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Caroline Letrange

Caroline Letrange Bring your bag to travel on the summit of the Himalayas and Kilimanjaro ! Nepal, Tibet, India, Bouthan, Mustang, Kilimanjaro... Travel to regions among the most beautiful. Discover photos and advice before booking your trip.

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Welcome to the Blog

Par Caroline Letrange :: 18/06/2007 à 1:16 :: Général
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English translation is still improving
as it is automatic translation ... Back to french version >
En Français >
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Welcome to the REACHSUMMIT
BLOG,visit our website REACHSUMMIT
Caroline Letrange is happy to share with you her passion about travelling and climbing !! Join our outstanding Adventure trips through Asia and Africa. This blog is yours, post your comments and share your experiences with others !

Please visit our Expedition Dispatch while you are on trek



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NEPAL : Trek to Namche Bazaar

Par Caroline Letrange :: 18/06/2007 à 1:35 :: Trekking
Capital of the sherpa people located at alt. 3440 meters, the small city is lying amid the splendid khumbu valley. The village is nested in the hollow of the imposing mountains surrounded by forests in against-low and surrounded of the imposing snow-covered solid masses around: Tamserku, Ama Dablam and further, the Everest.

Departure of Kathmandu starting from the airport of Tribhuvan in the small ones had of about fifteen maximum places for Lukla. The flight, which lasts envirion 1/2 hour makes it possible to fly over Kathmandou, to discover the valley and in the fog of the morning the temple of the monkeys, Swayanbunath. Then, very quickly, one discovers all the line of the 8000 meters snow-covered.





Impressive landing in Lukla on the slopes of the mountain. It is one very steep slope to slow down with the attérissage and to propel on takeoff, engines with full mode! One does not balk to fasten his seat belt!!  The voyage is done in two times, the trekkeurs initially, the luggage then. But as the track is open only a few hours per day because of the climatic conditions (the accumulation of the clouds generally), the bags arrive sometimes with a good day of delay.





The village of Lukla skirts a principal stone road whith lodges, cybercafes and stores in all kinds. The yaks and the zoes (or dzos, with semi-chemi between the yak and the cow), are carrying the bags through the valley. After the sprinkled lunch with tea and some Chang (Local Tibetan alcohol ), we are heading o the trail. On the road, the Mani Walls on the way; it is important to pass them over on the left in order to have them on your right handside, the side of the pure hand. On the stones, Buddhist prayers, and inscriptions are carved as lithanie: "Om Mani Padme Um" (respect the jewel in the center of the lotus, refering the Buddha). 4/5 hours of walk before setting up tents for the night.







Then as of the next morning, reveil at dawn and departure towards Namche Bazaar. As of the entry of National Sagarmatha Park, the tourists owe aquitter of an import duty of 1000 rupees; the money is used for the conservation of the area, projects ecotouristic and the maintenance of the site. In all, 5 hours of walk approximately, through splendid landscapes of forests of pines before discovering, nested in the side of a mountain, incredible Namche. It is an important crossing point for the trade, with Tibet primarily, where salt, the meat and rice, inter alia, forward à.dos.de yaks. Namche is also the obliged passage of forwardings which go towards Kalapathar, Mera peak, Island Peak, Ama Dablam and, of course, the base camp of the Everest. Splendid courses of treks and rises have as a starting point Namche Bazaar. Today, the development of Namche is suffisament important to find cybercafés there a little everywhere, the TV by cable, of the pubs and new lodges for the tourists, increasingly more. However, Namche did not lose the charm of the Sherpa country there. People are accessible there, the environment enchanter and the magic valley.


In the panorama imposing it Tamserku and planted between two peaks, Ama Dablam





The course in Namche is done by the market, then towards the heights to discover "the Everest view there" from where the panorama of the Everest east to cut the breath and finally towards the incredible Buddhist monastery on the heights. The streets are full salesmen and the caravans of yaks cross the streets with their loadings.









Leave for Trek towards Namche Bazaar, the capital of Sherpas, in the valley of the khumbu in Nepal to discover the panorama of the Everest ;

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NEPAL : Dashain Festival

Par Caroline Letrange :: 18/06/2007 à 1:43 :: Général
On the end of September and  begining of October, ther is the great festival called Dashain celebrated by all Nepalese. It is fifteen days of celebrations during the full moon. This festival celebrates the goddess Durga in all her aspects. She is venerated during innumerable pujas. Offerings and sacrifices of animals are then practised during this celebration.



Dashain commemorates the victory of the gods over all bad demons. It last nine days commemorating the fight of Durga goddess against the Mahisasur demon. The tenth day is the day of the massacre of Mahisasur and corresponds to the victory of the goddess. The Durga goddess is venerated in all the kingdom as a goddess mother and she comes to visit and bless the houses while bringing good fortune.



During Dashain the privileged food is meat  (goat, sheep,  buffalo, duck, chicken). Dashain thus makes it possible for all to eat meat, generally very expensive. During all the festival you can see lots of handmade kites flying everywhere around the city and red tikas are put on your forehead as a sign of blessing; that goes from the oldest person to the youngest person of the family. Then, the ritual of cleaning comes. From houses, roads, animals to temples as well. Dashain ends with a great Puja in honor of Durga, for peace and prosperity.



During all this time, most of the shops are closed and the streets are a little empty, which is not that bad. This festival also  celebrates the new year 2063. Animals sacrifices are now done in temples or at the butchers, replacing the old buffaloes sacrifices in public place.

Discover the charms of Kathmandou on a trek with
REACHSUMMIT


NEPAL: Visit of Bouddhanath

Par Caroline Letrange :: 18/06/2007 à 1:47 :: Cultural Adventure

What a beautiful visit !! Bouddhanath is a very beautiful place where religiosity and serenity are very deep. I love this place!



The stupa of Bouddhanath, center of Tibetan Buddhism, is only 8 km from Kathmandu and the atmosphere is radically diffrent here. It is one of largest the stupa in the world with its 6meters top. In 1979 the site has been registered with the world inheritance by the UNESCO. Since 1953, the Tibetans refugees who fled Tibet, decided to settle around this wonderful site which was quickly regarded as a "small Tibet".





Around the octagonal base of the stupa, there is a long line of prayer wheels that all visitors make turn so that the quotation engraved in metal "Om Mani Padme Um" rises with the rotational movement. On the site, surrounding the stupa, plenty of small traditional shops selling Tangkas, spices and food are opened around the circular place. Many Tibetans leave here and the numbers of temples and gompas (monasteries) around call us with meditation. Butter lamps are lit by the believer and thousands of flags of prayers are floated with the wind, sending mantras to the gods.







The site was built by king Manadeva on the recommendations of the goddess Mani Jogni. Eyes of the Buddha are painted on the 4 square faces of the stupa to take care on the human kind and deliver prosperity. Between the eyes, the eyebrows symbol as the sign of holiness. Then as your eyes goes to the top of the stupa, you can see various levels that indicates the layer before reaching the Nirvana and finally the parasol, symbol of the Buddha.



This place touch you in your soul. You can feel the faith and the quiteness in every stone. The colors, the flags of prayers, the slow sway in the crowd which turns around the Stupa to revere Bouddah while the prayer wheels are turned by the people ... all this make you feel as if you were a part of it. This place is really amazing !



Visit Nepal from September to November and discover the magic places of Kathmandu with REACHSUMMIT


NEPAL: Patan, Ancient City

Par Caroline Letrange :: 18/06/2007 à 1:49 :: Cultural Adventure

Patan, the royal city !



