Tag Archives: trekking

The Bumdra Trek

I read about this trek in the Lonely Planet and it was in the “off the beaten track” suggestions. Since we love trekking, and we didn’t have time for a 5 day trek in Bhutan, I thought this was a great option since it was one night and two days. The second day ends at the Tiger’s Nest monastery, one of Bhutan’s highlights. 

I will break down each day and give you the amount of kilometres we walked. The amount of time you walk per day depends on how in shape you are! 

Day 1: You start your walk in the morning and walk through beautiful forests. Enjoy the flowers and trees. You take a break for lunch by a small monastery and continue upwards to the base camp (located at 3800m). The camp had amazing food, beds, and views. 

Total upward elevation gained: 1200m 

Total amount of kilometres walked: 8km 

View of the camp from the small temple

Day 2: After breakfast, leave early in order to walk down the mountain. You will see several monasteries on your way down. And then, you get a spectacular view of the Tiger’s Nest monastery. What is special about this trek is that you can see the monastery from above, what others do not get to see. You walk down to Tiger’s Nest, visit the monastery early with little crowds, and then walk all the way down to the main entrance. 

Total amount of kilometres walked: 10km. 

A bird eye view of Tiger’s Nest
Things to bring (you don’t need much since it’s one night and you get a comfy and warm bed to sleep in)  

  • Trekking clothes (1 pant, 1 or 2 tshirts, 2 pairs of socks, hat)
  • Comfortable shoes or trekking boots 
  • Warm clothes and a rain jacket 
  • Camera and something to do (book, playing cards etc). 

If you enjoy nature, camping, and trekking, I DEFINITELY suggest this trek!

For any travel information check out: http://www.jambayangtravel.com


Everest Base Camp: Day by day route

I decided to share the break down of each day during our trek. I have included where we went, stayed, acclimatized and the altitude of each one. In the brackets [] you will see the total amount of kilometres we walked each day. I think this will help you prepare (physically and mentally) for your Everest Base Camp experience.

I cannot stress enough the importance of physically preparing for this trek. We saw many people struggling during the first two days, which are the easiest because you walk less and you slowly go up in altitude.

If you have never been in altitude before, i would recommend trying to go to higher mountains (Andes, the Alps, or anything nearby that is higher than 2000m). However, keep in mind that the altitude is felt much more in the Himalayas.

Our route was 10 days in total, but we did one day less on the way down, so you can have shorter days if you need/prefer.

So my recommendation is, get on that treadmill, run up and down the stairs, train at the gym and get in shape as much as possible.

Our trekking route: 

Day 1: [8km] Lukla (2840m) to Phakding (2610m)

Day 2:  [10km] Phakding (2610m) to Namche Bazar (3440m)

Day 3: acclimatize in Namche Bazar (3440m)

Day 4:  [14km] Namche Bazar (3440m) to Pangboche (3930m)

Day 5: [8km] Pangboche (3930m) to Dingboche (4410m)

Day 6: acclimatize in Dingboche. You can also take short walks to help acclimatize. We went to Imja Tsho, a Laguna located at 5010m [total of 20km return]

Day 7:  [17km] Dingboche (4410m) to Gorakshep (5164m) + sunset at Kala Patthar (5545m)

Day 8: [21km] Gorakshep (5164m) to Everest Base Camp(5364) to Pangboche (3930m)

Day 9:  [14km] Pangboche (3930m) to Namche Bazar (3440m)

Day 10: [18km] Namche Bazar (3440m) to Lukla (2840m)

Walking through the Himalayas 

Nepal is an ideal destination for anyone who loves nature and the mountains. The Himalayas are a mountain range in Asia that cross several countries: Pakistan, India, Tibet (China), Bhutan and Nepal. Bordering Nepal and Tibet, with an altitude of 8848m above sea level, lies the highest mountain in the world: Mount Everest.

It truly was a dream come true to travel half way across the world to the Himalayas. A friend of ours has a project to hike the 14 highest mountains of the world (all above 8000m), with the objective to do so without supplementary oxygen (www.richardhidalgo.com). It was an honour to accompany him to the Everest base camp, located at 5400m.

When you arrive in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital city, you must take a flight to Lukla (FYI, the most dangerous airport in the world!!) and this is where you start walking. Normally, it takes approximately 11-14 days to go up to base camp and come back down. We took 10 days. The best season to hike is April and May, or in September and October. This also means that there are many tourist on the Everest Base Camp route. We started hiking in March, which was ideal to avoid the big crowds.

