search for meaning in the nepal himalaya

Bon Iver – Holocene

***
Update: Less than a week after we returned from Nepal, the 7.9 earthquake struck… what a disaster! We’re all lucky, but also really saddened by the news of this tragedy that is still unfolding in Nepal. Even the news that my post will be featured by WordPress is bittersweet, the upside of which is that more people will see the beauty of this place. In support of the people there, my friends and I have decided to organize a photo exhibit (check out my travel buddy’s great post on the kids of Nepal), the proceeds of which we’ll donate somehow to a charity there. We’re still working out the details, but I’ll keep you posted.

I urge you to donate as well. If you don’t know how to help, please consider purchasing a full resolution image from me and I will donate on your behalf. Get in touch if interested.

***
“To see the world,
things dangerous to come to,
to see behind walls, draw closer,
to find each other, and to feel.
That is the purpose of life.”

Couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to start this post, though clichéd probably, as for me it perfectly sums up our trip east. Whatever reasons a person has for going to Nepal and the mighty Himalaya, it is doubtful they won’t find a piece of themselves somewhere high up. Walking amongst the towering snow giants at the top of the world or spending time with the Nepali people, you might catch yourself contemplating life a bit more often than expected. Music like the tune above from Bon Iver also helps, make sure you play it 😉

Albeit being a very personal experience that is hard to translate through photos, here’s some highlights from the 2.5 weeks we spent in Nepal. Hopefully they inspire you to jump on that plane and explore for yourself. You really should, you never know what you might find.

 
The first view you see when you touch down in Lukla, Nupla peak standing at 5,885m. Not a bad way to start your trek 😉

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The incredibly (and surprisingly) peaceful Garden of Dreams in Kathmandu, an oasis of serenity in the heart of the otherwise frantic Kathmandu.

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Lukla airport, regarded as one of the most dangerous in the world. It was a cool flight with an… exciting landing 🙂

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Alone at 5.40am at the top of Gokyo Ri (5,360m) and I was literally standing in the shadow of Everest, what a moment!

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Kids having fun 🙂

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Prayer flags and bridges go hand in hand and there’s plenty of both.

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A moment of tranquility.

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I found myself spinning every prayer wheel I came across.

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The almighty dal bhat! Trust me, you will get to know this dish very well if you ever make it to Nepal 😉

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Caught in the wind… love this image.

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Well that’s reassuring 🙂

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A typical sight, sadly — a porter carrying an excess of 70-80kg probably on his back… one of the reasons I wanted to carry all my stuff myself.

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Himalaya villages, Thame on the left and above Namche Bazaar on the right.

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The busy streets of Kathmandu.

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You learn to love bakeries, believe me 😉

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Nothing like playing football at 3,500m… I was SO tempted!

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The Bulgaria – US relations were strengthened that day at the top of Gokyo Ri 😉 One of the most fun moments in recent years 🙂

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The incredibly beautiful Ama Dablam (6,812m) to the right with Lhotse (8,516m) in the center and Everest (8,848m) to the left. A view that is hard to forget!

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Morning over the Namche / Monjo / Lukla valley.

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Some people search for meaning, others for reception 😉

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Cute local grandma with a nose ring to envy!

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Looking back from Machermo down the valley with 6,000m+ peaks all around.

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Yaks and stairs, plenty of both to go around 😉

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Where gods dwell.

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Tea talks with Gami and our guide Kami (on the right).

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Best toilet we found!

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The frozen Taboche Tsho sacred lake at 4,740m.

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Tibetan snowcocks can be such posers 😉

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A spectacular view of Cho Oyo (means “Turquoise Goddess” in Tibetan) in the clouds, world’s 6th highest mountain standing at 8,201m. What a spot that was.

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Not many of those around, but always welcome 🙂

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Stupas and headstands, tough to tell which is more stable 😉 Yoga seems to be paying off and it was fun to see the top of the world upside down.

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Crossing a glacier at 4am with Kami.

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Snow trails at 5,400m.

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The incredible view you see when you go over the Cho La pass — Arakam Tse at 6,423m to the right and the completely different Ama Dablam with its north-west face in the center.

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A snow storm somewhere high up and with a yak traffic jam.

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Stone prayers.

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Namche Bazaar with Thamserku (6,608m) poking through the clouds.

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At Swayambhunath or Monkey temple above rainy Kathmandu on our last night in Nepal. Not a bad way to end the trip 😉

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Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks 😉

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