In the south of kathmandou, about 6 km from inner kathmandu, you can discover Patan, the old royal city built in the south side of the Bagmati river. The old city  has the name Lalitpur, the City of the Beauty or, the city with the gilded roofs and for its inhabitants, Lalita Patan, the splendid city.



But i am not telling you about patan itself. you may find excellent descriptions of Patan in all the good books of history or tourist guides.

Then what am I talking about ? I'm gonna try make you discover Patan through anecdotes. Might give you more pleasant thing to read without beeing bored ?

Nevertheless, let me give you some infos about the city itself. Patan is an expansion of Buddhist temples and stupas set up around the royal palate. The various numbers of ancient Buddhist stupas makes Patan the oldest Buddhist city in the world. The city was very famous between the 16th and the 18th century and becomes an important artistic center, highlighting the Newari craft industry. The main palace, partly destroyed during an earthquake in 1934, has been rebuilt. This royal palace is divided into 3 huge yards and the massive gilded door, leading you to the yards, is kept by 2 imposing stone lions.



And then, here are the expected anecdotes :

In the main yard of the royal palace, called Mulk Chowk and built in 1868 a weird sacrifice accurs. Every year, during Dashain, the sacrifice of 108 animals takes place there ; actually, 108 animals per day during approximately 10 days ! but the number of sacrifices is less and less observed.

Why such a sacrifice ? and why 108 animals ? This sacrifice is carried out in honor of Kali. This god is supposed to have 108 incarnations, therefore they are 108 animals, incarnations of Kali, that will be sacrificed.

Animals are decapitated with an axe in one shot only. If the torturer misses his strike does not cut the head, he  is supposed not to be able to reach the nirvana. Then it is hightly recomanded to cut the head with a nice blow done with an incisive sabre or a big axe. The blood of the animals is then sprinkled on the walls around the temple dedicated to the god. two representations of gods are keeping the door of the temple : Ganga, resting on a tortoise and Yamuna, a crowned crocodile at her feet. Ganga represente the river Gange, the crowned river and Yamuna is the sister of the God of hells.



Facing with the Royal Palace, a column stone has the represenation of king Yoganerendra Malla on its top. His body is protected by a cobra raising up itself on its body with, on its head, a small bird. The legend says that the king is stil alive and as soon as the bird will take-off the cobra's head and fly towards the palate, the king will then be considered as dead. At this very moment, the end of the world will begin.



Then the colossal elephants which keep the entry of the temple of Vishwanath, finishing a whole line of temples of various styles, will leave their stone gangues to get towards the water of the Manga Hiti  fountain located opposite to the temple. At the elephant will start moving the world will disapear forever !



The
Manga Hiti fountain


The fountain has three spouts hones representing crocodile heads. The fountain receives its water directly of the Himalayas without passing through the urban system of water distribution is supposed to provide pure and holy water. It is said that you can drink this water without getting ill ; i did not expereinced the legend and did not test the veracity of this alleged purity !



The temple of Tank Narayan, easily recognizable thanks to Geruda, the vehicle of Vishnu * which faces him, is astonishing because it was built of only one holding in the stone.


*Each god has a vehicle, his means of transportation, to travel. As you can identify the mean of transportation, then you can put a name on the god venerated. Geruda is a half-man, half-bird vehicle of Vishnu.

The temple of Krishna Mandir is decorated with sexual representations. During the old days, the couples used to celebrate their wedding still they were very young. Then, they were tought about sexuality through the sexual decorative representations on these temples. The representions always start with an animal posture: a lion with a woman, in order to remain the young couple that we only imitate nature in the representation of sexuality. Other postures being carried out are between men and women.

Krishna is regarded as the god of love. It is a god whom I is supposed to be very lucky or very powerful (strong ?) because it has 108 women and approximativly 16 000 girlfriends!!

In old tradition, this god is venerated as the god of work... because it is very occupied with its numerus wifes  !!



Discover the Kathmandou valley and discover the magic of Nepal


NEPAL: What about Gods ?

Par Caroline Letrange :: 18/06/2007 à 1:51 :: Cultural Adventure

On Kathmandou Durbar Square, gods are almost alive there !

You cannot visit Kathmandu without visiting the Kathmandou Durbar Saquer. Let me give you some useful indications about Dubar :  there are 3 Durbar squares in the Kathmandu valley. Durbar Kathmandou, Durbar Patan, beyond the river Bagmati, and Durbar Baktapur.



You may find lots of infos about Dubar on internet then lets talks here about the gods living In Dubar Kathmandu and do a short visit of the monuments around monuments.
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Lets have a look at : the Hanuman Temple (the monkey god), the terrble god Kal Bhairav and the living godess, Kumari

1 Hanuman, the monkey god

get a little walk out of the center of Dubar Square and get to the Hanuman Dhoka Temple. The entry is prohibited to tourist and you will not be allowed to get in. His body is surmounted by a red platform and his face is covered with a thick layer of Sindur, a red dust, also used to apply Tikka, the red point place between the eyes, mixed with seneve oil, a mustard seed.
This god removes the pains and carries out the wishes. He also supports military successes. Every morning, the believers offer rice, money or small bits of paper where wishes are written.



On the top of the entry door of the temple, god Krishna and has human and tantric representations. Around Krishna, his human representation with its two favorite and, on the right, king Prata Malla and his wife. This temple was used for unfolding of the ceremonies of crowning.



It is also in this temple that is held the Dashain animals sacrifices (see Ticket: Durbar, royal city).

2 - Kal Bhairav, the terrifying god

Not far from there, dont miss the astonishing statue of Bhairav the Black!



creepy God Crowned with death's-heads, having large eyes and pairs of arms drawn up towards the sky. In this hands a sword, a scalp, an axe, a shield and at his feet, a human dead body ...

But why such a flood of terror that leaves us, the dudy tourist that we all are, a little perplexed ? In fact this god is the incarnation of Shiva god in his destroying appearance to "awake" the unfaithful human, to frighten him and let him face his own ignorance, symbolized by the dead body. Never lie in front of Kal Bhairav god, or you will instantly die !!



Take along your reckless kids to this god,  sure that they will no longer lie any more !

This statue was found in a field in the north of Kathmandu in the 18th century and has been placed here.

3 - Kumari, the Godess living room

A venerated girl a such alive god...!

Indeed Kumari is a very girl élévée with the row of alive goddess, before her irremediable fall like a simple mortal. This goddess lives in her palate of Newari style built with the 18eme century. Kumari is the representation of Parvati (woman of Shiva, that you can see with the balcony of the temple facing the temple of Kumari) or of Durga (see ticket on Dashain), another form of Parvati... yes, I know, all these gods with all their incarnations, they diverting, but, one is made there good a little with long...

This girl is called Kumari royal during all her short period of deification, to be different from other Kumari, déchues. Why rise with the row in goddess this girl, the legend tells that a king received the Taleju goddess, in the shape of a very beautiful woman, in order to play the charts, the day when it wished it éperduement. But Couroussée, the goddess disappeared and promised never not to return. The king begged the return of the goddess who agreed to reach her request but returns in the shape of a young untouchable virgin.

