Nepal 2008 – The Diary

The Last Post!

21st April 2008 (8:30pm)

We are all back home safely and did not have any trouble with our luggage - which amazed me!

Looking back at what both teams achieved and how hard everyone worked, I cannot tell you how proud I am to have been part of this expedition.

From when we arrived in Nepal to the very last day (even hour!) the leaders were bombarded with comments about how well behaved and polite our group were. Every person on the 2008 expedition is a credit to their families, their peers and Scouting and I feel privileged to have been in their company for the last three weeks.

Posted by Matt Hone.


19th April 2008 (9:41am)

Hello everyone, apologies for not sending any messages for a while. The reason is that everyone has been to busy eating and shopping!!!

Everyone is well and can't believe that it is nearly all over.

The weather in Kathmandu has been hot ! But we hear that you guys back in the UK have not been so lucky (I will tell everyone to wear some warm clothes on our return!)

There should be a few more entries later on

We have to go now as we have got to get a few more presents...

Posted by Chris McKeown and Matt Hone.

Back in Kathmandu

17th April 2008 (1:39pm)

It has been great to have both teams meet up and exchange stories.

Everyone is very well and is having a great time.

Chris and I could not have asked for better people in our teams and everyone has worked so hard to achieve their own personal goals.

Special mention has to be made of James Fenwick from the Annapurna trek and Ollie Legg of the Everest trek. They have both shown real courage and strength while faced with illness when trekking. While they were ill and struggling neither of them complained and they just battled on. We are pleased to say that both of them are in very good health now (although they may need some new clothes that are slightly smaller than three weeks ago!!!)

As you are probably aware, we are off to EPHC tomorrow and are looking forward to seeing the progress made since our last visit in 2006. It should also be rewarding to see the donation of clothing and books that we have brought out being put to good use.

Please feel free to e-mail from the website if you want any messages passed on. Max Bentley did get his birthday messages.

Posted by Matt Hone and Chris McKeown.

Sightseeing in Kathmandu

17th April 2008 (1:32pm)

Last night the Annapurna Expedition made it back to Kathmandu, meeting up with us outside the Tibet Guest House. After exchanging stories for several minutes we headed off to the Everest Steak House for a reunion meal and the opportunity to tell tales of our seperate treks and catch up.

We had to get up early in the morning for a 7 o'clock breakfast in order to leave for our first bout of sightseeing; the Monkey Temple. The steep climb of 365 steps was well worth it for the views of the Kathmandu Valley and the valuable knowledge of our guide who explained the cultural significance of the site. The large presence of market stools and shops within the Temple also provided us with an opportunity to stock up on presents!

Next, after a long (and bumpy!) coach ride, we arrived at Bhaktapur - renowned for its elegant art, fabulous culture, colourful festivals and traditional dances. The area contrasted with the towering buildings and narrow, crowded streets of inner Kathmandu: it is known locally as the ancient "City of Culture".

After an equally long coach ride home we are now preparing for an evening of free time, and our trip to EPHC tomorrow...

Posted by Ben.

Annapurna Expedition: White Water Rafting & Travelling Back to Kathmandu

17th April 2008 (1:13pm)

We started early on Tuesday in Pokhara and had a mildly long journey towards the starting point of the rafting. Sadly we had to put all the equipment onto the rafts when we got there due to the lack of porters. We started actually rafting at about 11:00 am and where well into the rapids by 12:00 am. The actual rapids were amazing and everybody had a brilliant time. This then led us upto lunch where we tucked into a nice meal consisting of beans, bread and other food types. After lunch we set off again for another three hours of rafting, this is where the big rapids where.

Finally, when we got to the campsite, we had to pitch our own tents and help with other things aswell. This was not that bad.

We awoke the next day at roguhly around 7:00 am to pack up our tents and equipment. Breakfast was at 9:00 am, after which we set off for our second day of rafting. This day was even more amazing than the first and included more rapids and off a higher level.

Thankfully, the weather on both days was incrediable and held the sun the whole day through.

When we had finished rafting, we brought all the equipment up an immense hill and this gave us an idea of the life of a porter. Then we had lunch and prepared for our long jounery towards Kathmandu, which was estimated at about six hours in lengh!

The actual journey took about five hours, mainly on offroad to some peoples dismay and we arrived at the Tibet guest house at 8:00 pm.

We then were reunited with the everest team and there was alot of happy faces.

