Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Everest Begins

As the last post alluded to, I am currently in Kathmandu, Nepal. Kathmandu is the main hub for hiking, rafting, camping and climbing for the entire Himalaya Mountain region, and has therefore become a world-renown mecca of outdoors adventuring. There are outdoors stores every ten feet, adventure booking agencies on each corner, hotels, cafes and restaurants stacked above the stores below and the streets are filled with backpackers.

Tomorrow, however, I am flying to Lukla, Nepal. Lukla is the starting point for all Mount Everest climbing expeditions and is not accessible by road. The only way to reach Lukla is to trek (4-6 days) in from a town outside of Kathmandu or fly in by a small plane or helicopter. Time constraints have forced me to fly. From Lukla, I will trek for aproximately 19 days. During this time I plan to reach Everest Base Camp I, climb a neighboring mountain peak and then return to Lukla. The peak climbing and trekking season has just ended and it is now the middle of winter. While this means at times I may have whole panoramic views of Everest and the Himalayas completely to myself, it also means that current weather conditions are severe. Temperatures will reach far below zero and snowfall will be moderate to heavy. I am very well prepared and have all the required food, clothing, shelter and safety/rescue equipment needed.

I will not have internet access until I return so there will be no new posts or emails until then. It should be a true adventure, and I look forward to telling everyone all about it when I return!

Overland: India to Nepal

Just spent the past 43 hours on one train and two buses traveling overland from Agra, India to Kathmandu, Nepal. In the future, if anyone is considering doing this, I strongly suggest against it. It was miserable. Fly instead.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Street Food

I have only been to Delhi and Agra so far, but India has the best street food out of all the countries I have visited. Not only is the street food delicious, but you can find it on every corner, there is a wide variety from sweet desserts to hearty meals, and best of all a single serving will only cost you on average 20 American cents! I am still trying to figure out the names of my favorite dishes but you can't go wrong because they are all good. Maybe someone will recognize them when I put up pictures later. Like anywhere, you have to give your stomach a few days to adjust to the country's cuisine through restaurants at first, but after that...India is definitely the place to feast on the streets.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Cash to Pass

A security guard at Cairo Airport tried to get me to bribe him after the alarm went off when I went through the metal detector. I told him that I had simply forgotten to take off my belt but he said don't worry, it's ok, if you have a tip for me. He said it softly as he was patting me down. I said I don't have any money to give, he starred at me and said are you sure, I said yes, he said ok go ahead and then he let me pass...

Tipping/bribing situations like this were common in Egypt. Whether you want to quickly climb up one of the Pyramids or take pictures of or from a roped-off area, any rule can be bent if you are willing to pay for it and the guards encourage it.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Toilets of Today and a City from Tomorrow

Toilets with variable strength flushing in Germany and Denmark. Excellent idea.

Dubai is a city from the future.

New pictures and videos up

Monday, January 3, 2011


In Germany and Denmark, the stoplights, before switching to Green from Red, switch back to Yellow for 2 seconds! (Both Red and Yellow are on for these 2 seconds) The rest of the light sequence is just like in the US: Green, then 5 or 6 seconds at Yellow and then Red. I was told that this quick switch back to Yellow again after Red was so that people with manual transmission cars can be ready to go as soon as the light turns Green. This sounds brilliant to me! Even if your country did not have a lot of manual transmission cars why wouldn't you make your lights like this?

Europe and Changes to Blog

Exhausted at the thought of running all around Europe through the holidays, I decided to narrow down my list to just 4 countries: France, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands (originally there were 9). The past three weeks became less about tourist sightseeing and more about enjoying the comforts of the developed world and the love of friends and family during the holidays. For example, I spent Christmas with my childhood, best friend and his family in Copenhagen.

I have also recently decided to try something new with the blog. From now on I will be posting shorter entries but much more frequently. Another change will be a new commenting feature. Going forward, you will be able to comment on the posts I put up.

I will be uploading new pictures and putting up a post in the new style I described soon.

Happy New Year!