Today, the goddess is selected among girls exit of the clan Sakya (clan of the blacksmiths) towards the 4 years age. She is then examined and will have to comprise the 32 distinctive signs of the Buddha; I deliver some of them to you: to have eyes of cow (beautiful and lengthened like those of the eyes of cow), a skin comparable with the softness of the bark of Boddhi Tree, the tree under which the Buddha preached, to have the loops of hair turning towards the line, to have the eyebrows which are rejoingnent with the top of the nose...

Poor girl will have finally will subject itself to a judicious ritual to frighten it it will be locked up in a part complétement black in which hang to heads sanguinolantes decapitated animals. If Kumari does not stumble and no sign of fear expresses, it will be regarded as the new alive goddess. Finally after a small meeting of choice of clothing (it must find, among various scattered samples, of the fabrics of old Kumari) and a blessing of the astrologer, Kumari is officially declared goddess.

Consequently, it saw reclue world in its temple and cannot touch the ground of its feet; she then is transported or conveyed in a tank with the top of the ground at the time of her rare public appearances at the time of the festivals.
But attention, as soon as a drop of blood leaves its body (wound or other), Kumari loses its statute of goddess it becomes a simple mortal and will be replaced by a Kumari news.

From this moment, it can turn over in its family and marry. But in the facts, the families badly accept this former goddess, the applicants with the marriage fear death if they bind with old Kumari, the idleness and the statute of divinity of very a 4 year old girl until her approximately 12 years modify its perception of the life considerably and to become again simple "human" is often difficult to consider spychologiquement. For numbers among they, all these factors push, sometimes, some of these girls to be finished in the prostitution.

Do not hesitate to find you in this temple around approximately 15 hours for, in exchange of a few rupees, to see Kumari throwing you a glance scornful the top of one of the windows of its monastery. But attention, photographs prohibited!!


As I did not have the right to photograph Kumari,
I made stereotypes with Saddhus outside the temple

Discover different the site from Kathmandu and savallée with REACHSUMMIT

NEPAL: Towards demacracy

Par Caroline Letrange :: 18/06/2007 à 1:52 :: Political Situation

In the Fifties, to died of king Tribhuvan, his son, king Birendra goes up on the throne of kingdom closed a long time the abroads.


Nepal opens then gently what generated an surge of hippies in the Sixties, then, later, of the hikers and the mountaineers. In the Nineties, the absolute capacity of the Nepalese kings starts to decline with the arrival of a democratic movement which disputes the system of castes and calls into question the royalty.

In 2001, the royal family is massacred with the automatic weapon by the crown prince Dipendra who kills his father, king Birendra, and a part of the members of the royal family before giving himself death, according to the official thesis.

Gyanendra, the brother of the late king, then seizes the power, abolished all its liberal measurements and founds a monarchical dictatorship. A rebellion Maoist by the weapons is followed from there. The Nepalese army then loses the control of the roads which carry out towards the mountains and the Maoists, little supplied out of weapons, do not manage to become Masters of the principal cities. A war between maoists and monarchy is followed from there where the population is the first victim: it will make 13 000 dead.

These last years, the mode hardens and in April 2006, the mode multiplies the violations of the humans right, the imprisonment of the political opponents and the maintenance in place of the whom corrupted politicians, which causes to start immense popular demonstrations. The Parliament dissolve and the parties of opposition are combined with the Maoists to formthe alliance of the Seven Parties. The king then gives the capacity to a democratic coalition.

June 16, 2006, the chief of the Maoists, Prachanda enters Kathmandou and states to give up the armed struggle. The new Parliament tries to maintain bonds with the royalty, to safeguard monarchy and to start a new dialogue thanks to the installation of a new constitution. In spite of the terms of "Revolution", employed during popular rising and the alliance of the political parties, the democratic process took peaceful form of manner and the Nepalese has,  them-even, taken the initiative of the dialogue.

Thus, last 9 August, the Maoists agreed to confine their soldiers and their militiamans out of the cities whereas the soldiers of the Nepalese army would remain in the barracks.

For the king, who lost a great part of his capacities, it would have his place in the new Constitution, is a prelude to with a new democratic mode; the country is in good way to carry out this objective.

Updates regular thanks to Blog of REACHSUMMIT


NEPAL: Tihar Festival

Par Caroline Letrange :: 18/06/2007 à 1:52 :: Tips & Everyday life

Tihar, the festival of the Lights!!
The second celebrates the most celebrated in Nepal, after Dashain, during 5 days, it is the celebration in the world of deaths. All the fronts of stores, restaurants, houses, hotels... are covered with multicoloured garlands of lights, flowers and candles.





With the origin it is a Hindu festival but its rites are followed by other religions. This festival is dedicated primarily to Laxmi, the goddess of the richness and woman of Vishnou God. At each day is dependent a specific ritual:

- 1st day : Celebration of the worship of the corbel, messenger of Yama, lord of the underground world, related to the world of died in Indian mythology. Offerings with are thus proposed early the morning to satisfy the messenger of the god and to move away death from each house. It is Kukhur Tihar.


- 2nd day : Celebration of the worship of the dog, guard of the door of darkness and the house of Yama. The dogs receive red Tika on the face and a guilande of eyelets around the neck. All the dogs, even more the rachitics, are affublés of these garlands. It is also because, in the various reincarnations, the life is judicious to start with that of the monkey and to end in that of the dog. It is Gaï Tihar.

- 3rd day : Celebration of the worship to the Laxmi goddess, feeder mother (thanks to her milk), and with the animal which incarnates it, the cow. All the cows thus receive garlands of flowers and a string for, the day of death, to lead the late one without encumber. In the houses of the furnace bridges are drawn up and various offerings (money, incense, food...) are offered to the goddess. In front of the houses, ways are traced and decorated small candles and petals of flowers to guide the goddess towards the furnace bridge at the time of its arrival so that it brings the richness. The come evening, it overlaps an owl to make the turn of the world and to see how the men the revere.


From the 3rd day, small groups of children or teenagers saunter in the streets, of houses in houses or stores in stores in Kathmandou, and sing the rengaine of Tihar, small judicious repetitive verses to deliver good the auspices with the occupant of the place, and wait in return of small gifts or a little money.

- ême day : Celebration of the worship of the buffalo, the animal more used in the campaigns. Agriculture being the dominating activity in Nepal, this day makes it possible to venerate this essential animal with the agricultural work. The buffalo being also the "vehicle" of Khrisna (each god having a vehicle, i.e. means of transport to move), its worship is thus celebrated and, this particular day, its excrements are regarded as crowned. Pujas are then made on all the farm equipment to attract good the auspices. It is Mha puja, the puja for oneself which commemorates the beginning of the year at Newar, the greatest ethical group in Nepal.

- ëme day : Ritual Puja which sisters towards their brothers. It is the moment more awaited by all the families. Thus the sisters mark a circle around the brothers sitting in front of them, pours a little oil to them on the hair then affixes to them on their face the tika of 7 colors and a chain of fresh flowers passes to them. In return, the brothers their make offerings of delicacies and offer a little money. This ritual is carried out in reference to the legend which tells the visit of Yama to his/her Yamouna sister who accomodated it with a tika on the face. It is Bhai tika.

Tuesday October 24 is the great day marking the end of Tihar. For a few days, Kathmandou has been illuminated of 1000 colors, candles and decorated garlands of flowers. The children pass from stores in stores, of the impromptu dances are held in the échopes which remain open until late. Detonators claquent a good part of the day and good mood is of setting during this festival. Kathamndou empties a little its buildings which benefit from this festival to turn over in their families to celebrate Bhai Tika all together. The departures towards the countryside are numerous and much of stores will remain closed all the day of Tuesday.