Then we went to the everest steak house for a slap up meal!

Posted by Joseph D, Jake A, Simon L, Alex D, Robb T and Max B.

Everest Expedition: Last Few Days Trekking

17th April 2008 (1:12pm)

The walk from Khumjung to Phakding was a long journey back through many of the towns and villages we passed on the way up. A noticeably large decent of 1200m, with a large amount of downhill walking reminded us of how hard the first few days of climbing upwards had been, but it was a relief to recognise where we were.

After the difficult trek the previous day it was pleasant to find the walk from Phakding to Lukla was quite short, and most of us took it at a speedy pace, arriving in Lukla to a light lunch and the commfort of a lodge.

Last night party took place in an Irish bar in Lukla with all the porters and guides, everyone had a great time and danced all night to reggae and garage - the Nepalese loved it!

We woke up the next morning at 5am to get the first flight from Lukla to Kathmandu. Thankfully unlike the flight into Lukla we didn't have to wait too long and the plane journey was relatively pleasant with stunning early morning views. However, the peace was somewhat disturbed by stomach-churning turbulance.

Arriving in Kathmandu in time for breakfast, we enjoyed glorious weather as we recovered from the early start by dozing in the sunshine on the rooftops.

Posted by Frankie & Thirza.

Scout Website

14th April 2008 (11:27am)

We logged onto the Scout homepage just before we left to go trekking and discovered that an article has been posted about our trek it is on:

Posted by Simon L.

Annapurna Expedition: ABC

14th April 2008 (11:14am)

On the 10th of April 2008, after 5 long hard days we all finally reached ABC. most of us found the trek up hard and both mentally and physically challenging. most of the days were all climbing except a few where we made distance and crossed valleys.

The further we were climbing up the mountains the more the altitude made it harder and got to the majority of people both older and younger. The air felt finer and it was harder to breathe.

The day we made to Annapurna base camp was more challenging even though it was 2 hours. this was because we were trekking in snow and other hard conditions. Half way up we stopped to have a drink and to take some pictures were it turned out to be a massive snowball fight which we lost to the guides and a few porters. We all made it about 10 o'clock am, to base camp which was a superb achievement for both for the group and for the individual. We had a 3 hour stop, in which we took photos of both the group and the amazing views of Annapurna, before coming back down to MBC.

This was said to be by everyone to be the best achievement of are lives.

Posted by Adam M, Alex D, Jack N and Jamie C.

Annapurna Expedition: MBC

14th April 2008 (11:12am)

Hi everyone,

We had a long trek on 14th April with lots of different weather. It was blazing sunshine to start with then when we got to high altitude the weather changed to thick snow with ice.

Most of us found it very challenging especially going through the snow because it was very cold, deep and slippery. Thankfully everyone made it, the air got thinner and dryer it took us quiet a while to adapt to it. Once we arrived at MBC we were greeted with warm welcome (and soup). We were quite literally sleeping on thin ice, but when we woke up in the morning the view was very rewarding; the sky was clear with bright sun shine and an absolutely amazing view. We were now ready to take on ABC?

Posted by Alex M-T, Rob T, George R, Jacob A..

Annapurna Expedition: The Trek

14th April 2008 (11:06am)

We started the trek at around 9:30, the bus journey to the trek was very bumpy especially at the back. With very little time at the start we shot off leaving the porters and civilisation for the next 10 days behind. The start was an easy begining with the weather at around 20 degrees. We reached lunch quickly and many were hungry, after a filling lunch we packed up for the afternoon, and going to look forward to the next few nights in our tents.

Over the next few days that we trekked, many of us were tired and exhausted and were starting to feel uncomfortable, with what was going on in their body. The weather throughout these next few days was good in the morning then rubbish in the afternoon.

The final couple of days were very hard and demanding due to the fact that everyone had completed their goal and were ready to come home. The last day flew by when all it was, was down hill and the celebratery lunch at the end with the lovely bus journey back to Pokhara

See all you Everest lot back in Kathmandu, and all the parents back in England

Posted by Simon L, Didz N, James F, Joe D, Fred R, Max W & Max B.

Annapurna Expedition: Back from Our Trek

14th April 2008 (11:02am)

Firstly I would like to congratulate the everest expedition on their successful trip. I am really looking forward to seeing them and they have been in my thoughts since they left for Lukla.

I am very proud to announce that our whole team got to Annapurna Base Camp - which I did not believe possible before we came to Nepal.

