Nepal... from the city to the mountains and beyond.
Arriving in Nepal after one of the most hellish journeys I've ever taken, I was miserable, feeling poorly and wishing that I'd not bothered to visit at all. That was until I decided to go on an adventure into the Himalayas in search of Mount Everest. After all, you couldn't visit Nepal without seeing the mighty peak that stands above all other peaks on our planet.
I also spent time in Kathmandu - which I didn't embrace as much as I should have done as it had similarities to India and I was sort of 'templed-out' by this stage. Nonetheless, Kathmandu is a friendly, quirky city - though tourist-filled - it has some excellent eating places and plenty of old works of architecture to admire. My final days in Nepal were in Chitwan National Park spotting rhinos.
I booked to do the 'Everest View Trek'. There were several reasons - 1. I'm not an experienced mountain climber 2. There wasn't enough time to head to Base Camp 3. I couldn't really afford Base Camp. Therefore, the Everest View Trek was the next best option and it certainly didn't disappoint. With monasteries, prayer flags and various settlements scattered along the way, this trek has more than just mountain peaks to offer. Though that first glimpse of Mount Everest's tip is quite the sight to marvel at. It definitely had me stopped in my tracks, that's for sure.
Chitwan National Park is a sprawling expanse of bushland located in the south-west of Nepal. Tucked away in the corner and a bit of a nightmare to access along super bumpy, dusty roads, it's well-worth the dramatic journey to get there.
Rhinoceroses roam freely, bathing in the river and grazing in the grassland. It's incredible to see these giants so free and so natural. Of course, you have to be careful because they will charge and you may need to climb a tree in order to get away. The guides are well-trained and will give you the most expert advice for surviving a rhino encounter.
With rhinos being an endangered species this is definitely one of the most fascinating opportunities to get up close and personal. I recommend doing a bush-walk over a safari in a 4x4. There's a better opportunity to see more and you won't be with twenty + noisy tourists!