To begin the festivities, a giant concert of music techno was organized in Trivedi Marg (opposite Fire and Ice; the mountaineers in search of pizza pies after their expés will be about what I speak). All the street was invested by a good part of Nepalese youth and by some tourists. Until late in the night, of the travelling merchants prepared of Momos





Merry environment. Local artists and DJ occurred on scene by mixing Nepalese music, quite Western fusion and techno: a true clashing cocktail and very appreciated. A very good evening full with good mood!





Discover all our voyages, treks and festivals on REACHSUMMIT


NEPAL: Transportation, Gosh !

Par Caroline Letrange :: 18/06/2007 à 1:54 :: Tips & Everyday life

Ah to convey itself in Kathmandou, is necessary to take the fold!!



Several options are envsageables according to your temerity and of the level of necessary comfort. To make simple, you have the walking, well for the acclimatization if you leave in Trek but seen increasing pollution, it is perhaps not the best choice... and the distances are often a little long. Then you can travel by the taxi but you will have to spend between 100 and 250 rupees according to the distance and of the place where your taxi takes to you. It is a good comfortable but not very picturesque option.

I thus advise you  to test the tuk-tuk of Kathmandou, a true pleasure  !



They are small vehicles with 3 wheels been driven by an engine of two-stroke water-cooled. One packs oneself with the back on the side benches and one is held with the central bar. The driver orders the machine with a handlebar which directs the single nose gear wheel. Sometimes one limps speed, of most ancient, make it possible to pass from 5km/h to 13 or 14 km/h to follow the ceaseless flow of a traffic which arrete never and which breaks in an uninterrupted din of horns... it is Asia what! if you are not prepared with that, you miss most picturesque!



It has the advantage of being able to thread in the congestions or when the flow of the cars starts to make circulation quasi-impossible. The tuk-tuk owes its name with the noise which the engine makes when it idles. It you will coutera any only between 10 and 25 rupees according to the place where the tuk-tuk takes to you and deposits you. In Kathmandou, useless to negotiate the prices, they are fixed and allow you to move a little everywhere downtown without spending much money.



The contact with the population is also the most interesting part; one often asks you from where you come, which you do... and hop in 5mn of conversation, you are lost, you know more where you are! that made laugh all the passengers and everyone is put to help you to find the way of the providential hotel!!



If not you have, which they call, "microphone-buses". more comfortable, larger, less polluting, less exposed in the event of accidents but a little more expensive. They are small Van and a kid often howls with the door the destination of the vehicle. Do not hesitate to ask the driver because all is written in Nepalese and it is sometimes not easy to find the good direction. But one always arrives there!!



Lastly, there are the large buses. Eh there it is forwarding! they often emmenent you at longer distances (Pokara, Baktapur...) and frayent a way in circulation with great blows of horns to explode you the tympanums! The shock absorbers are often non-existent, the tires generally (very) smooth, transport sometimes goats or passengers on the roof and slips by to tomb open in the streets! There still the prices are fixed according to the way. The contact with the Nepalese does not have the equal one, you always learn something again during your way!



In Kathmandou, everyone takes the life on the good side and the smile is their best reception! do not deprive any to you and go up in these funny of machines as soon as you want to go some share!


Visit with REACHSUMMIT the neighbouring Kathmandou, Baktapur, Pokara and temples in an astonishing cultural tour.



NEPAL : does the Yéti exist ?

Par Caroline Letrange :: 18/06/2007 à 2:05 :: Cultural Adventure
The yéti is a myth which fascine, legend or reality?

Religious rites are part of the everyday life both Nepali and Tibetan people. Monasteries or "gompas" are religious centers, places of medidation and teaching place of Buddhist philosophy. The myths and the legends make them also part of the sacred texts even if you can never distinguish legends from reality.

When you visist Nepal, get to Pangboche Monastery on your way to Everest base. Getting to  Ama Dablam after the Capital of the Sherpas, Namche Bazar, this monastery hides a treasure that the legend nourished during many years: the Yéti one. Indeed, the monastery holds the relics of what is regarded as those of Yéti !


View of Ama Dablam and in the very background,
Everest and Lhotse

REACHSUMMIT organizes the Ama Dablam and Everest ascent in Full Service;
for tariffs and services: contact@reachsummit.com

It is with the XV eme century that the "Yeh-teh" or "yeh-tch", "the man of the rocks" as calls it the Tibetans, for the first time evoked and is described not an European. Then English missions, in exploration in the area describe gigantic prints in snow and a sihouette of very big size moving on the heuteurs. They are the Westerners who popularized the legend of the "Abominable man of snows" or "Migyu" as calls it also the populations Tibetans!

According to legends' come from Tibet and Sikkim and brought back by Sherpas, Yéti would be presented in 3 distinct forms:
  1. a man of very big size which devours the cattle, it is the "dzu-tch"
  2. A monkey with the russet-red peeling of less size
  3. and another monkey, nearer to human appearance, covered of hairs and considered to be aggressive; it is our Yéti, the "Mih-tch" or "Meh-teh"
Several theories are advanced as for the existence of this mysterious animal: a giant Orang-outang (really?) or the "homme of Peijing" this monkey which the apprence approaches the man and who would have taken refuge in the mountains (oops believe you in it?) or an ancestor of the man of Néandertal which would have taken refuge in the hostile and moved back habitâts of the Himalayas to protect (Jurassic Park is back!!). Go the last theories lean for a large monkey of the family of Gibbon or Orang-outang (the revoilà) which would have evolved/moved to adapt to its new environment.

Lets be serious for a while ... Lets put feet on the ground, the scientists have shown that all these relics were fake. Then the relics are not,  the footsteps, a bear one, the sclap of Yéti held by the monastery of Khumjung would be in fact a goatskin... and still no photographs of the  beast  !

Finally, Without dreams and legends, life would be quite dull, sure ? Go back to my favorite book ... "Tintin in Tibet" ! Cool ...!

Get to everest base camp ?
www.reachsummit.com

TIBET : What visa ?

Par Caroline Letrange :: 18/06/2007 à 2:22 :: Trekking

The tibet is an autonomous province of China under authority (and control) of the Chinese authorities.


Many questions and request for information was posed to me to know which were the formalities to fill to reach this splendid wild and arid area. Here some answers:

First of all, a basic postulate which is essential : you cannot only travel (and enter) in Tibet. The authorities will always oblige you to insert you in a group of at least 5 people starting from an agency to carry out your  tour in Tibet. Moreover, the entry in Tibet as well as the exit is done within a group.



If you in trek will visit the large cities of Tibet such as Lhasa, Gyantse, Shigatse and will push to the Kailash Mount, pass by Nepal and to annoy you not to take a visa starting from your country of origin, it will be a Chinese visa which will be automatically cancelled to be replaced by a specific visa for Tibet. Thus leave light!

From Kathmandu, the agencies on the spot deal with the formalities necessary to make establish your visa. REACH SUMMIT takes good care of formalities for your trek or ascent in Tibet. Provide with your passport and photographs with identity and some information such as: name, sex, date of birth, number of passport, nationality and your trade.

It is necessary only a few days so that the formalities are established. The validity of the visa is 3 months

Small usual recommendation : when you register your trade, to avoid any profession in connection with journalism because your visa could take much (much) more time to establish! even thing if you are a diplomat or member of a government... go is necessary to know to lie sometimes!!

