Sunday, September 30, 2007


Doesn't happen everyday to have to set up the alarm clock setup because of an incoming trekking to the Everest. And I guess I was pretty excited and nervous because of that. So, even if the alarm clock was set up for 4.30AM, I woke up around 3AM and I couldn't sleep anymore. So in bed I start reading my new book, "Into thin Air" an amazing account of the deadly 1996 Everest expedition, when in few days more than 10 people died trying to get to the top of what I personally started to call the "ugly bastard" (i.e. Everest mountain). The reading of course didn't help to relax me, actually I got pretty scared ... but at least the alarm clock started, so we rushed out of bed and in less than 2 hours, I was flying over the Himalayas ...

... and this is the Lukla airport runway. It is built in the middle of the mountains. The altitude is 2,800 meters. And the runway is uphill to help the little planes to slow down while landing and speeding up while taking off. Pretty an impressive feeling to land here ...And these are some of the images of our first trekking day. Lisa, Ganishu and Jake. We did almost 4 hours trekking, and from Lukla (2,800 meters) we moved to Phakding (2,600 meters) ...... and of course also a couple of pictures of me, in case anybody is still interested to see my smiling face. I hope so. And these are also some of the wonderful Buddhist religious art works. The rocks are carved and painted with prayers. The Himalaya region is mostly populated by Buddhist, while the rest of Nepal is mostly (85%) Hindu. So we are lucky to be here, because only here we can see this form of religious mountain art, which I personally find wonderful ...The people who is living here is really wonderful. And also the kids are pretty happy when I ask if I can take pictures of them, so I took all the opportunities I had to take pictures of these wonderful and cheerful people ...... but what impressed the most in this first day had been the yaks and the Sherpas. I have never ever seen anybody carry so much load on its own shoulders. These guys are rally heroes to me. They are really the backbone of the economy of this region. But unfortunately very few of them (e.g. the one who work with the tourists) really receive a decent salary, which is still too low for the work that they do ...

Saturday, September 29, 2007


Do you want to trek to the Nepali Everest Base Camp and see the Everest as close as you can? Probably it is easier of what you think. Soooo ... you need at least a couple of weeks of time. On top of that, most likely, you will need a guide and a Sherpa to carry your heavy bags. And of course you need some money to pay them. This means that if you organize your trip from Kathmandu, like we did, you need to pay for their flight to Lukla, Nepal and for their food and lodging along the trekking. But you won't be by yourself in all this. Kathamndu touristic district is full of small trekking companies that will "help" you in all this. So here we are. Jake, Lisa (a new Chinese friend that Jake met during his trip to Nepal) and I, in the office of one of these trekking companies paying for our expedition ...The total cost? Something between $500 and $750 per person. Not really cheap, but all food and acomodation is included and very important we have also insurance for the 3 of us, and also for the guide and Sherpa. And the guide and the Sherpa have a very good salary (this is what we were told). And here is the fantastic five who will hopefully conquer the 5,500 meters (!!!!) above sea level Everest Base camp ...... from the left Ganishu (the porter / Sherpa), myself, Vishnu (the guide), Lisa and Jake. I know ... the porter is the smallest ... poor guy. I am not sure how he will make it. He has an horrible task. Of course we will try to help him sharing his load.

Friday, September 28, 2007


Let's imagine to wake up in your warm bed in a sunny summer day in a surfing Southern California beach city and ... BANG ... in less than 24 hours, land in a rainy and foggy and dirty day in Kathmandu, Nepal. How would you feel? I felt definitely tired and confused. So I did look for a decent hotel and I took a hot shower and I did hope that things would look better. But, after the shower I curiously took a look and I saw this ...... and ... I really had the feeling that probably I could stop to complicate my life with these funky backpaking trips. But, of course, after the initial "shock", as soon as you don't waste your time trying to avoid the unvoaidable mug in the streets and you actually see this wonderful people smiling around you, and you see these wonderful building, and cows crossing the road and these impossible kitchens (e.g. the two guys are choping vegetables in the court of a small temple for a local holiday) and shops ... you really feel that you are doing the right thing. You feel at home. I guess it is a strange feeling to describe ... but if I have nice people around me, I can even be on the other side of World, and I still feel at home ...And I really feel at home here in Kathmandu. I already love this people and this place. Today it did rain almost all day and of course that didn't help to make me fully appreciate the beauty of the city, but I think it is part of the game ... so here the adventure begins. Tomorrow morning Jake is supposed to land here in Kathmandu and the day after tomorrow we are headed to the Everest Base Camp trekking! But honestly, after just one day here in Kathmandu, I feel already sorry that I have to leave it. But I will have time after the trekking to discover it, I hope ...