The conditions were much harder than expected with having to deal with snow, high winds and boiling heat. The trekking days were long and hard with everyone pushed up to and beyond their limits. The Scouts have all stated that it has been the hardest thing they have ever done but the sense of achivement and outstanding views have made it all worth while.

There are no words to explain how proud I am of everyone who made it to ABC. Each person over came their own difficulties.

We are all very well and have just said our goodbyes to our porters, kitchen crew and guides who were outstanding in their care for us. We are all now ready for our next adventure - white water rafting, which starts tomorrow.

I find it extremely funny to hear that it has been snowing in England since we have been away (As I apply more aftersun to my face!!!)

Everyone is well and are in very good spirits.

After 10 days of living as a veggie, I am off to have a massive steak!!!

Expect for some more posts very soon…

Posted by Matt Hone.

Everest Expedition: Khumjung

13th April 2008 (2:45pm)

Since our last update we have had every weather imaginable! Blazing sunshine, rain, hail, heavy snow and night time temperatures of -10 to -15C. Despite this everyone has managed to stay warm and comfortable enough.

Having left Namche Bazaar some time ago, we have successfully followed the itinerary, with 9 of our party of 12 reaching Everest Base Camp and 5 reaching the peak of Kala Patar. Base Camp was a sprawling mass of tents, but not many people as the ban to go above Base Camp had been lifted only two days previously. I can only assume Advanced Base Camp was very busy. The next morning we went up Kala Patar. The sky was clear and those that made the very difficult ascent were rewarded with absolutly amazing views of Everest and the surrounding mountains.

The last 2 days have been spent trekking back towards Lukla, and our flight back to Kathmandu. We are currently in Khumjung, which is a fairly large mountain town. Despite it being New Year's Eve (2065) we have found a 24/7 cyber cafe open to update the diary.

There are 1.5 days left of trekking back to Lukla. Everyone is looking forward to a proper bed - and the last night party, of course! Everyone is safe, well and very happy - although a little bit tired now.

Our next update is likely to be from Kathmandu.

Posted by Chris McK and Olly.

Annapurna Expedition: First Morning of Trekking

5th April 2008 (2:25am)

We've just had our breakfast and are on our way to the starting point. Everyone has high hopes for the forthcoming trek to Annapurna Base Camp.

There was a storm last night which has fortunately cleared the sky. Giving a fantastic view of the snow capped mountains from the roof of our hotel.

So bye bye for 10 days.....

Posted by Simon L, Alex M-T, George R, Joe D, Alex D, Rob T and Pat T.

Annapurna Expedition: Journey from Chitwan to Pokhara

4th April 2008 (12:16pm)

Some of us woke up at 6am to go bird watching. Then, after breakfast, we packed and left Chitwan. The journey was not the best as it was another 5 hour journey!!

The ride was very bumpy and several Boys felt a little unwell. However after a short stop at a local restaurant raised spirits. During the rest of the journey into Pokhara, we passed a number of friendly demonstration because of the forthcoming elections of the 10th. As hundreds marched trough the streets, singing and chanting, we waved and joined in with the cheering!

We arrived at Pokhara at 1:45 and were given drinks. We went to our rooms and had a few discussions over the double and single beds! We then had lunch and had free time. Pokhara seems a nice place. Got to go before the power cuts again!

Posted by Adam, Jack, Jamie, Trevor and Gill.

Annapurna Expedition: Pokhara - Did we really have to leave Chitwan?

4th April 2008 (12:06pm)

We have arrived in Pokhara and we are ready to start our trek. Pat has now joined after a rather rough flight to Nepal!

It is great to see the diary entry by the Everest expedition and I am pleased that they have now completed the hardest day - the climb into Namche.

Yesterdays experiance at Chitwan with the elephants was one of the most amazing days of my life and I still do not know how we managed to fit so much into one day!

The weather has been great and everyone has managed not to get burnt (Except Gillian!!!)

Morale is very high and everyone is looking forward to the trekking (although I could have easily stayed at Chitwan for the next two weeks in the sun by the side of the pool.

Like the Everest expedition I will not be able to update the diary for about 10 days.

Posted by Matt H.

Annapurna Expedition: Chitwan Safari

4th April 2008 (11:46am)

As the Everest expedition were flying to Lukla we were driving 6 hours down to Nepal's Chitwan National Park. We enjoyed a Bull cart ride to a neighbouring village to see how they lived. After we returned we had a lovely Nepalese buffet and went to bed.

