Well, it’s everything you think it might be, and more. Nepal, for a first time visitor who embraces a challenge, certainly pushes the experience to the limit!
My initiation started the day after we landed when we repacked our bags with the basics and headed out for a three-day road trip by Jeep to visit Barpak – the first earthquake epicentre. It is also the end of e2e Challenge, the inaugural mountain bike expedition between epicentres, which gets underway at the end of October 2017.
The first few miles on tarmac were quickly behind us and we continued for miles on dirt tracks; this is the norm here and the only way to reach communities that are quite literally off the beaten track, many of whom have been cut off for months, post-earthquakes.
The scenery is, of course, breath-taking and the welcome we received on arriving at villages where YYY Foundation has funded projects over subsequent journeys makes a little discomfort quickly forgotten.
Our journeys pale into insignificance when compared to those made by hillside villagers daily – mostly on foot.