Katmandu living

the van de Wiel/Schou Hansen family blog

Here in Nepal we are slowly coming out of the rainy season and we can now again see the mountains on most days. From my office that is on the fourth floor and further up the hill than our house you can see quite a few of the Himalayas so every afternoon is quite a spectacle.The photo below is however from our house and is taken 20 minutes ago when the sun went down.

It is Halloween and with the kids in the American (Lincoln) School and now that we are members of the American club the kids are going through quite a lot of Halloween action these days - This morning Joop was in a performance at the school which was all about ghosts and so on and this afternoon there was Trick or Treat at the school. Tomorrow we are having it at the American club - Lieke is leaving tomorrow for a field visit and will only come back to Kathmandu to pick up some clean clothes before she takes off for Manila next week.

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This weekend was Tihar, one of Nepal's biggest holidays. As we had two extra days off Lieke had arranged for us to go to Pokhora to stay two days at the Shangri La Hotel and go on a two day hike to see the Himalayas closer-up. To go to Pokhora, that is a couple of hundred kilometer away from Kathmandu, we took a plane early Saturday. Most of the domestic flights here in Nepal are flown by small propeller planes, and the plane we took was smaller than most with two rows of single seats (it was one of Buddha Air's Beech planes). To go to Pokhora we followed the Himalayas giving us a first row view.
The kids loved the small plane as we could follow the action in the cockpit - It was a female first-pilot and a male second-pilot - the second-pilot read the paper most of the trip.

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When we arrived at the hotel on Saturday morning the sky was still clear and we had an absolutely amazing view at the Himalayas from our room

The kids of course had to get in the pool right away. The water was really cold but they enjoyed it. Liva can now swim from one side of the pool to the other!

Later in the day our friends from Kathmandu, Martin and Karma, arrived in car from Kathmandu. We were planning to go on a trek with them for two days but first we went for a trip on the Pokharna lake in the early night.
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The climb up to the Austrailian camp was really tough and Joop's small legs got really tired. Luckily we had quite a few people helping us so there was also a porter to carry the tired kids in a specially made basket - However the main discussions then became whos turn it was to go in the basket.
Joop was really happy when the basket was finally was to be tested.
Liva of cours had to try to see how it was to carry the basket (minus Joopie)
At the end of the day we arrived at the hotel/tea house where we had two good rooms. We arrived just in time as the rain started to pour down only an hour later.
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We got up at 5.45 to watch the sunrise over the Himalayas. Even when the mountains are covered by clouds during the day you can see the mountains on most days early in the morning. When the first light arrived the mountains came out of the darkness
Most of the mountains in this part of the Annapurna mountain range are by Nepali standard not that high, ranging from 5000 to 7000 meters. However, no-one has ever reached the top of the fishtail mountain due to the extremly difficult climb.

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After watching the sun rise over the Himalayas we started the decent to the valley where the vans that would take us back to the hotel was waiting for us. It had been very hard to climb up but was equally difficult to to go down as the trail was very steep.

As on the way up, Joop really preferred to be in the basket being carried. She was therefore also not very eager to get her photo taken.
The views down into the valleys were absolutely stunning.
Even though the clouds came in fast we just managed to take a photo of the whole group in front of the Fish-tail Mountain - one of the mountains of the Himalayas that has still not been conquered.
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Today it was UN day at the Lincoln School - As a multi cultural UN-family we were of course proud to celebrate the UN Day - The kids had a bit of a split personality with Dutch clothes and a Danish flags on the cheeks and had to have their photos taken with both national flags. We could of course also have participated in the US and the Mexican photo session.
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Today at the School it was fabulous Friday and Liva's class made a show over the Nepali Tihar holiday. Liva and the other girls made a small dance and sang four Nepali children songs
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