Adventures in Nepal

Letter 1 - Wild West Nepal.

(Written on October 15th, 2000)

Hello Everybody!!

How r u all? We are fine and came back to civilization ... (I mean to Katmandu) after 3 weeks of trekking in west Nepal (or shell I say "wild west Nepal" ?). Normally, to the ones of you who don't know, Nepal is quite an easy place for trekking. You have shops and places to sleep along most of the treks, so you can really travel with light luggage.

BUT we went to an area which is called Dolpo (maybe you have heard about a film called "Himalaya" which was screened in Israel some months ago, this film was about Dolpo but we didn't know about that). Dolpo is a very remote area, you can't find there any tourist and no facilities. A permit to a trek in lower Dolpo cost 10$ and is given only to organized groups, and a permit to upper Dolpo cost 700$ and it also can be used by groups only. So what could we do?? First we thought that we would go only to lower Dolpo. We paid some money to an agency in Katmandu which was willing to say that we were trekking with them, so we could get the groups permit. BUT we were actually on our own.

The permit.

The way to the starting point of the trek, which is called Dunai, was really difficult, and took us almost a week!!!. In Dunai there are some Guerilla Communists groups which attack from time to time. Normally they don't attack tourist but political people. We were warned about them, but we thought that everything would be OK........

Juphal airport near Dunai.

AND just one day after we left Dunai and started our trek those Communist groups killed around 30 policemen in Dunai, but we were further up the valley on that time, hoping that they won't reach us...

A local girl.

A local boy.

We were walking up the valley. The local people as you go up are actually Tibetans and not Nepalese. Soon Nir became very sick (diarrhea) and we were alone in the mountains. Lucky us, we met one very nice Tibetan family in a village called Ringmo which is located up the mountains at 3,700 m' and we stayed with them few days till Nir got better.

A local man.

A local woman.

Our hosts and us.

Our tent on the roof of a house in Ringmo village.

Their village is quite a spiritual village... they belong to a religion called Bon-Po (the Bon-Po people are the early Buddhists - they are an early stream of Buddhists.....). When we were there, they did all kinds of spiritual ceremonies to chase all the bad spirits away from their village. They had many bad things going on lately and even said that Nir's sickness is related to that...

Ringmo Gompa.

Another interesting thing about them, is that there was one monk in the village which just came out from a closed room after 200 (two hundred !) days of staying alone and meditating! It was really amazing, and the village made a big party to welcome him back to normal live.

Phoksumdo lake, the deepest lake in Nepal, at 3,600m'.

The Ringmo people told us that due to the clashes in Dunai all the policemen ran away so we can continue to upper Dolpo (the area which costs 700$ permit per person) so this is what we did. Upper Dolpa is really fascinating. It's a mixture of snow capped mountains and a complete desert. There are some villages there but not many, and the common diet is meat since they can't grow much vegetables there.

Yaks in the plains of Upper Dolpo.

We were crossing 9 mountain passes above 4,000 m' and 6 of them were higher than 5,000 meters (really high !). The highest point was 5,600 m' (where you can hardly breath....). The trek was really rough and difficult and everything that could go wrong went wrong (I won't tell you all the details...) but eventually after 3 weeks of trekking (even half day in YOM KIPUR!!!) we arrived to a place called Jomsom (or shell I call it heaven - cause that what we thought about it when we arrived).

Niwar (Tsarka) mountain pass at 5,570 m.

Jomsom is a village full of RED delicious apples (In the trek we ate only local food which is called Tsampa, a mixture of flower and water - uncooked...) and it has a tiny airport where you can take a tiny airplane (15 seats) and fly to Pokhara (after paying an amount of money which is not tiny at all) and from there to Katmandu.

The welcome sign in the upper entrance Jomsom. Tali holds an apple in her mouth...

The apple market near Jomsom airstrip.

And here we are!!!!! I hope to hear from you as soon as possible. If you can answer today it would be great, otherwise I'll see your replies only after 3 weeks cause tomorrow morning we are going to start the Everest base camp trek!!!!

Mountains as seen from Pokhara town.

So really hope to hear from you!!!!!

...and see you soon in Israel

Happy Succoth !


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Last modified: Sat Jun 2nd 14:05:00 IST 2001