Monthly Archives: October 2009

Annapurna Circuit, Nepal


Quite a view from the top of 3210 meters at Poon Hill. Worth the 45 minute 430 am hike thanks to a pretty sunrise and Nepali tea ladies up top (60rp black tea/70rp milk tea). It starts with a few hundred people, so plan on staying an extra hour or two after everyone else leaves. Peace is worth the wait.

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The Essentials

my very own packing guide to light and stress-free living in not-so-developed countries:

  • nalgene 2oz bottles for all purpose biodegradable soap (dr. bronners)
  • wet wipes (for an insta-shower)
  • hand rolled toilet paper
  • emergency / basics kit (band aids, sting relief wipes, neosporin, advil, benadryl, pepto bismol, immodium, cough drops, antibiotics, nyquil, bug spray/anti itch cream, hand sanitizer)
  • nail file
  • travel towel
  • sleeping bag liner (for sketch sleep situations)
  • mosquito net
  • head lamp with extra batteries
  • notebook/pen
  • map (sometimes free at airports)
  • magazines (shed weight by leaving them at a local cafe)
  • a travel guide (you can do your research ahead of time, download and print out lonely planet pages instead of carrying the whole book)
  • surge protector if you plan on bringing a laptop (free wi-fi usually available in coffee shops and guest houses/hotels)
  • grounded power adapter
  • water bottle
  • emergen-c packets
  • steri-pen
  • snacks (from cliff bars to chocolate bars)
  • something to cover your face for a little relief from city pollution (scarves double as cover ups in holy places)
  • quick dry clothing (underwear to shirts and pants so you can wash and dry overnight)
  • flip flops (if you plan on braving the streets) and shoes (for the days you want to remain hepatitis free)
  • skype account (with all your contacts and emergency numbers – credit card/embassy/etc)
  • unlocked cell phone for local calls (get a sim card upon arrival)
  • pictures of your home town and loved ones to show your new friends
  • extra passport size photos for visas/tourist passes
  • a watch

chances are, if you forgot it, you can get it for cheap at the local market, on a side street, from a bike vendor.

bring only what you need, carry-on is the only way to go (check your airline for weight restrictions) –at least on your way there, don’t expect hot showers, be flexible, leave time for serendipity, and take in every moment.  it goes quickly.

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travel hiatus.  my favorite kind.

we’re in nepal and india for the next four months, volunteering for VCD Nepal, Pencils of Promise, shooting a lot, playing a lot, and testing out olfactory fatigue.

india has gotten more expensive, but really, the dollar is just not what it used to be.  not even since last spring.  good thing we’re in nepal now, where spending twelve dollars tonight seemed like an extravaganza.  great meals for a dollar or two.  hotels for less than ten a night.  had some delicious masala tea at the kathmandu guest house.  saw a breathtaking view of the himalayas on the flight in (travel tip#1: sit on the left side of the plane flying eastward, right westward).

i’m looking forward to hanging out in the mountains, rolling around a bit in greens and blues, shooting what makes me happiest, being encompassed by a new culture, and potentially learning to not gag while eating lentils every meal.

more to come.

updates here and from two points of view at sojourner cafe.

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