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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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.

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
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.
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