Three weeks in the Himalayas: The Annapurna Circuit

This story begins in beautiful New Zealand. Aranka (from now on Didi – which means ‘sister’ in Nepali) and I were cooking at her house in Napier, chatting about what following adventures we had planned. I said that in my case I was intending to fulfil one of my lifelong dreams: to visit Nepal and hike the Himalayas.

It is fascinating to see how life works out sometimes – Didi happened to have the same dream, and fast-forward ten months to the future we found ourselves landing in chaotic Kathmandu together.

Here we were, finally in Nepal! The country known as ‘Never Ending Peace And Love’!

Every single traveller I had ever met spoke of the country with glittering eyes full of excitement and passion for it. “You’ll fall in love with it” – they said.

And we certainly did. How can you not?

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Meditation retreat at Dhamma Daja

Whilst I was travelling, many friends and family asked me whether India would be part of my trip. I always answered that India required a trip by itself, and that I did not feel the calling yet.

For a while now I have been travelling with a more open schedule, in which no time-frame is set. The concept of a ‘one-year-trip’ vanished long ago. If a place resonates with me, I will stay there for one week, one month, or one lifetime. This flexibility allows plenty of room for magic to happen (no pun intended), and the journey flows more smoothly.

Following this philosophy, all I had booked was my flight from Kathmandu to Delhi, leaving the rest open. My original intention was to apply for a 3-day transit visa, so I could visit the Taj Mahal.

Yep, that one!

 

While having dinner, my friend Chris told me that the e-visa for India had become very easy – “you go online, fill it in, and boom! 30 days in the country”.

As Oscar Wilde said: ‘I can resist anything but temptation’, and if you know me you will know that I take very little to be convinced to do a trip! And so it happened, the following day it was decided: I would extend my trip for one month, and finish it off in India.

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Paul

Today I want to write about a very inspiring and special human being I came across during my travels. His name is Paul, originally born in mainland Australia, and now living in beautiful Tasmania.

This is Paul!

For Tasmania I decided to travel a different way – this time it wouldn’t be by motorbike or public transport – this time I chose to hitchhike! On reflection, hitch-hiking was a very positive experience, even though it required a bit of readjusting for me, I do not regret a single bit having done it!

Paul came to my life in one of the longest hitch-hiking days, where in an entire day and six different rides, I had travelled only a few hundred kilometres. Perhaps this was the Universe balancing things out?

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William Butler Yeats

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

– William Butler Yeats