Hike Nepal 2024 – 28th-30th May & Time in Kathmandu

Because of our changed itinerary, we had another bus ride back to Kathmandu. It was another hairy one, only 100km or so, but higher than before and just as steep. Fortunately for us it was foggy and rainy, so we have literally no idea how close we came to the edge. As we were waiting to get on to the bus, we saw a bunch of army personnel marching down the street. It was a Republic Day march! I didn’t know this until recently, but Nepal was a monarchy until 2008, when protesters drove off the royal family. Nepal is now a republic, but there are some murmurs around bringing the monarchy back.

Once again, Tracey “lost” her water bottle. These bottles have a life straw in them and are worth over $100 each, and Tracey H lost hers at least once day, mainly because she liked to put it on the ground so she didn’t knock it off the table. On this day, she couldn’t find it anywhere… until we looked right beside where she was sitting and there it was!


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We were relieved to tumble out of the busses at the Hotel. During the short changeover from our large tourist bus to two small shuttles (the big busses don’t fit down the little streets of Thamel), we were approached by children begging for food. It was hard to say no, as they were disheveled and dirty, and you could see the tent city squatting on the piles of rubbish and debris on the other side of the road. Generally, you’re advised not to give money to beggars because you can be overwhelmed by more and more coming up and asking for more and more money. It’s an impossible problem. The afternoon was spent napping, and getting more T Shirts embroidered!

On the 29th we had a day set aside for sight seeing. It was hot, sticky, and dry in Kathmandu, but we had an air conditioned bus and a driver that wasn’t stingy with it! Our first stop was the monkey temple. It took a while to get going because we were charmed by the monkeys and dogs that roamed free. The buildings in this temple were over 1000 years old, and still being used for shops and apartments. The electricity was all retro-fitted, which looked dodgy, but seemed to be working as none of the buildings have burned down (yet)!

Our second stop was the crematorium and surrounding temples. It was very busy because this is a “once in a lifetime” pilgrimage for many Buddhist people. We got to watch one person’s ceremony, but they go to a different place for the cremation which is only open to the family. Maia had a lot of questions after this, and I was thankful to have Mukta on had who was able to explain Hindu customs (at least from her perspective of what her family do in India).


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Our last stop was The Great Boudha Stupa, a world heritage site surrounded by monasteries, shops, and fantastic rooftop restaurants. We stopped at one of these for lunch and had one of our best meals by far, overlooking the Stupa. We then got to walk around it and even on it. We didn’t really have enough time to explore the area completely, and we were quite hot and tired, but one curious thing I saw before we left was a pigeon feeding enclosure, with set pigeon feeding times. I don’t know what to say about this, the rationale, or anything else; except that it was a very stinky patch of pavement!!

Our flights didn’t depart until 11pm the next day, so we had a full day battling the traffic and spending our last rupees. I found another charity to get behind – Beni Handicrafts – who are collecting rubbish and turning it in to usable objects like salad bowls and bags. Unfortunately we didn’t get to drop in to Seven Women, now Sungabha Nepal, but we did make a sizable donation that will keep the Women’s Refuge and Training Centre ticking over for a few years to come!

Binod surprised us twice in these past couple of days. The first time with a certificate and a trophy, personalised with our names and everything! He gifted each of us with a singing bowl as well. Then, right before heading to the airport he gave us a scarf each, which traditionally is about good luck. We loved it all. Hike Nepal is the best, can highly recommend them!

We flew out of Kathmandu surrounded by electrical storms, tired but satisfied in our bodies and minds.


If I asked Naomi to write about anyone on this trip, she’d happily transcript their story, but she found it much harder to write about her own journey! Naomi is friends with Tracy T, who asked if she’d like to join her, hiking in Nepal; Naomi didn’t hesitate and jumped straight in. That in itself isn’t unusual for her, but following a few health scares, this was a journey of resilience, perseverance and renewal.

Naomi said “Soon after signing up, my body didn’t do what I wanted it to, and I started to doubt my stamina, endurance and capacity to take it on (a bit of an unusual feeling for me!).”

Naomi learned that it is ok to take on your own journey and adventure; it’s ok to reassess and change plans …that is absolutely ok. She says “I hiked my own hills, took on my own challenges, giggled until I cried (thanks Deb) and cried until I giggled. I was privileged to hear the renewal and recovery stories of others and felt inspired and lifted with each and every footstep along the way. I left our lovely group in Nepal, more accepting of reality, more at peace with what has been and hopeful about what is to come….whatever that might be! Basically, I had a bloody great time. Thank you x”

Naomi was wonderful in that she had the ability to walk with anyone in the group. She could slow down and smell the roses. She could pump out the hills and come up gasping and exhilarated. She literally went with whatever she was feeling in any particular moment.


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