When asked why he wanted to climb Mt. Everest, mountaineer George Mallory famously said, “Because it’s there”. Well, I was here in Napal, tantalizingly close to Everest, so how could I not go see it, right? That’s how I found myself on an early morning mountain flight, on board a tiny 12-seater plane for the $150 one hour ride, flying first down one side of the mountain range and then doubling back so that everyone got a chance to see. Despite being in a small plane, the ride itself was relatively smooth.
Photos from the passenger windows were difficult to get, so the best view was actually from the cockpit, wedged between the two very accommodating pilots, where we each got a turn to look out over the impressive sea of mountains. I vaguely recall the pilot … Read More »
After lunch, it was off to Nagarkot, my poor, workhorse of a taxi wheezing its way around vertigo-inducing turns up to the top of the ridge, passing green-brown terraced rice fields and low lying houses. Apparently, winter is the best time to see the mountains, so as it was spring, I could barely make out the outline of mountains through the haze.
However, the complete quiet and the cool mountain pine-scented air made it an amazingly restful place to hang out. I quickly left the Niva Niwa Lodge, my modest but perfectly adequate guesthouse with its big bed piled high with blankets, and headed next door to the decidedly more posh Hotel Country Villa with its rustic lounges and beautiful terrace restaurant and happily spent the afternoon sipping hot chocolate while reading, every now and then looking up and just pinching … Read More »