The journey has views that will simply take your breath away. The landscape changes along the way from forests and rivers to dryer, and higher climates. We walked through valleys surrounded by snow capped mountains, through small villages,  Buddhist monasteries and “stupas” and “chortens” (Buddhist monuments). We had to cross high, hanging bridges, and everywhere we went, there were prayer flags decorating the way.

As we got higher and higher, we could feel the altitude. This is also why the route is so long: you need extra days in order to acclimatize properly. This is very important because if you get altitude sickness, you must immediately go down, and this could ruin your trek.

One highlight of the trip was reaching the summit of Kala Patthar mountain (5600m). From here, we enjoyed the panoramic view of nearby mountains and of Mount Everest. Most people go in the morning, however, we went in the late afternoon, to enjoy and absolutely beautiful sunset, although a little cold and windy.

Another highlight was to reach the Everest base camp. Here, we walked the whole length of the camp and we reached the Khumbu glacier.  We also had tea and lunch before heading back down. That day was a long one, we walked until 8pm guided solely by the moonlight and enjoying the stars.

Taking walks in nature is a type of active meditation. It is an important moment during which your mind focuses on your bodily movements and your senses. You hear birds, you feel the wind, you smell the flowers, and see many beautiful things. All of this brings you directly into the present moment and allows you to connect with your inner self.

They say a trip occurs three times: when you dream it, when you live it, and when you remember it.

We have incredible memories for the rest of our lives.

I will soon be posting the details of our daily walks, and also packing recommendations for your trek to Everest Base Camp. Stay tuned!!

Two must-do activities in Cape Town

Hiking Table Mountain and Lion’s Head.

You can take a cable car up Table Mountain, but it is really not worth the price. The hike takes about 90mins to do and is a nice moment to connect with nature. The view you get of Cape Town is beautiful. Pick a nice sunny day, but make sure to bring water, snacks, and sunblock.

Lion’s Head is not too far from Table Mountain. If you are in shape and really want to, you can hike both mountains in the same day. (We did this). Lion’s Head is less busy than Table Mountain, probably because the only way up is by foot. There are a few parts where you must actually use your hands and climb up using either chains or metal bars they put into the rock. I was really proud of myself for doing that, I thought it was a little scary.

View of Cape Town

Old Biscuit Mill

This was one of our favourite activities to do on a Saturday (between 10am-2pm): Old Biscuit Mill Market. The little shops, antique stores, and food that you can find here are all really great. South African artisans sell their clothes, jewelry, choose, leather books, etc. and local restaurants have food stands where you can enjoy anything from falafel to fresh oysters. Also, you can taste different types of local beers and wines, and our personal favourite: ginger beer! This is an absolute must if you are in Cape Town on a saturday!

Old Biscuit Mill Market

Kilimanjaro Hiking Tips

Hiking to the summit of Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, is something anyone can do: if you are prepared.  It is honestly one of the most beautiful experiences I have had, and it is worth every step. The sunrise on the last day is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen, the glaciers at the summit are astonishing, and the overall experience is memorable.

There are various routes you can take, but my experience hiking the Machame route is the recommend one that will allow you to properly adjust to the altitude in 6 nights/7days (total of 62kms). Also, make sure to check the best times to go. We went right before the rain season starts (hiking from Oct 5th-12th) and had two days of rain.

Here are some tips if you are thinking of, or going to hike Kilimanjaro:

  • If you have never been at altitudes higher than 2000-3000m, do not try to take a shorter route than Machame. You do not know how your body will deal with high altitudes, and shorter routes will give you less time to adjust.
  • Get in shape! Go to the gym, do some yoga, go running, eat healthy, get strong. There are also training masks you can get that simulate different altitudes, these can also come in handy during your physical preparation. But do physically prepare to hike Kilimanjaro because in the end, you will enjoy the journey much more.
  • As far as malaria pills go, I do not believe they were necessary for us during the time we hiked. I am usually the one mosquitoes love to bite and I did not get one single bite. Do bring repellent, just in case.
  • A proper thermarest mattress: ESSENTIAL! I was so thankful to have my own, self-inflating mattress on this hike.
  • If you do not know if you like camping, get outdoors before you go on your Kilimanjaro hike: you will be camping every day, will have one bucket of water per day to wash, and will go to the bathroom in places that are smelly and very basic.
  • Bring proper gloves for the last day as well as warm socks. I unfortunately underestimated the cold on the last day and wish I would have brought much better gloves than those I had. Keep your extremities warm and you will be fine.
  • Bring ugg boots, or slippers for the campsite. We were so happy to have something warm and easy to put on after our days of trekking.
  • Make sure you have a RAINproof jacket, a bag to cover your bags and backpack, or a good poncho.

Sunrise at summit Glaciers at Kili summit Camping