Picture the scene: a scruffy looking English girl running aimlessly through the streets of Nepal, closely followed by a long-haired bearded fellow in a flowing orange robe. We were Nepal's answer to Batman and Robin only instead of searching for crime, we were searching for the tourist bus to Pokhara. It was 7.20 am and the bus was due to depart at 7 am but this was Nepal where even tourist buses run on Nepali time.
I had signed up for four days of yoga trekking. Always one to try something new I was intrigued about this relatively new concept, which came with a tour guide and my very own yogi. We were off to explore Pokhara, a beautiful part of Nepal surrounding a peaceful lake.
For the whole four days, I was immersed in yoga philosophy and practice, waking each morning at 5.30 am to practice yoga as the sun rose over the mountains. In the evening it was meditation and some well-deserved relaxation after hours of trekking. We stayed in local tea houses, ate local food, travelled by local buses and also managed to squeeze in a bit of sightseeing. And after four days I was ready to go back to the nunnery, refreshed and peaceful with aching limbs. I definitely recommend it.
Standing amongst fluffy clouds as they drifted gently past my nose I was mesmerised. The sound of donkey bells gently rung in the distance and a crickets orchestra sounded beneath me.
Then one by one the mountainous peaks of the Annapurna Himalayas revealed themselves to me. Each one different from the next, standing taller than the sky, higher than I have ever seen. Sheer cliffs of rock towering at the top of the world dusted with creamy peaks enticing you to climb these monstrous beasts.
Nepal is a trekkers paradise and is more than just Mount Everest. The country actually has 8 of the 14 Himalayan ranges. Since it opened its doors to tourism in the 1950s many brave souls have come to conquer some of the most dramatic landscapes on Earth. But some cannot be conquered although many have tried and tragically failed.
I could feel the draw of these feats of nature and now fully understand why the Nepalese Tourism coined the phrase ‘once is never enough.'