It was the night before the trek, and all through the hotel, everyone was excited, and feeling just swell
I hadn’t trained at all, but there was nothing to do now. “I’ll get through it I’m sure – I just don’t know how!”
Before I could blink, we were already on the trail. I couldn’t stop sweating, and I felt so frail.
Alone with my thoughts, my mind began to flip. “Why, oh why, did I sign up for this trip??”
Someone suggested a mantra, and that worked for a while, until I realized I’d only walked half a mile!
The last one to lunch, I felt kind of lame. The dal baht was good, but every day will be the same???
One woman said, “Hey, it’s not a race,” while everyone else just exclaimed, “Man, you’re red in the face!”
After lunch it was pure torture, 4 hours of step after step after step…
“I’m sure as hell NOT loving this trek yet!”
Luckily we arrived just before the hail and rain. I was so proud of myself. I survived – and without pain!
Day 2 was more steps (I’m going to kill that Razzu!), then finally a forest, Ok, this I can do… Another delicious lunch then I climbed with all my might. At last I saw the peak – and what an awesome sight!
The snow-capped mountains just took my breath away. It’s hard to believe, but I didn’t have anything to say.
We had dinner of noodles that I just couldn’t eat, but a hot shower and pillow couldn’t be beat. Day 3 at 4 a.m. it was another story, but I huffed and I puffed and climbed to God’s glory. Poon Hill was amazing – finally we were all together – and we couldn’t have asked for more perfect weather.
After breakfast I just wanted to go back to bed, but we were off on the trail (with more damn steps!) instead.
My camera broke, my legs were like jello, when I passed some crazy Malaysians and some other Asian fellow.
With the woods all around me, and my best friend, Ramesh, to remember these moments, was all I could wish.
The day flew by quickly and soon it was night. Finally we could charge our phones and see in the light!
Day 4 we awoke ‘late,’ and started on our way. Finally DOWN DOWN! It was a lovely day!
More steps to get to Old Town, and then, of course, more lemon tea. I just can’t believe all I’ve been able to see.
I’ll miss Smiley, Ramesh, Suray, and Ganoo. And yes, I’ll miss you, too, Razzu!
Thanks for a wonderful holiday. I adore you all.
I will never forget the faces and STEPS of Nepal!
Read about my Three Week Adventure in Nepal by clicking on the link below: www.davidgreer.ca/family/pictures/2011nepal/
We thoroughly recommend Samara Journeys to anyone undertaking individual travel in the Himalayas. Razzu went out of his way to accommodate our special needs including rare opportunities to be blessed by buddhist gurus in Bhutan. A highlight of our travel in Sikkim and Darjeeling, organised by Karma, was staying in family run accommodation where we were made welcome, treated like family and enjoyed excellent local food. In both countries the guides were exceptional and provided extensive knowledge of the customs and culture. Thank you Razzu and Karma for an unforgettable experience.
The Mountains surrounding us on the Annapurna Range seemed to reach towards heaven, but that was impossible for surely we were already there! This paradise was only enhanced by the thoughtful and individualized service from Razzu and everyone else at Samsara Journeys. This was a wonderful family trip. The kids enjoyed having a guide with them so they could be more independent and trek at their own fast pace. We felt very comfortable trekking at a slower pace knowing the kids were in the safe hands of their guide. Thank you for everything! Kirstin, Mike, Emily (14) and Josh (12)
A MOUNTAIN VILLAGE AWAKES
Juniper scents the morning air
Slowly the prayer wheels spin
Goats run out to graze the slopes
The air is cool and thin
Children chant the morning prayers
Butter Lamps burn clear
Oxen turn the springtime soil
Ponies nuzzle their bags of corn
Patient while loads are tied
Water from high in a thousand streams
Sings to us as we stride
We are one family our little team
Moving through this land
Held together by such care
And ever guiding hand
Our thanks to these fine mountain men
For memories always to keep
Prayer Flags stir in the morning breeze
And compassion runs deep
Dedicated to Razzu and Shyam
Written by Jan Ward while on a trek to Mustang
Thank you Razzu and Samsara Journeys for introducing our family to Nepal! Our multifaceted trip in March 2007 was extraordinary and exceeded our expectations in every way. I cannot imagine a better or more fun group holiday. Every aspect of the tour was superbly organized and expertly catered for our group of seven adults and seven teenagers. Samsara Journeys staff could not have been better from tour director, city guide and coach driver to trek personnel including our fabulous Sirdar, Sherpas, and cooking crew. Our days in kathmandu were the ideal blend of cultural excursions and free time to explore. The nine day trekking/camping trip in the Annapurna was majestic from incomparable mountain scenery to rich local culture. Capping off the trip with four days at a wonderful wildlife resort in Chitwan National Park was storybook ending. Wading in the Rapti river with the resort's elephants and especially watching the teenagers log roll on them was beyond magical! Nepal is a remarkable country with super friendly people, interesting culture and magnificently countryside form the towering Himalayas to sub tropical jungles. We will be back!
In November, 2012 I took a trip with Samsara Journeys to Bhutan and then Chitwan National Park. Bhutan is such a unique place, like nowhere else on earth. And we had gorgeous weather. I then went to Chitwan where I stayed at the Sapana Village Lodge, and had a lovely 6 day stay, riding elephants in the jungle looking for rhinos, relaxing by the river watching the elephants being washed, and even spent a night in the jungle and visited a traditional Tharu village. Razzu organized everything for me and being a single woman traveller it was nice to know that he was keeping an eye out for my welfare.
They came from down under, calling themselves Trek Di-Di
The wonders and sights of Nepal to see
'Namaste, namaste, namaste!!', our children cried.
