to Taplejung.

Lucky for us we had Kishor as he was quickly surrounded by 20 people. We're
not sure what he did but he got us a price we were very happy with (18,000
rupees or $ 175) for the 9 hour rough ride. The van was kinda like a VW bus,
it was tight in the backseat with 3 of us but that was the least of our
problems. The ride was essentially going endlessly 5,000' up steep road and
switchbacks up a mountain only to plummet right back down to a valley only
to do it again, all the while driving a 1.5 lane road hugging a steep
mountainside with all kinds of trucks and traffic both ways. Plus smoking
brakes on the downhill. He usually just let the van stall out and use
gravity to get downhill. Our driver was a pro as the van chugged along as
he weaved and passed but never did anything insanely dangerous. It was a
beautiful ride though and we knew we were really in a 3rd world country. It
does feel weird being these white people heading out to spend a lot of
money on a hiking trail when passing through endless villages that look so
poor. But then we also were constantly seeing kids with I phones, dyed hair
and nice clothes so it's hard to tell.

All the plants and trees were interesting and new to us and we passed by a
lot of tea plant cultivation. Although flying into Taplejung would have
been easier, this was definitely the cooler way to go. I have to repeat
though that this ride was insane. I don't think I really have the words to
describe a lot of what I'm seeing these days, but the crazy thing is that
everything that is so insane to me is just life out here. We were passing
trucks jammed with people and people standing on the back bumper and
hanging on to fit more in. This is daily life here.

We had a super cheap meal of chow mein in a village, $ 6 for 5 meals plus a
1.5 liter Coke and plummeted down to the valley and village of Phidam just
after dark. A good place to stop after 5 hours. We ended up with a loud
hotel with the hardest beds I've ever slept on which I'm assuming will be
common but at $ 6 a room I guess the price is right. It wasn't pleasant when
at 4:30 am some crazy construction truck activity started right outside the
hotel.

Unfortunately Erin has almost definitely come down with food poisoning. If
you'd like an amazingly good description of what it's like to pee out of
your ass while squatting over a floor toilet, I'd highly recommend reading
her latest blog entry. It really sucks, we knew this would happen to all of
us and it's tough cause we feel like we gotta get hiking, the monsoon will
be coming for us in June, but how do you hike after being up all night
going through what she went through?

We are heading back out in the jeep now I think and I fear that will not be
good for her. Hopefully we can at least make it to the start at Taplejung
and stay the night there.

Entry 5 of 5
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Journal Photo

Great Himalaya Trail

The Great Himalaya Trail is a network of existing treks and trails which together form one of the longest and highest walking trails in the world. Winding beneath the worlds highest peaks and visiting some of the most remote communities on earth, it passes through lush green valleys, arid high plateaus and incredible landscapes.

 

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