1.14.2018

My solo trekking in Langtang fundraising for Child Rescue Nepal 1. Friendship first

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Friends first!
Namaste! I'm back in Italy since one week already but I have been very busy and also a little sick: the Low Altitude Disease stroke again. 
I'm going to tell you about my wonderful solo trekking in Langtang, completed without the help of porters, sharing the daily life with my guide Jaya Rai who really treated me like a friend, not like a client. He's setting his facebook page HERE, have a look, like and share because he needs your support, and deserves it.
I'm going to tell you about my trekking and I'm very proud because 1. I carried my 8 kg of basic equipment and never needed anything more 2. I covered in 5 days a 6 days intinerary walking about seven hours per day 3. I learnt eating dhal bhat with my hands, as it was the lunch in my fix daily menu featuring chapati for breakfast and soup or momo for dinner, usually in cosy Nepali kitchens  4. I always drank from my bottle adding absolutely nothing to the fresh water coming from the tap 5. I washed my hair outside with the same icy water and dried them in the beautiful sun that couldn't actually melt the content of a frozen basin ....moreover 6. I helped fundraising for Child Rescue Nepal: see HERE and DONATE!
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Happy girl in Kathmandu
But first of all I want to thank the many friends I managed to meet, and to apologise to the rest, that I failed to catch. I spent few days in Kathmandu, finally staying in the Hotel Pilgrims in Thamel where I really felt like at home. 
My trekking was organised by Virgin Trails and its owner and my dear friend Mr. Rajesh came to pick me up in the airport, with a beautiful garland of flowers. We had lunch together at his home the next day, in Bhaktapur and I could enjoy the warm hospitality of his family, and also the best dhal bhat I have ever eaten, cooked by his lovely wife Mrs. Bandana. Getting there by motorbike has been a Nepalese experience itself, considering the state of the roads, dusty and poorly paved, the unruly traffic and the heavy air pollution. Mr. Rajesh is a great driver and I liked it, in spite I wasn't wearing an helmet (not compulsory for the passenger).
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Thamel gate
In the same day I had the chance to visit the office of Bikas Udhyami  and to meet its CEO Mr. Santosh Gartaula, one of the most interesting persons I know, and a friend. Bikas Udhyami - accordin to its site - "is a social business led by young Nepali professionals from different backgrounds who share an entrepreneurial spirit when it comes to seeking ways to do development differentlyCollectively we bring together expertise on a wide range of issues including governance, economic development, environment, human rights, labor migration, gender and social inclusion, and media and technology to identify and implement innovative solutions to address Nepal’s development challenges." Amongh their 'products' there is Nepal in data: "an open data and statistics portal [...] to make development data and statistics on Nepal from 1950 to present available and accessible to wide audience." I'm a dedicated follower of Nepal in data on twitter and that's how Mr. Gartaula and I met. The day couldn't have a better end: dinner by Fire and ice, probably the best Italian pizzeria in Kathmandu.
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Prayers flags in Thamel
I went to Langtang on the 27th of December and came back to Kathmandu on the 2nd of January. In the remaining days I had many friends to meet and I'm sorry because some of them couldn't be there: Geelu Ratos (Ganesh Kumar Rai) was in the  Solukhumbu for the Movement for the Name of Municipality, an important moment in the cultural identity acknowledgement of the different groups in Nepal. I'm going to publish an interview with him, about politics, culture and also identity. Ranjana Rai was in Kathmandu, but we had no time. Chhepal Sherpa by Seven Summit Treks was busy packing and left on the 27th of December for the Everest in winter expedition led by Alex Tixon and Muhammad Ali Sadpara. 
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Garden of dreams
I spent the 3rd of January with Jaya, scampering by scooter between Kapan - where I met Ram Bir Rai, my guide in the Annapurna Base Camp trekking - and Thamel. On the 4th I had lunch with the trail runner champion Chhechi Sherpa Rai - read her interview HERE - and her husband Abiral Rai, mountain guide and one of the best mountain photographer I know. Recently he took part in the making of "The last honey hunter": an incredible documentary film about the traditional honey harvesting. "The task, which involves climbing rope ladders up sheer cliffs to cut down combs made by the world’s largest honeybee (before collecting the poisonous honey within), is extraordinarily dangerous." Chhechi and I had lunch together in Thamel by Road House Cafe and Abiral joined us for a short strong unsweetened espresso, then we visited the Dreams Garden.  On the 5th of January I met the artist Milan Rai - read his interview HERE - and we had a very interesting conversation about his next works, the White Butterflies project, art and philosphy. 
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My last sunrise in Kathmandu
My hotel was quite close to Road House Cafe so I went eating there almost every day and I have to say I really loved it: the Italian dishes are perfectly cooked, they have delicious cakes and a good  Italian coffee. Moreover the service is very good! 
The last day Mr. Rajesh took me by motorbike to the airport. It was a cold sunny morning and we were early, so we stopped for a coffee and a last friendly talk. He's a very busy man as his company is big and covers different countries, not only Nepal. Used to work for to get results, he never loses his kindness, his deep human understanding. We were sitting there in the sun, airplanes noisily passing over our heads, a little moved, with a bit of regret because in the end we had spent few time together and because of a common friend who was supposed to come trekking with me but got seriously sick. Life is unpredictable. I promised myself to accept it as it comes, in happiness. Control is just a delusion causing frustration and pain. 

TO BE CONTINUED
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