Nepal Trek

November 2010

Every week in the UK at least 12 apparently ‘fit and healthy’ young people die of undiagnosed heart conditions. Heartbreakingly, my intelligent, witty, funny, generous, gorgeous and completely wacky little brother Darren Rawling was one of them.

Cardiac Risk in the Young is a national charity saving young lives and supporting those affected. CRY aims to reduce the frequency of young sudden cardiac death by working with cardiologists and family doctors to establish good practice and appropriate screening facilities to promote and protect the cardiac health of our young.

In memory of my brother – who would’ve celebrated his 40th birthday this year – and to raise money for CRY, I trekked the great peaks and glaciers of the Annapurna Range in Nepal in November. And thanks to your amazing support I raised nearly £6000!!!!

My fundraising page is still open at: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JulieRawling

Here’s my blog:

Day 1 – Finally arrived in Kathmandu. How fantastic is that! On the flight the snow capped Himalayas were peaking above the clouds against a blue sky. This place is amazing. Went out exploring and had our first taste of Nepalese food.

Day 2 – After a frustrating morning of flight delays we finally start walking. Everyone was starting to get edgy and just wanted to get going. Flight was amazing, snow capped mountains and blue sky. Up the side of a mountain, down to the river and across a rope bridge to set up camp for the night. Tea of rice, lentils and curried veg. Its 8pm so time for bed!

Day 3 – First full day walking, up at 6 with tea in tent. It’s been cloudy today but have seen snow capped fish tail Mountain above clouds. Start of circuit, steep climb. Am part of group that is at the back, which is great, learning so much from guides. Walking to Tara Top tomorrow. Food fab. Support crew are amazing, got nabbed by school kids to see their classrooms, they all speak English, very basic facilities. Very humbling experience. Camp is at 1500m on side of mountain. Amazing.

Day 4 – Am taking in every single step as we climbed up 1300m today now at 2900m at Tara Top. Can see snow capped mountain appearing thru the clouds. Awesome. Got to camp its pitch black, I can see the most amazing stars and the snow capped mountains against the black sky. Crew made me a birthday cake and sang Happy Birthday in Nepalese, best birthday ever!

Day 5 – My Birthday. Words cannot describe the totally amazing day I’ve had today. The clouds cleared this morning to reveal the most fantastic mountain range during sunrise. We trekked all day, been chased by a buffalo, watched a goat herder with hundreds of goats, walked thru waterfalls and had a chip chapatti for lunch. Just got to camp and opened cards and presents and eaten birthday cake that Mum packed me off with (shared between the 5 in our group and 4 Nepalese children) then decorated tent with cards and balloons. Watched sunset.

Day 6 – Another incredible day, down 1000m today to the river, knees shot to bits. Been thru villages, seen buffalo and baby goats. Walked on river bed, crossed bamboo bridges, scrambled up and down rock faces, washed in river, got totally over excited when I saw the famous Annapurna bees and now camping by river. Can’t believe tomorrow is our last trekking day, now consider myself a proper trekker.

Day 7 – Well we’re finished, after another tough morning up hill and back down to the river. Today’s adventure contained goats, donkeys, buffalo, traded soap for some oranges and some more fabulous scenery. After a very bumpy bus ride thru a river and the town we arrived at the hotel for the night. Getting ready for celebration meal, lovely shower followed by a power cut! Oh to be camping.

Day 8 – Up at 6.30 again for breakfast and a short bus trip to Pokhara airport. We’re sat in the sun waiting for our delayed flight, delayed due to poor weather! On the second morning I woke up covered in blood, all over my sleeping bag liner, thermals, everywhere. Showed doc and she said its OK it was just a bite. Yesterday she told me it was actually a leech but didn’t say at the time in case I freaked. Freaked? I was chuffed to bits, another war story. Anyway, back in Kathmandu it’s chaotic but fascinating.

Day 9 – Back home, amazing, amazing trip. Made some fantastic friends, seen the most awesome sights, raised an astonishing amount of money and would do it all again in a heartbeat.

Julie Rawling