About 30 people gathered at Paul and Ruth’s in Remuera for a very interesting armchair trip to Nepal
following the footsteps of Barbara and Eileen, who helped with a house build for Habitat for Humanity
last year, and Marian and David who went on a guided trekking tour. As there was so much to see, we began
the formal time at 7:00pm instead of the usual 7:30pm.
First of all we joined Eileen and Barbara
as their team, wearing blue Habitat For Humanity T-shirts, aided by local people built the bamboo framework
of a house and add the walls and roof. We also saw various aspects of Nepal including elephant rides,
a typical street, and a gondola lift. Eileen and Barbara also did some tramping and walks, taking us
to rice fields, bush, spectacular mountain views and a local church. This was also a great way to meet
local people and see what they got up to.
After a 10 minute break for drinks, Marian and David
took us on their guided trekking tour, taking off from Auckland to arrive at Bangkok airport to get another
plane to Kathmandu. This capital of Nepal looked quite primitive with its power lines tangled like spaghetti,
scaffolding made of bamboo that wouldn’t go down with OSH, and roads being done up looking messy. There
were Buddhist temples and stupas to see, and cows wandering among the pigeons in the street. We flew
to Pokhara, and the bus trip to the start at Nayapul made us think of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
with sardine-tin conditions and people riding the bus‘s roof. Porters carried the luggage and we followed
them, with Sherpa Dorsee as our guide. There were swing bridges to cross, and children sitting outside
doing their homework. As we climbed out of the valley we saw donkeys being used as transport, rice being
harvested, and views of the snowclad mountains. Kopra Ridge at 3660m was the highest point, and we looked
down into the world’s deepest gorge. The trek finished, there was more to do and see before heading home
- temples, a boat trip, an orphanage, a visit to a friend Roydon Chesswas, rice paddies, and a local
school. And so back to Bangkok and the World War II museum, trains, waterfalls, and people riding the
back of trucks that wouldn‘t go down with our NZ laws of having to travel in belted seats.
9pm we enjoyed a yummy potluck supper to finish off the evening.