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Canyon Calling

 

Nepal--Her First Hike

 

Pack light. Put some time and thought into choosing your gear. You should be able to lift and carry your pack with minimal exertion. Don't skimp on your backpack, rain jacket, comfortable footwear or socks.
Don't bring the kitchen sink. You can buy or rent almost everything in Kathmandu--medicines, trail mix, dried fruits and outdoor gear. Most of the outdoor gear available in Kathmandu will be locally manufactured but should be sufficient for your trek.
Be social and seek out trekking partners. Make use of the bulletin boards outside the Kathmandu Guest House and the Kathmandu Environmental Education Project (KEEP) office. They are great resources for meeting people.

One last thought--trekking in Nepal can be tough at times--no running water, no electricity, inclement weather, limited foods. A wise 23-year-old Israeli traveler taught me a very important lesson I will pass onto you. Everything always works out somehow. So, don't worry. Lace up those boots, strap on that pack and start your journey to the Himalayas.


Smile, you're in Nepal... 

Spend quality time with Nepalis. Smile and start conversations in lodges, restaurants and shops. Nepalis are some of the friendliest people I have ever met.

Learn the local language. If you hire a guide or a porter have them teach you some basic Nepali words and phrases. In return, teach them words in your native language. Many guides and porters recognize the importance of learning a second language and are eager to learn.

giggleDon't be an ignorant traveler. Take a look around you. Dress in Nepal is casual but modest. No short shorts. Keep your shirts on and loose.

Protect your tummy. Bring a sturdy water bottle and purification tablets. Do not eat food that appears to have been sitting around for a while. Eat only in places that appear to be clean. To be environmentally friendly avoid using bottled water when possible.


Exploring Kathmandu ...

  • Wander the streets of Kathmandu. Get yourself lost in it. It is an exciting, vibrant city and should be explored on foot. You can bring your map in case of emergency but resist the temptation to plot a route.

  • Visit the many temples and shrines in Kathmandu. The vast majority of Nepalis are Hindu. Buddhists are a distant minority. Recognize the importance of religion in Nepali culture and everyday life.

  • Celebrate Nepali festivals. There are festivals practically every day of the year in Nepal. Consult a guidebook or ask when you arrive in Kathmandu. Note that festivals are scheduled according to the lunar-based Nepali calendar so exact dates can vary from year to year.

She learns to bargain...

BargainerWhen doing your shopping in this part of the world it is perfectly acceptable to bargain. So it will be up to you to perfect the art of bargaining. Have an idea in your mind of the highest price you are willing to pay and stick with it. I prefer asking the shopkeeper the price first and then usually offer half of the offered price. Approach bargaining with a "can-do-without" attitude and be prepared to walk away if there is no movement on the other side. Shop around and compare. Many merchants offer the same or similar merchandise. Prices can vary dramatically and there are great bargains to be had.


F
or info on buying local jewellery, temple etiquette, eating on a budget and more, click here.

 

 

 


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