Trekking to Everest Base Camp has been one of those ‘wish I could do’ things which has been in the back of my mind for quite some time. I swear I’ve mentioned it in passing to a few friends, some of which have also been keen on the idea whilst others have made it pretty clear that trekking for two weeks isn’t their cup of tea; each to their own.
What really got the ball rolling was when I visited the Melbourne Travel Expo with my friend Gary in 2012. Continue reading Everest Base Camp Part 1: Arrival into Kathmandu
Here we are at the final stop on my 5-and-a-half-week journey up, across and down the United States and what a way to finish up! As they often say, save the best for last and I’ll have to be honest with you that throughout my entire journey, I was always thinking, I just can’t wait to head to Texas.
Now what I was going to do whilst in the biggest State of The United States was a bit of a mystery to me. All I knew was that I would be meeting up with Steve and Shirley (family friends of my sister and brother-in-law who I met at their wedding in 2012), heading up to Waco, the home of Baylor University, their alma mater, then back down to Houston. Apart from that, the plan was to just wing it. Continue reading Texas Forever!
Arriving in San Francisco concludes the Amtrak journey from East Coast to West. After over 75 hours on the train, it was only a from Emeryville to San Francisco to go! After crossing the Bay, the coach stops at various places in the CBD. These include near AT&T Park, The Ferry Building and a few stops along Market St including my stop at the San Francisco Shopping Centre Bus Stop (the shopping centre is actually a Westfield…). From there, it was a short walk up Mason St to my hostel on O’Farrell St. With 3 nights in San Fran, I had a rough idea of the things I wanted to check out. These included Fisherman’s Wharf, the Ferry Building and surround area, Alcatraz, a ride on one of the city’s historical cable cars, Japan Town, AT&T Park, Land’s End, the Golden Gate Bridge and whatever else I could fit in between. Continue reading The West Coast: San Francisco
I’ll be honest, the first time I ever saw the word “Yosemite” or heard about it was after an installation of Windows XP in the early 2000’s. Basically, part of the sample images included with every user account was a picture of Yosemite. This, combined with references to Yosemite over the years in many hiking blogs and articles, I finally decided to wiki the name and I was sold. I decided that the next time I go to the US, Yosemite was a priority in terms of places to go. Continue reading Yosemite National Park
With the current Amtrak timetable, getting from Denver to Yosemite National Park requires a mandatory overnight stop in either Sacramento or Emeryville California, after arriving there using the California Zephyr. This is due to the lack of connecting trains and buses which leave in the area to get to Yosemite and the relatively late arrival time of the train into Sacramento. From Sacramento however, it’s a bus, then a train, then another bus to get to the national park. Continue reading Rocky Mountain High to Sacramento
I’ve just returned from my 2 week trek to Everest Base Camp, which took me from Kathmandu, Lukla, Phakding, Namche Bazaar, Periche, Dingboche, Lobuche, Gorak Shep and a whole host of small villages in the Himalayas on the way back.
Across the entire journey (including Kathmandu), every guide book and travel advice centre highly recommends that any water consumed (unless it is bottled) be treated. Whilst bottled water can be purchased along the trail, it can get very expensive as all these bottles need to be carried up on the backs of porters or animals (yaks, donkeys, or half yak/cow hybrids). The empty bottles also pose a significant environmental problem as there is no immediate way to recycle such bottles in the mountains, nor any organised method to transfer the waste back to a place to be recycled. Due to these reasons, trekkers are highly encouraged to take water from local sources, treat then consume. Continue reading Review: Water purification methods- Filter vs. UV vs. Tablets