By: Stephanie Andrews
A few weeks ago I revisited one of my favorite places on Earth: Nepal (home of Mt. Everest, Hindu temples, Buddhist stupas, and quite frankly the most beautiful people I’ve ever met). My brother-in-law, Bhupesh, is a Nepal native and owns Nepal Travels there, so my family got the inside scoop of a lifetime when we went!
After a grand total of 30 hours on two different planes, we arrived at Bhupesh’s family home in Kathmandu. From there we trekked The Golden Triangle to Pokhara and then to Chitwan National Park. I say “trekked” because although we had an expert driver, the roads were long, bumpy, full of potholes, and often closed altogether. But the journey is part of the experience, and we were able to enjoy the true flavor of local villages along the way! We also went white water rafting with a local guide, his wife, and his kids. Summertime in Nepal is hot, and we were all looking forward to taking a dip, especially with possibly the most beautiful view ever.
Quite an adventure awaited us in Pokhara, which is a charming little lake town with lots of shops and beautiful inns like the one we stayed in. We experienced paragliding like never before! A quick drive brought us to the top of a giant hill (here in Georgia we would definitely call this a mountain), got a running start, and leapt off the edge for a 20 minute ride of a lifetime to the lake below. I once again had to place ultimate trust in a complete stranger. Incredible experience!
Then there came Chitwan National Park, where we rode elephants and bathed them in the river. These incredible creatures got us up close and personal with deer, rhinos, and crocodiles. But it was bathing in the river and massaging them with smooth rocks that really fostered my love for these gentle giants.
After this journey we returned to Kathmandu to visit a dear family friend Bina Basnet. She is the founder of Orchid Garden, a school/daycare for kids who have little besides their big hearts, joyful laughter, and ability to welcome us as their new best friends. They were so loving and welcoming that my daughter Allie asked to spend the rest of her summer break there volunteering. Of course I said yes! Just look at these amazing children.
In conclusion, Nepal is one of my favorite places on Earth. If you get the opportunity to go, please don’t hesitate to contact me for information and tips. I would love to share what I know and relive the adventure!