To visit the most beautiful cities of Tibet or to reach mythical summits ? ReachSummit follows you on the most beautiful trekking routes !


KILI : Ready for Kilimanjaro ?

Par Caroline Letrange :: 18/06/2007 à 2:23 :: Climbing

The kilimandjaro is a fabulous volcano which can be climbed almost during  all year. However, it's better is climbing during the main dry seasons to have less clouds, less showers and less snow. Here are some good tips to prepare you climb ... and to get to the top !


All at the top for sunrise !!
  • What season ?
The kilimandjaro offers a great flexibility in the dates of rise because there are no monsoons or of window weather which obliges the climbing ones "to be thrown" on the heights in extremely limited times.

In the facts, you have two dry seasons:
  1. The great dry season between June and the beginning of October which enables you to benefit from less precipitations and to see the top. This period is also very advantageous when you cross the wet drill without "patauger" in mud or to endure the rains of the day.
  2. The small season dries which goes from semi January at at the end of February. This period is shorter but quite as pleasant. The nights are less cold there but precipitations can be more frequent in the course of the day. It can also snow at the top, perfect for the photographs, but sometimes the falls of temperatures are impressive and the wind can make some give up more one.
The two periods are worth and allow you to appreciate a very beautiful course. "more" estival period it is that one can take along all the family and vary the pleasures between safaris and ecotourism for mom and the children and rise for dad!

  • I live downtown, I spend 10 hour a day with my beloved laptop and weekends with my mother in law ... How the hell can i train ?

Even if Kilimandjaro is not technically difficult, altitude and thus the mountain altitude sickness are not to neglect. It is thus highly recommended to train before reaching alt.5895.

- the breath : you will have several consecutive days of walk during several days in a rough. REACH SUMMIT designed 7 days climbing instead of 5 or 6 on the Machame route to ensure you a good acclimatization and to considerably increase your chances of success. Running is the best to develop its breath and its pulmonary capacity. The oxgygen blood tranfert will be better to prevent breathlessness and mountain altitude sickness. Run on the long term to improve endurance without forcing and by monitoring your heartbeat rate. Do not push yourself, but enhance endurance.

- muscles : Why not going to the gym to strengthen the thighs and to reinforce the tendons. The knees suffer a little during the descent, it is thus necessary to take good care of them. I recommend to put knee brace if you knees are painful. The descent is done straigh after the final night which preceded one day of trek and the challenge for legs is very demanding.

- Walking slowly during your trek: it is essential. Some trekking days may sometimes seem easy to you on the way, do not accelerate. Give time to your body to acclimatize, to get accustomed to high altitude and lack of oxygen. Saved your energy for the final part which will request the best of you.

- Medication ? remain simple, the vitamins are your best friend. A good vitamin complement, 1000 Mg of C vitamin /day and one natural energetic is sufficient to prevent exhaustion. For altitude, aspirin and drink a lot, minimum 3/4 liters per day. Take soup, tea, water... whatever but drink !

TO AVOID : I do not recommend Diamox ; it is diuretic which will hide the first symptoms of altitude sickness. When the Ealtitude sickness strikes, it is often serious and too late to be treated (loss of appetite, impressing  swelling of the face, refusal to go and/or oedema)  ...  the pulmonary and cerebral oedema are not myths; you are at nearly 6000 meters!

The solution thus, small a 1h of gym apès work with a "Reply Car" (automatic answer) with your malls after 19h, "JE donot can answer you, I am in Kili drive!"and to run with the dog after the Sunday lunch.

  • Which Route to take ?
The National Park of Kilimandjaro is splendid and the crossed vegetation is a breathtaking experience. You first get through the rain forest, the Moorlands and altitude steppe before reaching the rocky desert.

- the Marangu way : also called "Coke Cola" Route,  appreciated by thetourists. Nights in refuges.

- the Machame way : western route, it is wilder and is perfect for trekkers in love with wild landscapes. nights in tent.

- the Lemosho Route through "Shira Route": Western route, longer but also one of most wild and has a huge diversity of vegetation. Healthy trekkers and those who wish to avoid the long queue of trekkers, will definitly prefer this route. REACH SUMMIT propose this route within 10 days with fresh food to benefit from tasty good food during this long trek. Tented trek.


Happy breakfast on Shira Plateau (Machame Route)

Other routes also exists, in the south Umbwe and Rongaï and in the north to diversify the climbing routes.

- the Mweka way : this is a very south one only for descent; 3 days were enough to make climb but the huge number of oedemas and deaths encouraged the authorities to close this route to get to the top of Kilimanjaro.

  • Kilimanjaro, it costs too much !
The prices vary indeed. However the park is a protected inheritance registers as the world inheritance of UNESCO. The recrudescense of the tourists has encourage the authorities to found an entry fee of USD 650 before launching out on the tracks. REACHSUMMIT includes parks fees and rescue in all its prices for Kilimanjaro ascent(the prices are in US Dollars, please convert in your own currency)


Tough job ! Porters climbing the Barranco Wall (Machame Route)

The tips and gears are also highly recommended. The local teams live tourism and are often far from their family during several days during the ascent. Don't forget to bring dollars and give good tips while arriving in Mweka Gate the last day of your climb.

  • What about visa?
You can take your visas directly in your own country or directly at the airport at arrival. If you enter and get out through Kenya a 20 USD tax will be claimed to you with each way (in and out).


I hope i have answered all the questions which are regularly asked to me for this very beautiful ascent. Please let's improve this blog by sending your questions directly on the Blog. Always happy to share with you my mountaineering experience and hope to make your travel a success.

To discover our offers at very small prices to climb Kilimanjaro, www.reachsummit.com

Photographs
are available, HERE >

KILI: 5895m, all on the top

Par Caroline Letrange :: 18/06/2007 à 2:24 :: Climbing

See a marvellous sun survey in the summit meeting of Africa, nothing like it to make the life more beautiful!!


With Lema, candidate-guide, always of excellent mood in the summit meeting of Africa!

7 days of trek in altitude and rise to join Uhuru Peak (Peak of Freedom) to 5895 Mr. of altitude on the most volcano of Africa.

Kilimandjaro is a particular mountain because it is a stratovolcano, i.e. a volcano made up of layers of lava and other volcanic components, which offers in your eyes the splendid spectacle of 5 types of different vegetations. Departure on February 6, 2007 at the end of the morning of Machame Gate to engulf itself in the wet forest. The trek starts gently in the heart of extraordinary and spectacular tropical forest where many endemic species develop to with it.



The air is saturated with moisture and the plants épiphytes develop without constraints on the trees which extend towards the sky and filter daylight. The spectacle is imposing, even if in middle of day we are rattrappés by an enormous storm and pouring rain which soaks us to the bones. At the end of the day Camp 1 is installed and the sun, hardly résurgit clouds, spins refugier behind the Meru Mount to the west.

Reveil under a radiant sun and a unspoilable view on the western side of Kilimandjaro whose ice scintillates under the rays  of the raising sun. The breakfast is been useful in the open air and the tents are dismounted gently in merry a good mood. The departure is given for one day of walk "Pole Pole" (gently, gently) towards the plate of Shira. The vegetation is a more arid steppe made up of bulky bushes and high grasses. The way loses in a maze of covered rocks luxuriant ship's boys and exuberant trees. Then we fork towards a valley plunged in a fog violet which coats the odorous bushes from where emerge the colours milky crimsons and of Helichrysum or Immortelles flowers. In middle of afternoon, here are arrived to us on the plate of Shira plunged in a thick fog. The landscape drowns in a white veil. To lunch and Rest for the remainder of the day. Towards 18h, as of the return of the sun, small strolls in direction of Shira Hut to discover a marvellous ballet of hot colors and languorous clouds  which accompany the slow one to lay down sun on the valley.


