Friday, March 29, 2013

Plitvice Jezera, Croatia

The gorgeousness that is Plitvice lakes on a freezing February day:




Unedited and taken by my cheap ass plasticky digital camera that was the cheapest i could find on Amazon... so I'm guessing the pictures would look much more beautiful with a proper camera.

More to follow later!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

trek day 3.. Ghorepani to Tadapani

I'm on outblock again!!! What this means is that my lovely university sends about 6 of us students out of leicester to some usually god forsaken place in the middle of nowhere to learn how to pretend to be a doctor....

Which means I've now been banished to Burton for 6 weeks. Internet here is awful and they have blocked almost every non-boring website so comprehensively that even the pop up ads are blocked from display. I'm extremely bored so when I am not binge eating to kill time, I find myself looking through pictures of happier days. 

Which is why this blog is suddenly experiencing a sharp surge in post frequency.

Day 3 of the trek. Only one day left to post about then i'll finally stop with the endless mountain pictures.

not a bad view from our room


room for the night...

the descent!

cute looking donkey :)


another night, another lodge- surrounded by unreal looking mountains.

frozen waterfall

village of Tadapani

so cute!  Wish i could have brought one home..

Monday, March 11, 2013

day 2....

warning - too many pictures.

look what's for DINNER!



lunch

restaurant










spot the eagle.







Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ghandruk-ghorepani trek day1.. nayapul to hille


There's a certain heaviness of spirit I'm feeling with starting senior rotations. I keep telling myself to be optimistic and that there's much to look forward to but let's be honest here, the only period I'm looking forward to is summer holidays. I miss feeling carefree. 5 long months to go...

So, as I mentioned in my previous post, I did a poon hill trek with the 3 sisters trekking agency. Itinerary if I remember it correctly:

Day 1. Shared taxi from Pokhara to Nayapul, walk from there to Hille. Just a few hours of walking, nice and easy day.

Day 2. Hille to Ghorepani (and then on to Poon Hill). Nature's own torture device, a never ending stairmaster, a very long day. By the time I stumbled into Ghorepani it felt like my hamstrings were screaming in agony with each step, and I was seriously starting to question 'why am i doing this again?'

Got my answer to that question that evening itself when we went up Poon Hill for sunset. Beautiful views and I was quite glad we did it that evening instead of groping around in the dark the following morning as initially planned.

Day 3. Ghorepani to Tadapani. Downhill bliss. I loved the views from Tadapani, stayed in a nice lodge, met friendly trekkers as we sat around the heater in the evening. Quite nice.

Day 4. Tadapani to Ghandruk then onwards to a village right before Nayapul (can't remember the name.. birethanti maybe?). Local bus back to Pokhara. Covered the distance quite quickly on this day as it was downhill, I was feeling impatient and a bit bored and it was hot...

My honest opinion is that a guide is not necessary, especially for Poon hill. It was initially meant to be a 5 day trek but I was very happy to be rid of my guide after 4 days. She was annoying the hell out of me and I was slowly getting quite pissed off. Previously i wrote a long post detailing why exactly she drove me up the wall like that, but can't be bothered to share all that now. Plus it would make me look exceptionally bitchy and might lose me all 3 of my readers. Long story short, I was getting tired of being milked like a cash cow and impromptu changes of itinerary for the most stupid, patronizing reasons.

I'm not suggesting trekking alone, because there are lonely parts on the trail (the whole point of trekking being to escape from the madness of the city!), but don't bother with a guide. Get a porter if your pack is heavy but take it from me, it is much, much better to form your own group, get a map and hit the well-demarcated trails on your own.

And if you still do want to get a guide, but you're wary of male guides after hearing stories of female trekkers being harassed - be aware that there are more options for female guides than just 3sisters, which is overpriced and will pressure you to use their (expensive) services. Forget about asking anyone at the guesthouse about public transport, the answer will always be... 'use our car'. Anyway, look around town - some agencies in Pokhara were advertising female guides and as time goes on I'm sure there would be more of them. There is also this site I came across once I was home that has good links for female guides http://www.packedmybag.com/female-trekking-guides-nepal/


On to the pictures!

spot Annapurna in the distance!



rather excited to see a bridge.

the trail/road





love the random buffalo!



tea break No.1 

at the lodge





Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Pokhara

So, the dreaded IPE exams finally ended last week. It went spectacularly bad - i thought this elderly guy had a pulmonary embolism when he actually had... a heart attack (yes, when it comes to medicine i am spectacularly stupid). Spent a day or two moaning in bed about how I've really fucked up this time, then I went off to Zagreb, Croatia for a long weekend break.

Zagreb and Plitvice especially were incredibly beautiful. The cold didn't matter so much as the sky was this gorgeous shade of deep blue every day I was there without a single cloud in sight. Few things make me sigh inwardly with pleasure like the sight of clear blue skies. It struck me that I prefer nature on a sunny winter's day than summer, because there is something so inexplicably interesting about looking up and seeing streaks of blue through barren branches. Summer is too hot, humid and the leaves block the view. Of course, I have many repetitive pictures of the same blue sky which I shall flood this blog with soon enough.

Classes officially started last Monday but I have been a lazy cat... It's Wednesday afternoon and I find myself in my cozy bed looking through holiday pictures and very actively refusing to do anything that would require using my brain. I've called in sick for 3 days now and it feels awesome. Unfortunately, tomorrow my hibernation comes to an end as I've been banished to Burton-on-trent for 7 weeks for my obs and gyne posting... Lots of bloody, mucus covered, screaming babies to come over the next few weeks.

Because of exams and general laziness I have yet to finish uploading pictures of Nepal from my trip there last December. So here is Pokhara in winter:

misty morning view from 3sisters lodge

My first night in Pokhara I stayed at the 3Sisters Lodge. My verdict? Better, cheaper places around. Breakfast is great since you can order from the menu but apart from that... meh. Rooms were alright but it was seriously quiet, being low season and all. The owners kept pushing me to buy things/services from them as well that after awhile I figured that i'm better off not asking them any questions as the answer would inevitably be: "Buy it from us!!!!"

I went on a track with them as well, and stayed there one night after I returned. The day after that, I went off in search of a better place to stay and ended up at Hotel Sakura. This place was also almost deserted, but at least my room had a better view, cable tv and much cheaper at 800rs! I watched 'home alone' that night, if anyone is interested to know...

Pictured below is my hotel sakura bed. One of the perks of travelling alone, no roommate to piss off when I shake my backpack upside down in search of some elusive item, throw all my stuff around and make a mess of the room.

stuff
Ganesh on a latch.




bus park? possibly...

Multiple similar pictures of the same blue boats on the same calm lake under the same blue sky. If you get bored, I understand...