I traveled to Nepal from New Zealand with a family of four. Over the winter months in New Zealand i had been busy fundraising with Jack for the people of Nepal. This wasn’t any old sausage sizzle or cake stall, we decided to summit the four highest peaks of the north island in three days. The funds that we raised went toward supplies for building roofs and helping the people of a small town in the Himalayas. The effect that our expedition had was more profound than I could have imagined, the people were so grateful for the smallest things. my favourite thing to give out was small toys to the children there faces lit up with total joy. all up this adventure to Nepal made me feel so happy.
This is day One – Three.
We touched down in Kathmandu at midnight, there was a big festival on which left the streets empty, except for the odd chicken or two. Our driver was waiting for us to take us to our hotel, this was a luxury after 36 hours of navigating my way through foreign airports.
My first night in Kathmandu was in a 5 star hotel in the heart of the city. Not exactly what i had imagined when i set off to the Himalayas on an aid mission.
Lack of sleep and fatigue got the better of me and i was soon fast asleep in the Egyptian cotton sheets, dreaming of snowy peaks and endless mountains.
Stepping out onto the streets in Kathmandu is like your first day of school. You don’t know where to go, what to say and how to act. The streets are busy, noisy and hot. Dust billows up from passing cars and motorbikes giving you an instant tan.
Locals have shops set up on the foot paths with fruits and food, clothes and shoes, each one trying harder than the last to get your business. Children follow you down the street asking for food and money. I got some sweets from a stall and was giving them to the kids, more and more kept coming, i eventually had to hand them over and make a run for it, dodging dog poop and stray chickens as i went.
The majority of the people living in Kathmandu are living in what the western world would consider poverty. It was a humbling experience walking the streets of Kathmandu and seeing how little people can get by on. Every person that i bought something from was so thank full and gracious, even if it was just a bag of fruit or key chain. This experience really helped put things in to perspective for me.
I travelled to Nepal with a family from New Zealand who wanted to help the people of Nepal. I had spent time working as a mentor to their 14 year old son Jack and I knew this would be a great opportunity to be able to help others, as well as have an epic adventure!
As I have been growing as an explorer, I have been lucky enough to work with Kathmandu. Kathmandu sponsored me with financing and a huge amount of gear to make this mission to Nepal possible. All the kind people who donated money and clothes made the aid part of this adventure happen. Isn’t it amazing what can be achieved when people come together.
We set off the following morning (Jack, his sister Emily, their mum Lisa and Dad Rob) to Swayambhunath . This beautiful old temple looks over Kathmandu and is one of the most sacred sites to Buddhist and Tibetan Buddhism. The temple has gained the name ‘monkey temple’, because, you guessed it, monkeys hang out there! These little fuckers are so scary. They move around in little gangs, choosing who their next victim will be. Don’t take anything valuable with you unless you intend to battle an angry little monkey for it. Shiny things will be whipped out of your pocket, any food will get nicked straight away and any bare skin might be open to taste testing.
My top tip if you want to visit here, make sure you get your rabies vaccine!
But fun and games aside, we are entering their territory and should always treat animals with respect, even the naughtiest monkeys with the sharpest teeth.
After lunch at a local restaurant I decided to take Jack on a wander through the city. I didn’t have a plan in mind but I was keen for Jack to be exposed to as much as possible on this trip. I have been hanging out with Jack for about 3 years and have watched him develop from a child into a teenager with more direction than your average 14 year old. This experience would be one that will stay with jack even if he doesn’t realise it at his young age. We headed off down a narrow winding side street which turned into an alley way. We were in a local area of Kathmandu and I could feel people looking at us wondering what these white boys were doing in this part of town. Jack was getting twitchy asking if we should turn around, I knew he felt vulnerable but i felt we were safe. We passed a shop that had a big line of locals outside of it. I had instant FOMO and wanted in on what everyone was getting. I got a glimpse of man with chickens on a pole, being cooked with a gas blow torch! I was very tempted but then I imaged having salmonella in the mountains and decided against it.
On our final night in Katmandu we had a traditional meal called Dal Bhat. It has Simple flavours and ingredients but it is nourishing and satisfying. It consists of steamed rice, lentil curry and pickled veggies and it is delicious! little did I know, I was about to be eating a whole lot more of this Traditional kind of food.
From Kathmandu we were headed to Lukla, a village at the start of the everest base camp trek. This is where the majority of people fly into and it is the most dangerous airport in the world…
This journey was Supported by: Kathmandu