Our next stop in Nepal after our overnight rafting trip was the traditional old city of Bandipur. Situated along the ridge top of a high hill, the city is centered around a single street which runs the ridge line, with nineteenth century mansions still in use and views of deep valleys along either side.
Rafting cold Himalayan rivers might not be on the top of many visitors wish lists and we were no exception. I hadn't even thought about the possibility until we found a lot of rafting companies in Pokhara offering trips. Krista had read a little bit about it in the guide books and after speaking with some of the rafting companies we decided we would give rafting in the Himalayas a shot.
The touristy town of Pokhara on the shores of Lake Phewa, was both our starting point and ending point for our Annapurna Base Camp trek. Situated in the middle of the country in the foothills of the Himalayas it is a convenient centralized starting point for many tourists on their way to and from trekking, climbing, rafting and many other popular activities.
Our first stop in Asia would be Nepal for a month of exploration in the Himalayas. The worlds tallest mountains have always been a dream to see, and now we were actually going to hiking amongst some of the peaks. We would be doing what is known as Tea House Trekking. Popular hiking routes are dotted with small Tea Houses were one can stop to relax and refresh and even stay the night, making trekking on these long high elevation trails safer and easier, and accessible to hikers of nearly any skill level.
Istanbul, Turkey, The Gateway to the East, A huge city sprawling for miles, spanning the gap between two continents and thousands of years of history. Istanbul is covered in huge mosques, churches and palaces and enough museums and history to keep you occupied for months, and it is our next destination on our trip around the world.
Our trip to the top of an active volcano, Mt. Nyiragongo, in the DRC, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in an area recently contested by rebels and patrolled by the UN. We camped for the night on the rim and watching the night sky light up from the worlds largest lava lake.