To lay down sun with Shira Camp

Fresh night and a little freezing in the morning, but at that time of the year (small rain season), the temperatures are pleasant and favourable with a good recovery after each day of walk. Breakfast in the shade of the Breach Western, the sagging part of the volcano which shines of all its fires. With, plunged far in a shroud of morning fog, emerges the brownish rocks of the Meru Mount which faces us. Departure with 8h30.


Sun survey of any beauty on the camp of Shira. At the bottom, the Meru Mount.

We walk in Indian file towards Lava Tower in direction of Valley de Baranco, our next stage. The sun is radiant. Easy walk and quasi without effort. The carriers cross us with indéfectible a good mood and contours of the volcano covered with snow take shape under an invariably blue sky. Which marvellous day. At the end of the morning, we approach Washed Tower for a lunch with the shelter of the furious winds which mugissent around us and of the clouds which crawl gently of the valley towards the frozen heights. The slopes of the volcanos hide slowly behind a long gray scarf of clouds before we do not set out again. The brown ground and rubbles have dorénavent covered the ground until the end with the valley. Only the ship's boys indolentes accorchées on their rocks of lava resist an increasingly hostile climate. The fog accompany us throughout the way and transforms the silouhettes into funny of the fantomes moving ones with dubious contours sometimes disappearing with the turnings from a lace.


Slopes of the kilimandjaro

Finally we reach splendid Vallée of Baranco. The vegetation is there here with its ease. Seneçons centenaries, bushes odorous and other lobélies run there peaceful days with the feet of the eternal snow. End of afternoon of rest in the medium of a vegetation of a single diversity. Calm and slightly fresh night.


Seneçon, each branch corresponds is 10 years old of life.
Count the branches and you have the age of Seneçon.


In the morning, the camp is in effervescence: we must pass with all the material the wall of Barranco which faces us. 300 meters of climbing along a wall of lava. The carriers launch out parcellings there balances some on their heads and sweat oozing along their faces. The shoes are rudimentary, voires unsuited, the bulky loads and the attention always with the aguêts. This rise is not complicated but requires all the attention necessary not to block the projection of the carriers, many, and the false steps are always possible. In top, the spectacle is of any beauty. The valley opens on a horizon which vibrates under the rays of the morning sun. With the opposite the slopes of Kilimandjaro shine of thousand fires under the bright rays.



We go down again towards the valley in direction of the camp of karanga in the valley of the same name. The sun us rechauffe and the way curves between the brown and black stones which extend as far as the eye can see. We cross the various valleys to lead finally to Karanga where the tents are scattered in the medium of a fog which has just taken possession of the places. End of day calms around a good hot tea and of some biscuits. Before slipping to us under the tent, we admire the spectacle enchanter of a covered star sky. In bottom, in the valley, the diaphanous lights of Moshi, the city downwards, scintillate in the night.

As of the survey of the day, we move towards the Camp of Barafu. Altitude climbs. The breath is shorter. The slower step. But the sun still accompanies us on this portion by poussièreux way. As of the end of the morning, the first teams atteingent the camp perched on its perch of rocks. It made gray there. The wind courre along the rock. It made cold there. As of the first hours of the afternoon, a rain of grésil kills on us and us constrained with folds in our tents. Rest and music in the ears before the night which awaits us. Quiet evening meal in the shade of the moon which scintillates in the medium of the last clouds of altitude. Environment a little heavier than with the accustomed one; this evening we leave to the attack the volcano!




Camp of Barafu

Midnight. It is the departure effervesce quasi-quiet in the camp. Hot drink and biscuits before strapping the back bags and engulfing us in the black night. Slow walk and almost automatic. The head lights slip their halation along the way piétinné by thousands of walkers on this way in direction of Stella Point, at the edge of the crater of the volcano. The weather starts to be cold. The breath is done shorter. Major breathing. The head turns sometimes.



We cross some unlucky persons who, the face bouffi and red, tried out the effects of a beginning of oedema related to altitude. While raising the head one sees the long wire of the small lights scintillating of frontal which courrent along the slope. In top, the delivery, Stella Point which we must reach as of the first gleams of the day. We stop little. The failures are bénines and the bodies recover vites as soon as the hot liquids and the bars énergisantes are swallowed. Stella Point takes shape finally. A covered crater of snow opens in front of us. To far, more to the east, the sun launches its rays of light behind Mawenzi, another old volcano, and sets ablaze the sky of crimson colours. The red day is dawning gently when we reach Uhuru Peak, the so much coveted top.

Even with the top, the indéfectible portable ToughBook de Panasonic holds out!!
Extremely Tough!


The descent is fast but exténuante. The slope descent quasi in straight line towards Barafu where we will stop before taking again our descent along Mweka Route. The sun is still with go and us rechauffe gently as we lose altitude. Stop avnt the wet forest for one night of well deserved rest. The evening, environment is with the euphoria. Total success for all. The top charmed our eyes and our directions. Which marvellous mountain. Which incredible experiment. Single. Who marks a life... one of climbing celebrated his 50 years at the top!! Happy birthday seen frozen heights of Africa!!





The following day we cross once again this extraordinary wet forest which absorbed us of his luxuriant vegetation. The memories invade my head. The emotions and the feelings submerge me. Which splendid rise. What a marvellous experiment!!

Inscriptions for Kilimandjaro open for 2007 (until October) and 2008 (until Mars); Reserve your place as of now for this fabulous trek of altitude on REACHSUMMIT



AFRIK: Chagga Ethnie

Par Caroline Letrange :: 18/06/2007 à 2:25 :: Général

Small visit through the area of Kilimandjaro.


Summit of Kilimandjaro with fallen the day...


In this area of the North of the country joined at the border with Kenya, it is the ethnos group of Chagga which prevails. They represent less than 2% of the total population but are prevailing here. They live resources resulting from Kilimandjaro: coffee, bannaneraies, corn...

The volcano is fore-mentioned Kibo and refers to its snow-covered top. Mawenzi and the plain of Shira are the 2 other geological formations which frame this area.

 

Their traditional habitat takes the shape of a round, separate hut into 2: a part for the hearth and another for the bed and surmounted of a stage for storage of the food products. Contrary to Masais, the hutes are made out of dried grasses and not out of ground. With the activity of the hearth and the heat which emerges some, the grasses agglomerate enters and form excellent insulating.






And at the end of day, the up to date handing-over of the blog directly in the car thanks to the TOUGHBOOK * : I tankard a Wifi connection and I update on line with texts and photographs! Fastoche...



* Panasonic, material sponsor with the TOUGHBOOK


Discover with REACHSUMMIT the tribes Massai and Chagga in a trek ecotouristic in the heart of the life of the  Masaai Tribes


NEPAL : back from Everest

Par Caroline Letrange :: 18/06/2007 à 3:30 :: Climbing

The Everest, mythical mountain which attracts hundreds of climbers every year. This year coming back of a French mountaineer who attempt the summit from the Southern route.


  • Expedition
At the end of May 2007, after approximately 2 months of trek, acclimatization and finally climb, come back of a  french climber from Everest by the Southern route ... she wazs happy, even if the top were not acheived she reached 8480m ! Congratulations!
More news soon.

