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Meeting Up with Jennifer in Nepal

November 12, 2016

We left Kumai and its amazing orangutans in late September and headed for Belitung where we checked out of Indonesia. We were hoping for favorable SE winds to take us 700 nm up the Malacca Straits but we were sadly disappointed. The winds were continuously on the nose, sometimes exceeding 40 kts, and we were often fighting tidal currents up to 2 kts. Our engine was still giving us problems and would die forcing us to tack up the Straits. We would sail for 6 hours when the tide was favorable and then anchor and sleep for 6 hours when the tide was against us. We woke from one of these brief rest stops to find Persephone wrapped in a half-mile long drift net that had to be cut loose.

On October 18, we finally docked at the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club in northern Malaysia. We had our fuel tank cleaned and our diesel fuel polished and sea trials indicate that we may have solved the engine problem, but we will soon see as we head into Thailand.

With the boat safely docked in the Marina we flew to Nepal to meet up with our daughter Jennifer who was hiking the Annapurna Circuit in the Himalayas. After a night in Kathmandu we took a scary 8-hour bus ride to Pokhara where we spent a couple of days relaxing along the shores of Phewa Lake while Jenn completed her trek. We arrived at the beginning of the Diwali festival and enjoyed street entertainment each night. Brian did a half-day hike to the top of Sarangkot that more than satisfied his trekking desires.

It was a joyous occasion when Jenn arrived with her 6 fellow trekkers, 7 assistants (aka Sherpas), and two guides. The trekkers were thrilled to have completed the arduous 18-day journey that included 17,769 foot Thorung La pass, but all swore that they would never do it again. Check off one bucket-list item.

We spent the next five days sightseeing around Pokhara and Kathmandu before the three of us flew to Bhutan, the last Shangri-La! Bhutan is truly a magical place high in the Himalayan mountains with a mixture of old and new buildings adhering to their cultural architecture. The hotels were heavenly and our guide and driver excellent. The highlight was our hike to Taksang Palphug Monastery, or the “Tiger’s Nest”, that hangs on the cliffs at an elevation of 10,240 feet. Sandie enlisted the services of a pony that took her half way up the mountain before the trail became too dangerous and she had to walk. What an incredible view of the Paro valley 3,000 feet below.

We flew back to Kathmandu for three more days of casual sightseeing. The damage from last year’s devastating earthquake was very visible and sadly a number of World Heritage sites were destroyed. We then said good-bye to Jenn and went our separate ways. It was a wonderful trip made better by our time with Jenn.

We are back on Persephone preparing to check out of Malaysia and head for Phuket, Thailand, where we will leave the boat and fly to California to be with family and friends at Christmas. We have decided to spend another year in Southeast Asia working on boat projects and doing some extensive land travel to Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos, and even some more exploring in Thailand and Malaysia.

Rough going from Belitung to Langkawi

 

Quaint, picturesque, Pokhara

 

Brian’s trek up to Sarangkot

 

Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan

 

Tiger’s Nest

 

Kathmandu

 

 

From → Travel

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