As our plane made its descent into the Kathmandu airport, it suddenly and violently jerked upward as our pilot aborted the landing. We had to circle the airport and try a second time. It was quite unnerving.
It turns out there was a dog on the runway — a surprising but also appropriate welcome to Nepal.
We spent our first day sightseeing in Kathmandu before heading to the airport again for a flight to Pokhara, a popular starting point for trekking in the Himalayas. As the photo shows, the beauty of these mountains is truly unparalleled. You can’t stop looking at them.
We were blessed with extraordinary weather — it only rained at night! — as we trekked from lodge to lodge for several days. We passed through many small mountain villages with their terraced farms. It’s a very tough life.
We even stopped at a school where we helped students settle a debate over who was the best soccer player in the world. “Ronaldo or Messi?” they shouted to us. (Messi was the correct answer, of course.)
One of my absolute favorite moments was when a herder temporarily blocked our path with about a hundred adorable goats who then hiked alongside us for about a half mile.
Finally, we flew to Bharatpur for a safari in the Chitwan National Park. We saw rhinos, elephants, monkeys, wild boar, white spotted deer, peacocks and bears. We searched in vain for a Bengal Tiger, which had reportedly been in the area 30 minutes earlier. It was amazing.
As you read this, we are making our way back to New York.