The Everest Base Camp trek starts in the village of Lukla, which is at the maddest height of 2860 meters. It continues, on a ten day walk to the base camp of Mount Everest at an elevation of 5,364 meters (17,598 ft).
The journey begins with the 30 minutes flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. For many people this would be the shortest flight they have ever traveled on and an exciting departure to a journey. This flight takes you to the Khumbu region of Nepal. The plane flying from Kathmandu to Lukla has no radar system on board. So they cannot know if the weather condition is suitable where we will be landing, due to this, long delays occur regularly.
Lukla has the variety of shops in large where one can have basic western style meals and pickup any last minute items for trekking and climbing ahead. There are many restaurants at Lukla so you can have your meal before your first day of trekking. A typical menu of Lukla will have large variety of food. People usually avoid eating meat here onwards, as there is no good cold storage and possibilities of getting a sick stomach are very high.
Back in 2015, one week from now, I left Europe for first time. It was a big deal for me, since I had been exploring many regions all around my continent, but never went out of it. I wanted so badly to go to Asia, it had always called my attention, but I didn’t really want to go to the typical tourist spot. Plus I needed to find inner peace at that moment of my life. So going to a country that not many people visit sounded like the right thing to do. So I chose Cambodia, and visited a Cambodia Elephant Sanctuary.
During the first week of my trip, I had been going North. After the capital, Phnom Penh, I departed to the Stung Treng province, where I enjoyed the 4.000 islands of the Mekong river. And then I was for a few days in Banlung, at the Ratanakiri Province, where I had the pleasure to see a few waterfalls and a volcano with a forest and lake in it. However, one of the most exciting parts of my first Asian trip was about to arrive. I ended up in the Mondulkiri province, basically because I heard it was atypical of Cambodia. It wasn’t so hot, neither so low (in altitude) as most of the country.
What is an Elephant sanctuary?
Some of you might be wondering what is an Elephant sanctuary. Is it a place where elephants go to pray? Or perhaps is it a location where people go to practice religion and it happens to be surrounded by elephants?
None of those. It’s a home for elephants who have been retired from circus and zoos. Although it might seem it is a sad place, it’s not. Actually, it’s a wonderful area that these elephants can consider a real home. They are usually treated like a slave in the zoos, circus or as beasts of burden. These majestic mammals, due to it’s strength, are used to carry people or goods from one place to another.
In Cambodia, they are a real endangered species. But not only in this country, in the whole continent, the Asian elephant is highly threatened. And that is why there are Elephant Sanctuaries all around Asia. And why there is a foundation, the Save Elephant Foundation that does an awesome work to prevent this from happening.
In 1992, an extensive network of trails started to be created in Canada. It’s original name was the Trans Canada Trail, although since 2016 has been renamed to The Great Trail. It’s a 24.000km network of trails that connects the 10 provinces and 3 territories of Canada. The web of the project is https://thegreattrail.ca
It’s not only a hiking friendly project, but more a pedestrian path/canoe route/biking trail. Little more than a third of the total amount of kilometers, 8.500, are next to roads or highways. 7.000km are categorized as waterways, including the famous Lake Superior, which is commonly know as the largest lake in the world. And the rest 5.000km, are considered of various types.
Last April, I went with a very good friend of mine to do a trek near my hometown. I grew up in the province of Alicante, in Southeast Spain. In a very tiny town named Xirles, 15km off the coast. My friend and I wanted to sleep at the mountain, in order to do a longer trek, and enjoy the evening. So we hiked two of the most relevant mountains in the area. Puig Campana and Mount Ponoig (Sleepy Lion in English, or “León Dormido” in Spanish).
Puig Campana is a mountain with an elevation of 1,406 m (4,613 ft). And Mount Ponoig is 1,181 m (3,874 ft). These mountains are very close to each other. From top to top, the shortest walkable distance is only 4,11km.
Legends of Puig Campana
Among the locals, there are a few stories that talk about the mountain of Puig Campana. I’ve even checked in the Wikipedia, in order to see if some match the one I remember since I was a child. But none fit, although they are very close between each other in the essence of the myth.
Back in October 2016, I was at the last part of my Japanese trip, and I did part of the Kyoto Trail. I normally go to places with local immersion in mind, so my trip to Kyoto wasn’t going to be less. I sent a couple of CouchSurfing requests in order to get hosted and/or visit the city with the hand of a local. And the good luck was with me this time.
I had the great pleasure to meet Hiroshi (Hiro for friends), a local. Well, he isn’t really from Kyoto, but had been living there for 4 years at that time. So he knows very well the city and it’s surroundings. He and I became a good match even while talking via CouchSurfing and other messaging apps. He liked walking here and there. Getting into local places, no matter if they were very popular or not. Moving through the cities with a bycicle or on foot. And of course, hiking.