What to do if you’re attacked by monkeys …


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All afternoon the trail continues up the Kali Gandaki, which rushes down from Mustang and Tibet onto the Ganges plain; because it flows between the soaring massifs of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri, both more than 26,000 feet in altitude, the Kali Gandaki has the deepest canyon of any river in the world.

“… So far from the nearest sea, I am taken aback by the sight of a purple land crab, like a relict of the ancient days when the Indian subcontinent, adrift on the earth’s mantle, moved northward to collide with the Asian land mass, driving these marine rocks, inch by inch, five miles into the skies … The rise of the Himalaya, began in the Eocene, some fifty million years ago, is still continuing: an earthquake in 1959 caused mountains to fall into rivers and changed the course of the great Brahmaputra, which comes down out of Tibet through north-eastern India to join the Ganges near its delta at the Bay of Bengal. All the great rivers of southern Asia fall from the highest country in the world, from the Indus that empties into the Arabian Sea east to the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, the Mekong and the Yangtze, and even the great Hwang Ho that pours eastwards across all of China into the Yellow Sea; since they come from the Tibetan Plateau, these rivers are much older than the mountains, and the Kali Gandaki forged its great abysses as the mountains rose.”


— Peter Matthiessen, The Snow Leopard

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If you’ve never heard the sound of a pair of male rhinoceroses in rut in the jungle 100 meters away, have no fear – you’ll recognize it instantly.

Either you’ll instinctively know that the sharp wock that suddenly pricks your ears isn’t in fact a giant lumberjack cutting down a kapok tree, or or an elephant knocking down a sal tree — or your guide, a small man who until that point displayed a laconic manner, will frantically motion for you and the eight Swiss septuagenarians behind you to “Run! Run NOW!”

Most disconcerting of all, he’ll then pass you as you attempt a sluggish U-turn on the narrow trail.

You can’t really blame him, though. After 15 years as a guide in Royal Chitwan National Park in southern Nepal, he was never attacked by one of the 400 or so rhinos in the park – never, that is, until 18 months ago when one of the brawny beasts, interrupted during the delicate period of rutting upon which you too have stumbled, tossed him 20 feet into the air.



Part One

Part Two

KATMANDU, Nepal — Indian troops opened fire on hundreds of Bhutanese refugees who have been trying for two days to cross the small patch of Indian territory that separates Nepal from their homeland, officials said.

At least nine people were shot and wounded, said Narhari Adhikari, a police official on the Nepalese side of the border. An Indian official said troops fired about 30 rounds after the refugees hurled stones at border guards.

— overheard in a cantina on the Jomsom Trek, from an out-of-breath Brit

Read more about our exciting Nepali adventures here.

Sunrise at Muktinath