'I won', 'You cheated', 'We won!', they lied...
All the while, the mothers sighed
'Whose ideas was this trip?', they wearily asked,
glaring at Megan who merely laughed.
They were fit and tired; quiet and loud; young and old.
One thing for sure, Trek Di-Di - you'll all get heaps cold!
In awe they watched the porters pack and carry
'Bistari, bistari! We're in no hurry!'
Avi and Shyam, so patient and kind,
looking after those lingering behind.
And how can we forget cook, what a man,
weaving magic with his pots and pans.
'Potato, cauliflower, cabbage. Please eat some more,
they feed the souls of the rich and poor'.
Trek Di-Di agree - its all heaps good,
as they happily devour the mountains of food.
They watch the Nepalis - they are strong, wise and calm.
'What is their secret?', Trek Di-Di ponder,
as they play cards before sweet slumber.
Suddenly, the air is filled with a familiar, unsavoury scent...
'Finn, was that you?!!'; 'No! It was Leo, I swear...
He's the one polluting the fresh mountain air!!'
As the moon rises, Trek Di-Di talk, giggle, burp and fart,
finally discovering the Nepali secret that sets them apart
- serenely eating cauliflower and cabbage is truly an art!
So, smiling together, we remember what life is really about -
we all feel sadness, grief, joy and doubt.
We all love and laugh, burp and fart,
but know being together beats being apart.
We all have beautiful minds to grow
and generous hearts to care and share,
No matter how different the colour of our skin and hair
We may be rich, poor, dirty or clean,
but no matter how different we seem
we all have big goals and even bigger dreams.
So, let's take home the memories, compassion, simplicity and beauty of Nepal,
and like Razzu, live with dignity, wisdom and kindness, walking tall.
And, please, don't stop laughing at life and the art of the fart,
as homeward bound to Down Under we sadly depart.
With love and peace
Tree, Rosie and Venus
(Members of the trek didi team to Poon Hill Jan 2012)
Hi Razzu, thank you again for a great trek. The trek was very professionaland I felt if we had any problem yourself, Shyam and your team would have dealt with it efficiently . It was a wonderful experience and I would highly recommend Samsara Journeys to my friends and family. Namaste Dei, Ann Rice
"If there is a more outstanding trip organizer/guide/trekker/friend somewhere in the world, please introduce me. Razzu Tuladhar put together an epic trip through Nepal for me and my group of friends that none of us will ever forget.
From the first email contact through the final farewell yellow silk scarf at the airport, Razzu was prompt, efficient, accomodating, and joyful in the process. When we added members to our tour, he took care of it. When we changed the itinerary, he adjusted it. When the going got tough on the trek, he encouraged us. When leeches attacked my feet, he salted them away. When we assaulted him with questions, he responded with thoughtful answers and more. When traffic was halted by the prime minister's entourage, he arranged alternate transport to the airport.
Nepal holds so many delights and candy for the eyes that simply being there one's senses are assaulted and can reach the point of overload. Kathmandu has the potential to present itself as total chaos. The Samsara team provided us with just the right mix of down-and-dirty and lap-of-luxury as we toured the city and neighboring villages. Transfers were seamless and every step of our touring was hassle-free, informative, and a sumptuous slice of photograph heaven.
Flights from Kathmandu to Pokhara have a "good side and and a bad side," as wide-eyed tourists want to be on the starboard going and the port side returning in order to catch glimpses of the peaks of the Annapurna range. Razzu made sure we sat accordingly. While our trek was only 3 days in length, a "taste of a trek," said Razzu, it proved to be challenge enough for our old legs and sea level lungs. And when we would ask, "How much longer, Razzu?" he replied characteristically with his, "What do you want to hear?" Clearly, this was the right motivator for us, as we could only laugh at ourselves, ignore our little discomforts, and carry on.
All six of us in our tour group are very well-seasoned travellers, each having lived abroad in the neighborhood of 25 years. While I normally shy away from organized tours, having had many less-than-enjoyable experiences, Razzu's warmth and professional handling of our trip convinced us all to return to him soon for another tour, this time to Tibet.
I'll stop gushing at this point, and will leave it simply that if you are looking to travel in Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, or Sikkim and you don't use Razzu and Samsara Journeys, you are probably making a mistake.
See you next time."
Our trip to Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan was incredible. Everything was set up through email prior to our arrival, and Razzu made it easy for us by answering our questions, delivering on his promises, and arranging for whatever we wanted. The tour guides, accomodations, and transportation were all that we expected, and more! We highly recommend travel to these spectacular countries. Razzu and Samsara Journeys will take care of the details while you sit back and enjoy the scenery, culture, and people.
Our first trip to Nepal left us wanting for more. So we made a second trip two years later. Nepal is a study of contrasts, from the chaotic, exotic hustle bustle of Kathmandu to the unparalleled majesty and remoteness of the Himalayas and environs. Samsara Journey helps you see it all. Meet and greet assistance at the airport at all hours of the day or night for those unexpected flight delays, to on time delivery to onward connections, nothing is too difficult to arrange. Our accomodations were clean, our food delicious, and the friendliness of the staff unmistakable. Reliable, competent, and resourceful are just some of the adjectives you would use to describe the staff and people associated with Samsara Journeys. If you are looking for a hassle free adventure with no stress, we highly recommend the people of Samsara Journeys take you to this exotic and truly unforgettable destination
With over 14 years of experience in the travel industry, Samsara Journeys reputation for excellence is earned every day by providing the ultimate in value and personal attention.
We thoroughly recommend Samara Journeys to anyone undertaking individual travel in the Himalayas. Ra... Read More