After arriving in Kathmandu, it was with a little trepidation that we headed off to the school in Bhaktapur that was to be our home for the next five days. We were welcomed like royalty with speeches, dancing and traditional scarves. What followed was an interesting and varied week working in the school; from demolition and building, to teaching, to playing with the children, we very quickly became part of the school community. The highlight for some of the team was being able to watch the final of Euro 2016 with the villagers, outside with a makeshift screen.
We then moved back to Kathmandu to prepare for our big trek. This meant a bus journey to Pokara and into the Himalaya for real. The trek was tough and much wetter than we had imagined it would be (we were just unlucky I was told by a local). Despite constant wet clothing and the added hindrance of leeches we had an amazing time. Each time the skies cleared we got a glimpse of the big peaks we were moving towards. The experience of staying in the tea houses and getting to know some of the locals was one we will never forget. It was part relief and part sadness as we boarded the bus at the end of the trek back to Kathmandu to rest and then move down to Chitwan for the last phase of the trip. Here we had a chance to experience the frustration of travel in a country with poor roads made even worse by the recent earthquake and constant landslides.
In between and during the phases we were able to immerse ourselves in the culture of this wonderful country and all returned home with fond memories of a country struggling to recover from recent natural disasters but one full of wonderful environments and welcoming people.
By Mrs Broderick