Book now for Everest Ascent,
Full Service for 2008 and 2009, 
www.reachsummmit.com

  • What about Everest:

Located on the border between Nepal and Tibet, Everest (also named Qomolangma */Sagarmatha/Chomolungma - * Q decides CH) is the highest mountain of the world with its 8850m of altitude. It is in 1865 that the Everest takes its current name in reference to the general controller of the India, Sir Everest. In 1852 that an Indien mathematician determined the height of the Everest and is taken appellaton of "Peak XV".

2 principal routes to reach the top:

- the Northern route, through Tibet in the Rongbuk Valley

- the Southern route, through Nepal in the Khumbu Valley 
Through this route you cross among the most beautiful landscapes of Nepal while passing by the famous capital of Sherpa, Namche Bazaar. Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the top in 1953 by this route. To get to base camp, 2 main routes can be taken. The first in landing in the small village of Lukla by plane or in trekking from Jiri for a very beautiful acclimatization trek.

The acclimatization is long but necessary to give to the body time to be accustomed to altitude and lack of oxygen. Either routes have very different landscapes; Nepal profits from monsoon and thus from greener landscapes. Tibet located on the North of the Himalaya receives only very few rains, this the landscapes are more arid and exposed to winds... but keep a wild charm !

To book for a trek ? www.reachsummit.com

WEB : They talk about us :)

Par Caroline Letrange :: 21/06/2007 à 19:45 :: Clients testimony

When customers go on trek and come back with a beautiful experience thanks to Caroline Letrange, they tell about it ... and they do well !



 
Here is a very beautiful website, very informative that will delight all the Kilimanjaro and Africa lovers. Nothing's left : preparation, equipment, the ascension and of course... beautiful photos ! Have pleasure ... and thank you Stéphanie !!
And keep on visiting us !
www.reachsummit.com

PARIS : Beautiful A380 !

Par Caroline Letrange :: 27/06/2007 à 21:15 :: Tips & Everyday life


Qatar Airways partner in Paris for plane live-shows : the event was as usual very impressive with the A380 flight witch was very impressive !

This exhibition exists since 1908 and always attracts huge number of people. Even if it was quite cloudy and rainy, we appreciated a beautiful demonstration.

The asthonishing stunt was the A380 take-off of ; not a noise, impression of ease in the air and a cut the breath large wings.

This giant of the airs can transport from 555 to 845 passengers on a double deck and with its 73 meters of length, 79,80 meters of scale and 24,10 meters height.

Qatar has bought five A380; let us hope that soon, REACHSUMMIT customers could be likely to getting on this beautiful aircraft.

Remind of the Qatar advantages for REACHSUMMIT clients ?

See on this page...

 

AFRIK : Vaccine & Yellow fever

Par Caroline Letrange :: 27/06/2007 à 23:08 :: Tips & Everyday life


When travelling in countries known as "exotic", it is indeed exotic except when you did not take the precautions as regards prevention of the local diseases.

Africa (and thus Tanzania) are particularly exposed with certain diseases and infections of which it is necessary to be secured before leaving on a trip :


- Yellow fever : obligatory at first, the yellow fever is now recommended. This vaccine covers you for a 10 years period from the10th day after vaccination ; thus do not have your inoculation the day of the departure but take a RDV a few days before.

- Paludism or Malaria : It is a serious disease which can sometimes be fatal and which prevails in endemic tropical areas such as Tanzania. No vaccine exist yet. This disease is transmitted by the bit of a female mosquito, which introduces a small microorganism into blood and contaminates you.
Result: a general state which is degraded and strong fevers.

However you can protect itself from the Malaria thanks to the repellent sprays. Some are very powerful. You can buy some in pharmacy shops : one specific for the skin and a second exclusively reserved to clothing. The last one has to be sprayed on your day clothing as well as on sheets and mosquito nets. At the beginning, it awfully stinks but the smell disapears within few minutes... but for the mosquito, it is the olfactif hell and it surely will beat wing elsewhere!

It is also recommended to cover arms and legs as before sunset ; it is just before night, that mosquitos are the most virulent because the weather gets cooler.

In addition antimalaria pills is highly recommended. Either taken every week or daily, the tablets are very effective to prevent any appearance of Malaria symptoms.

For travellers who come to Tanzania to climb Kilimandjaro, it is wise to ask your doctor the better tablets so that you wont suffer from undesirable effects (giddinesses, nauseas...) ; but that depends on your physical condition. Obtain advice from your doctor. Over the rain forest, mosquitos will be rare, thus the danger is temporarily out of reach!


- Hepatitis A: it is a viral desease which primarily affects the liver and creates huge tiredness, then you will quickly turn from a healthy baby face to a wired yellow look ! This disease, which can also be fatal, is caused by infected food or water ingestion. It is thus recomanded to be vaccinated for a 10 years protection after a first recall at the end of a 6 months time

Prefer non-opened water bottles, cooked vegetables and the fruits with a skin (bananas, oranges, clementines...), no ice in your glass and no icecream to pleasure your papilla... do like me, have a beer !!

You wish to visit Tanzania?
Now we accept booking on
Kilimandjaro for 2007 and January/february/March 2008

We recommand to create your own group, choose your dates and your route.
All our expeditions are
FULL SERVICE trips
For
large group (15 pers and +) Caroline Letrange accompanies you !!
Please, discover
all our trips here >

NEPAL : Just arrived in Kathmandu

Par Caroline Letrange :: 13/10/2007 à 9:51 :: Tips & Everyday life

I am back to Kathmandou, the capital of Nepal for this springtide of trek which starts.


Animated departure of London where the congestions of end of day lead you of a good hour time designed to arrive at the airport. The taxi-driver is nervous. I catch me up far too late. I gonna miss my flight. The tension is extreme. He drives like a fool and sware all the time. To release the tension, it asks me to sing "Frere Jacques" for him in French!! I try some awfull notes ... he prefers to put the radio on. Zigzag between the cars, bicycles, trucks... I close  my eyes not to have the stomach twisted. HOpe we wont get caught by the police !!

Fortunatly, we arrive on time at the airport after 1 hour and half of slalom in the London capital; I almost have  the nausea ! At the checking counter, worries keep on anoying me. My huge "The North Face" bag is over weigh  and my photographic gears are  too large to come with me in the cabin... aaahhh, stop it !  It's now the rush for registration, I am urged to clear out my bag and my photographic gears to pack now desappear between the hands the airport agent with the anguish to see it arriving to Kathmandou in thousand pieces. Too much worries, but its security instructions, impossible to derogate from it.

Qatar Airways Flight, perfect. I watched 2 or 3 films during the flight. Layover in Doha and some purchases of beauty products at unbeatable prices and way back to the checkin for the next flight to Kathmandu.

The plane lands at Tribhuvan airport. its hot and wet ; such a contrast with London where it was raining cats and dogs. A friend is picking me up to drive me to the hotel in Thamel. Kathmandu has not change. Always this crasy traffic which makes my head spin, this pollution which grab you tears off the first days, this kindness of the Nepalese that makes to you more humble and this whirling life which never seems to stop.

