Hike Nepal 2024 – 25th May & Helen’s Birthday!

Happy Birthday Helen! and no, we didn’t sing her that song, she’s heard it enough for a lifetime! We presented her with a “card”, organised and decorated by Maia (a sheet of notebook paper folded in half and covered with messages from the 20 of us!), and her covertly acquired bracelet, and I think she was happy! For Helen’s birthday we had a short, 3hr uphill hike to our highest elevation yet, and then rested all afternoon.

On the way up we passed some workers installing power lines. Many of these mountain towns are off grid, which is great for the environment, but tough on us tourists who want light, plumbing, and wifi! We had some feedback for the OH&S regulators of Nepal, but we couldn’t figure out how to submit it, so I will write it here instead:

  • Workers need to be harnessed when working seven metres up a power pole.
  • Workers need to be earthed, or have adequate safety gear, when working with electricity.
  • Workers need a safe way to ascend and descend these steel poles in -0 degree environments, beyond shimmying up and down in thongs without support or safety measures!

It was eye opening for sure!

Also eye-opening. A toilet that is a literal hole in the ground

While we were resting the topic of the “leech and lunch” came up. Yesterday at lunch, someone spotted a fat leech that had obviously been well fed under the dining table. We joked around, not thinking too much of it until today. Kass found a giant red welt on her ankle, and put two and two together – the leech was hers! We have been carrying salt and saline, but in some ways it was better that it fed and fell off unmolested; it was Kass’s first leech, and she’s known for big emotions, so who knows what her reaction would have been if she found it buried in her skin!

We had also noticed that none of the travelers we encountered were western. Most of them were Nepalese and Indian, with one group of Jewish kids (which i will get to later). The reason for this is that it was May, Buddha’s birth month, and many were making the pilgrimage to Gosainkunda for a ritual dunking in the Gosainkunda lakes. There was an option to head straight up to the lakes this afternoon, but we didn’t take it because the fog came in, obscuring anything more than a couple of metres in front of you. So we were resigned to an afternoon of reading, recovery, and shooting the sh*t around the fireplace.

As more and more of us joined the group around the fireplace, Helen remained where she was, taking up more than her fair share of room. She was sprawled over 4 people’s seats, engaged in a book that was written in Hebrew and read from the back to the front. Deb nudged her a few times, good naturedly bumping her along to make room for the others but she didn’t budge. Somewhat taken aback, Deb looked more closely at Helen, and realised it wasn’t Helen! It was one of the Jewish kids that was touring Nepal with a bunch of other Jewish kids, and in to their second month of trekking!! Oops. We laughed about it but the girl wasn’t that impressed. And she still didn’t move.

When everything comes up the mountain on the back of a man, reusing materials is necessary. The door to our room for example

These kids were very friendly, one in particular was extremely outspoken and was interested in getting to know us as soon as we walked in to the door. Later on she was engaged in an argument about potatoes with the proprietor, and later still she was ensconced in the kitchen cooking for herself! By now it was 11pm and we were all tucked up in bed. Those above the kitchen couldn’t sleep because of the racket this girl and her friends were making, and almost all of us were woken up even later when they came to bed. It was like Shrek had arrived and Fe Fi Fo Fummed the whole way down the hallway. The building literally shook every step they took. If you couple this together with the shrieking and laughter and conversation they were engaged in, it was a very boisterous bedtime for them. We thought we’d get our revenge when we arose early the next morning, but they were up and off ahead of us!

Relax time, before another big day of up, and then down

Anyway, hopefully Helen’s birthday was up to scratch; we gave her a half day’s hiking, a bracelet from outside a toilet, entertainment in the form of men risking their lives up steel poles, and a case of mistaken identity after all!



Kass is Jade’s mum, for those of you who train in the IntoYou studio, and she is equally as adventurous, active, and determined. Kass is kind, funny, reliable, and makes friends for life – she’s deeply committed to the people she cares about. She came along for this trip mostly because she doesn’t like missing out, and she always feels a sense of achievement when she completes a hike in Nepal. She says “every time I leave Nepal I get stronger”. This is probably true for all of us!


Deb came along to Nepal because she wanted to give her new hip a go! She had it replaced last year, and boy, did she test it! This new hip not only walked 10 days through the Himalaya’s, it swung over a horse too! She thought if she could complete this trek she could do anything. She did, and she can, no worries at all! Hiking this time in Nepal she did her best – she did as much training as she could fit in, and she went as long and fast as she thought she could each day. In the end, she needed support in the form of a porter carrying her pack for her. She found it hard to ask, and admit she needed help, but also believed that flogging herself wouldn’t get her to the end in one piece. All in all she feels satisfied with what’s she achieved. Deb has returned to Sydney in a better state than she did after Everest, that’s for sure!


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