The next day started quite early; breakfast at 7 o'clock. We then took a peaceful trip down the river in a dug out canoe. we passed crocodiles just 2 metres away from our canoe! Elephants also crossed our path. Quite literally! After that calming trip we took a short walk through the jungle to an elephant breeding centre. Having bought an abundance of elephant treats we proceeded to throw them at them. However a 2 year old elephant (who was still about as tall as all of us) managed to escape the compound and walked around with us and taking all the treats.

We then got a truck home and prepared for the most enjoyable experience most of us had ever had; bathing with the elephants. We went to the river (which was the same one with the crocodiles) and were playing with the elephants, trying to stand up on them whilst they were standing up and trying to shake us off. None of us could although Max Bentley seemed to be stuck onto them; they couldn't get him off.

We got back to the lodge and had a delicious lunch. After that we enjoyed a relaxing swim in the lodge's pool. Which was a nice break from the scorching heat (sorry Everest lot). To finish off the day we rode elephants through the jungle, seing rhinos, monkeys, deer and peacocks. We went back to the lodge and enjoyed a nepalese style BBQ (which is a snack here!).After the BBq we had the pleasure of being entertained by a local religious dancing group which we all got involved in. Finally we ate dinner and went to bed.

We were unfortunatly woken up at 6 o'clock this morning due to some people going bird watching. We had breakfast and were on our way to Pokhara.

Posted by Simon L, Fred R, Didz N, James F and Max B.

Everest Expedition: Namche Bazaar

4th April 2008 (6:11am)

We have arrived at Namche after 2 days of trekking. Our flight to Lukla was delayed at Kathmandu, which meant we had a fairly late start on the first day of trekking. The first day was a short trek in the afternoon, roughly 3-4 hours.

The second afternoon was much harder climbing roughly 800m up to Namche. Everyone was pleased to arrive at the campsite!

The food so far has been excellent. We've had pretty good weather so far, a few light showers and cold at night.

We are enjoying a rest day today, and have spent most of the morning realxing, playing cards, reading or shopping in Namche. This afternoon we are planning a short acclimatization walk.

Our next update will be in 10 - 11 days time when we return to Namche, hopefully after reaching Base Camp.

Everyone is fit, well and in high spirits. Looking forward to the rest of the trip.

Posted by Chris McK and Olly.

Ready to Trek!

1st April 2008 (12:54pm)

Our flights into Nepal were hassle free, in fact Matt and James Nicoll, Rachel and myself sat at the bulk head during the first flight with loads of leg room much to the annoyance of everyone else!

As expected the journey from the airport to our hotel was very quiet with some shocked expressions from both Scouts and the leaders.

As our first full day in Kathmandu is now coming to a close everyone has settled in with the Nepali way of life and everyone looks like seasoned travellers and are very excited about starting their expeditions.

Even though it's our first day lots of goods have been bartered for and we can assure you that everyone is WELL kitted out (Think we may require two planes on the way home!)

We are all just about to have our last meal together at the Everest Steak House and then early to bed (The Everest expedition having to be up at 5:30am - hahaha)

There may be a message from a few of the scouts before we go but the next power cut is due to take place very soon so this may well be the last you hear from us for a couple of days.

Hope everyone in good back in the UK. Speak to you soon...

Posted by Matt H and Chris McK.

Arrived Safely

31st March 2008 (3:49pm)

Flights landed on time, smooth transfers & journey to hotel.

Power has just returned, due to lack of hydroelectric power, maybe they can shut the generator up, which is directly outside our room!

Quick look round the Thamel district (the main tourist district) before a superb buffet meal at our hotel.

Everyone is really tired so we are off to bed.

Posted by Chris, Matt Hone, Olly.

Airport Check In

30th March 2008 (5:30pm)

Successfully checked in, now just waiting for our flight be ready to board. 2.5 hours to go! Next update will be from Kathmandu.

Posted by Olly.

Welcome to the Diary

29th March 2008 (5:33pm)

This is the first - of hopefully many - posts. Whenever possible we will update the diary to provide updates to our journey. Obviously while trekking, there will be limited opportunity to update the blog. However when we are in towns and cities with internet access we will update with details from the previous days.

Please bookmark this address, and stay tuned for more updates.

Posted by Olly.