In the evening, i go straight to my favorite bar where I find there, without any notice, mountaineers friends who just come back from Cho Oyu with customers. The ascensts were a little bit difficult because the powerful winds in altitude and snow falls that cover the tracks. Painful. They already have at least 5/6 beers in the stomack for dinner but the atmosphere is very euphoric. We ordered some Everest beers to celebrate my arrival. Stories of mountains howled in the middle of techno music to tear off you tympanums. A good evening whatsoever. For this first evening with Nepal, i go to bed at 4 o'clock in the morning. It is kathmandu!!


REACH SUMMIT and Caroline Letrange welcome you in Kathmandou for all your treks and ascents.
All our trips are personalized and suits to your desires.

Discover our routes on the site
www.reachsummit.com


KILI : Just left for Kilimanjaro !

Par Caroline Letrange :: 02/01/2008 à 14:36 :: Climbing

En Français >

The departures for Kilimanjaro are linke to the instable situation that currently ocuurs in Kenya.
However all REACH SUMMIT teams are on the spot 24/7 to handle with the situation and to accompany its customers.

Enjoy beautiful trips with REACH SUMMIT > CLICK HERE <

Sonia and Manuel left this morning to Africa. Small layover in Amsterdam then new departure towards Tanzania by avoiding Kenya. Last minute changes to modify the flying ticket initially booked for Nairobi with a new flight towards Kilimanjaro Airport. Skype has burnt these last days and i received their SMS this morning to confirm that everything is OK!



Message customer via Skype:  “On the way with 24:00 in advance. We have to take other plane tickets because initially we were to land in Nairobi but because of the situation we preferred opted for security and we will land directly in Tanzania. Departure envisaged tomorrow at 7am. Luggage ready, all is under zipploc because of moisture.

The "package", alias Gaspard has been delivered to his grandparents at exit 6 on the A40. A good dish of pastas awaits us this evening… and yes it is already necessary to be put on diet with slow sugars! We hope that all will be OK and that you will be able to follow this adventure on line and we will acheive our dream, a dream that we have been awaiting for nearly 20 years!



Photo sent by the client by MMS: bags of the departure!

Reception this evening towards 20:45 by the teams of REACH SUMMIT and… to directly to bed ! The ascent starts tomorrow, the dream will finally be able to concretize itself!

--------------
Leave your comments and react below. Don't forget the anti-spam code. Manuel and Sonia will be pleased to read your comments on their return back.


KILI : Arrival in Moshi

Par Caroline Letrange :: 07/01/2008 à 1:41 :: Général

Expedition Dispatch on
- Kilimandjaro, Machame Route -   2/01 to the 10/01/2008
Contact by SMS and telephone
Group of 2 trekkeurs - FR

We are happy to share with you the climbing of Kilimandjaro of two trekkers, Manuel and Sonia . Thanks to share this adventure with friends and family and to follow us via the REACH SUMMIT blog

- Find all our trips on our website > www.reachsummit.com

Arrival carefully in this beautiful African region. In spite of the changes of flight, the voyage proceeded and arrived well at 20:45 at Kilimanjaro Airport to Tanzania where the situation is calm. Reception by the guide as a chief as well as the guide of forwarding. First friendly contacts and last formalities: the dream is on the move now !

Little drive before dining and finally resting in Moshi's hotel. Today, everything's started. Direction Machame Gate for the registration to National park authorities and the employment of porters. First impression of our travellers: The weather is very warm and quite humid ! On the way sun is shinning and the rain is non-existent. Very pleasant thus.

The vegetation is splendid and the first hours of walk in the rain forest is a peerless pleasure for the eyes. Lunch Stop in the forest. Good rest and good meals. Its the ideal moment to take some time to admire the astonishing luxuriant vegetation and to relieve the legs on this first section. Then hike gently goes uphill on a pleasant and well traced track. Easy progression to alt. 2100m surrounded by the abundant vegetation of the rain forest. In the evening, arrival in camp 1 before sunset and diner under the tent at the feet of Kilimanjaro.

Thanks for sharing this topo with family and friends. Please come back to follow the Kilimandjaro ascent, Machame Route.  Thank you to all the REACH SUMMIT teams on the spot which enable us to update this regular topo.

Do not hesitate to post your comments below.
So long
www.reachsummit.com

KILI : Machame Route

Par Caroline Letrange :: 07/01/2008 à 2:08 :: Climbing

Expedition Dispatch on - Kilimandjaro, Machame Route -   2/01 to the 10/01/2008
Contact by SMS and telephone
Group of 2 trekkers - FR

The Machame way is one of the most beautiful route of Kilimanjaro. Camping under tent and single ecosystem offers to the trekkeurs a decoration to cut the breath in this part of the valley of the Rift. 5 levels of vegetation make it possible to appreciate all the diversity of this wild territory.

Discover all the voyages in Asia and Africa of REACH SUMMIT > www.reachsummit.com

The departure is carried out starting from Machame Gate. Engage carriers and first steps in the wet forest in the middle of a luxuriant vegetation and of a marked moisture. This first day of rise is easy, progressive and without much major difficulty. For our trekkeurs, Handbook and Sonia, beautiful day of walk where they could appreciate the first contacts with the teams and the landscapes of any beauty. Arrival in end-of-day with the camping with the feet of the slopes of Kilimandjaro.

The following day, survey early and breakfast in full nature; a true pleasure. The hours of walk are regular to allow a better acclimatization. The wet drill complétement disappeared and they are landscapes of moors which extend progresssivement on the horizon. Sunny and hot time for Sonia and Manuel which benefit from this small dry season with a time proprice with the impressive sights on the glaciers of the top of Kilimandjaro.

Then redescente towards the valley of Baranco after a passage to the accesses of Washed Tower, immense column of lava lost in the clouds and the fogs of altitude. The loss of altitude makes it possible the body to be acclimatized and the muscles to rest a little. For Sonia and Manuel walk is long but the crossed landscapes leave our climbing under the charm. The valley of Barranco is a ilot of vegetation of moors plunged in the fogs. The bushes, the lobélies and let us séneçons them cover this splendid valley that our trekkeurs reached after several hours of walk. Finally the camp appears in the hollow of the valley. Well deserved rest. It is the time of the acclimatization. Tomorrow a big step: the passage of the wall of Barranco. It is an old lava flow which bars the valley and which is climbed slowly along a path in zigzag along the volcanic rocks. This evening, rest and sleep before a departure early tomorrow morning for the valley of Karanga.

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Keep on reading the dispatch on this page; thank you to come back to follow of the group for their Kilimanjaro climb …
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NEPAL : Back in Kathmandu 2008

Par Caroline Letrange :: 10/07/2008 à 0:45 :: LATEST NEWS
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Dear trekker friends

I am pleased to welcome you from august 2008 for your treks and ascents from Kathmandu in Nepal. I will be in Kathmandu to this date for the entire trekking season in this beautiful region of the Himalayas. Have a look at our itineraries on the site to find out our new routes in Asia and Africa.

The Kilimanjaro season in still on till October 2008. Treks in Nepal, Tibet, Sikkim, Bhutan and India are starting from September 2008 with the return of the dry season. Treks to Everest and in the Khumbu and the Annapurna valley are planned for this season.

The Tibet which had been closed for several months because of incidents in Lhasa is reopened. The routes on 8000m peaks (Cho Oyu, Everest and Shishapangma) are now accessible to our friends climbers who had reserved a climb on these routes. The beautiful trek to Mount Kailash, the sacred mountain, is also planned on the agenda. Good news !

If you wish to trek, I will be pleased to welcome you in Kathmandu before you enjoy your holidays. Keep on posting your questions and comments on the blog.

Look forward to seeing you soon.

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