Thursday, September 27, 2007


How is flying for almost 24hours straight? I need to be honest? Mmmm ... if you can't sleep (and I didn't do it) it is pretty boring. You get into the stomach of these huge polluting machines ...... and you can't do nothing but eat, watch movies and try to convince your neighbour to stoop snoring ... but I guess it has its advantages. You get on the other side of the blog in less than 4 meals and 5 movies! And this is the Bangkok airport ... a very convoluted mix of western modernity and Thai tradition where in 4 hours stop over I managed to get lost at least 5 times. Must be the lack of sleep. Or maybe I am just retarded ...But what I loved the most is the flight Bangkok - Kathmandu. While I was on the flight I was reading this boo, in the chapter where the author described my same Thai Airways flight from Bangkok to Kathmandu. BTW, if you have the chance try to read this book. It is really easy to read, but most important it is really a fascinating and inspiring story. I would like to be that dude. And I saw the wonderful (from the sky) and probably poor (from the ground) Thai rice fields and the water lands of Bangladesh ...... and the green and house spotted land of the Kathmandu Valley. And of course the Kathmandu airport was quite a shock, but definitely more interesting than any other airport I am used to ... no finger to the gate, no gate ... just a strip of asphalt and a brick building that looked to me more like a Cuban bus Station, than an International airport ...... but here I am, finally in Nepal. Really excited and really curious to discover it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Here I am, at LAX ready to board on my 17 hours Thai Airways flight to Bangkok and from there an other flight to Kathmandu ...
... I should get in Kathmandu on the September 28th noon local time. I am definitely super excited about it. Last two days haven't been very relaxing, though. For some travel agency mistake I don't have yet a seat on my way back on October 28th. Today I was not able anymore to find my Green Card. In a word ... my usual last minute drama. But, here I am ... ready to go. The only regret is that NeNe, my soul mate can't come with me in this trip. An other reason to update my blog ... see you soon, next post from Kathmandu? I hope so ...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


We came back from our Alaska & Hawaii trips and Leif was gone. He is now back to Germany. Sad to see the house without him. But because he knew we got engaged in Alaska he left us a last gift. Here it is. Whats is it? Change. Little change, that he collected in his last days here in US. He gave them to Tina & I to start covering the costs of our wedding ... ahahahaha ... funny ka ba ... :) ... we miss you! And for all my other friends ... don't worry ... I think Tina & I are pretty much OK with Leif's gift for the wedding ... no need to chip in ... :o

Monday, September 24, 2007


Weird to be back home, after two wonderful trips to Alaska and Hawaii and still being impressed by a new beauty. Here it is. Today's sunset in Hermosa Beach, CA ... what I call home since 2003 absolutely stunning ...

Sunday, September 23, 2007


It is time to leave Hawaii. We hae spent some amazing time here, squeezing the fun between my meeting, or maybe squeezing my meeting between the fun? Ehehehe. Anyways, here we is Tina at the Honolulu airport ...... we flew to LA thru Maui. First time there. Although we just spent 3 hours at the airport. Who knows. Maybe next time we will go to Maui on vacation ...:)

Saturday, September 22, 2007


One of the reasons why I love to go back to Honolulu again and again is Waikiki. Waikiki is Honolulu most famous beach and it simply perfect if you want to surf wonderful waves without breaking your neck. The beach is crowned by the bronze statue of Duke. Duke was the nickname of Paoa Kahanamoku and he was ans still is the most famous name in surfing, an Olympic champion, Hollywood actor and Hawaiian folk hero. Here is Tina in front of the statue. We rented a board for the entire day of Saturday. It is $40 for the entire day, but it is definitely worthwhile doing it. We had a lot of fun surfing. I did teach to Tina how to surf. And she loved it. And she did pretty good. Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of her surfing, because my camera is not waterproof. And when she was tired, I took the board and I went to catch some bigger wave a offshore. Absolutely wonderfully gentle waves. I have some other pictures from the beach, not from the water. But still they are giving you an idea. I particularly love the kids surfing ...
... so what are you waiting for? When are you guys going to surf in Waikiki? I hope soon ... :)
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