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Katmandu, Nepal

Well here I am, at long last back in Nepal. I came in 97 for a MTB ride, which was fantastic, but I didn’t feel that I had seen a great deal of Katmandu.

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So here I am again, 20 years later for a trek to Everest Base Camp. It’s the coldest time of the year but it is also the quietest time for me as a self-employed, trainer, leader etc.

I’ve arrived early as my body struggles with the labours of travelling. I’m using Air bnb to find accommodation and Raju, my host has been very hospitable and helpful. Is the room everything that you would desire, well no, but for £9 a night it is more than acceptable.

What have I been up to? The apartment is on a direct road into the centre of Katmandu. To Thamel, the tourist epi centre. What has changed? Motorbikes and scooters. It is still, noisy, dusty, smelly and fragrant as it ever was, lots of people, locals and tourists alike but now we have to weave around these vehicles. There is a highway code in Nepal but I think that it may only be a suggestion. If you are waiting to cross a road don’t wait for space or invitation, you have to go for it or wait for ever. Don’t pick on the trucks or busses as they rule.

The motorbikes do appear to be engaged in some weird race. Not for life but probably death.

So I’ve been to Swayambunath or monkey temple. A not too pleasant walk through the traffic but interesting and fun to see the structures and cultural adaptations. There is a significant set of steps to gain the Temple entrance, I weighed it up and thought that I should be able to make it in a oner, I found myself struggling at about half way so I stopped to take a picture, obviously. Researching afterwards I find the Katmandu is 1350 metres above sea level not high by Himalayan standards but close to Munro level.

The Monkeys are rhesus macaques. They have been here a while, look quite threadbare, always investigating if it is worth eating, so don’t drop anything. They get shouted at, but generally co-exist with the humans. Some of the Temples were destroyed in the 2015 earthquake and some survived. The main Buddhist Stupa is still there, keeping a watchful p1020015eye on the Katmandu valley.

And so now to start packing for the trip that will start tomorrow.

Robin

A few days in the Lakes

I enjoy being in the lakes so t0 enable me to have a few more miles in my legs in preparation for my trip to Nepal I’ve been to the lakes for a few days. I set off from home early so that I could have a walk up Blencethra

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It was an enjoyable walk. From the top of Scales fell I was in low cloud. Whilst it is always better to have the view on thisoccasion I was here for the exercise.

Keeping to the ridge I made my way down to Threlkeld and back to the car.

The next day I had planned to take on the Newlands round but I was aware that the weather was changing with the wind speed increasing. I’ll see how things go. An early start, plenty of parking at the base of Cat bells. I was fully expecting to be alone as Iwas on my way up at 8am, but no as i crested the first scambly bit I couldsee a headtorch in the distance. Coldand clear until the hause between Catbells and Maiden Moor. Here I met the lone fell runner on his way down.

The wind speed increased as I ascended Maiden Moor so I changed my plan to exit down to Rigginhead Quarries and back to the car.

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As always I found time to visit Nicholl End Marina for a giant scone.

On my last day the weather had closed in so I enjoyed a drive around to Buttermere witha visit to see Sour Milk Gillp1010973

Plenty of water about.  I then made my way to Grasmere to buy some Gingerbread – yum before returning home.

‘Till the next time

Par Beach stroll.

I had a lovely easy day over the Christmas break with a stroll on Par Beach, near St Austell in Cornwall. I’d missed the Dog walk session, with friends and their dogs, that took place before lunch but caught up with them for Lunch in the Ship Inn.

After lunch I headed out to the beach. This is the view as you enter from the Eastern side of the beachp1010976

Many were taking advantage of the calm weather to stretch their legs, dogs were everywhere. Ted had been having a quiet Christmas party on the beach.p1010980

I saw Turnstones, Black Headed Gull and a Mute Swan, I think

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Hope that you’ve enjoyed my first Blog.

Robin