Our accommodations last night were in a newer Nepali mountain hotel which provides fun group meals, great views, and real toilets (squat toilets are common here), but no heat. At elevation it gets cold when the sun goes down so down jackets are needed sundown to sun up and bringing your own linens means a sleeping bag.

After morning yoga and meditation on the roof, overlooking magnificent views of the snow-capped mountains, we began our way upward once again.

Fishtail Mountain, Nepal

We hiked miles of granite steps going up, up, up along cliff edges, looking down into lush ravines or across vast valleys. The cuckoo birds sang their encouragement from the hollies (loketo*) and rhododendrons (lahlygras*; *note this is the phonetic spelling for both plants) as we were reminded by our guides to take it “bistari bistari” (slowly slowly).

We paused for a group meditation at a beautiful stream, prayer flags strung over a stone bridge, mosses lining the rocks, the sound of water rushing over stones breaking the otherwise silent space

Because of a recent injury I was not able to properly train for this hike and found myself consistently at the back of the group with another friend. “Nature always helps us, gives us what we need, encourages us,” our wise guide, Birendra, offered. The beauty of the place, the peace, tranquility, the energy of nature, and occasional adorable donkey train carrying supplies between villages did indeed offer everything we needed to keep going. Nature is wise in only showing you the path that you need right now and opens up your view only as you proceed along the path. We must trust that we’ll see more when it’s time. It was a blessing not to see too far ahead. Looking up at how far we still had to climb was not what I needed, Nature knew it, and provided accordingly. She also provided the occasional rainstorm, a great meditative tool for staying present, watching the placement of your feet and thoughts, and the train of stories our brains try to tell us as we step through life.

Prayer garden of cairns
Stepping into the rhododendron forest, Tarapani, Nepal

Our voyage took us through a never-ending mountain jungle, slopes dripping with plant life of trees, shrubs, and vines leaning downward toward the streams and defying gravity. As we neared our destination at Grand View Hotel in Tarapani, the thick, impenetrable rain forest transitioned to a something from a fairytale: a spacious understory where you could see through the forest; juicy, lacy mosses decorated ancient trees wrapped in curling vines. We had walked into the worlds largest rhododendron forest. You may know rhodies as short bushes in landscaping but these were ancient trees reaching 60 feet or more. This forest was pure magic so we stopped for a group meditation led by David, sitting among the damp trees and soft mosses. The end was punctuated by a timely clap of thunder as we scurried the final stretch to our next guesthouse before the skies opened with enthusiasm.

Prepping for our forest meditation

Six floors, six miles, and an incoming full moon, we arrived at our guesthouse, grateful for a hot meal and hot wood stove in the dining room to warm our bones, dry our belongings, and reconnect as a group.

These journeys teach us a lot about ourselves, reveal our capabilities, our inner thoughts (that may or may not be helpful), where we limit ourselves, and show where we shine.

Today was another tough hike, made easier by the incredible environment, the wonderful people in the group, and our local experts cheering each other on. No matter where we go in the world, it’s the connections you make along the way that are the cherry on the sundae.

Love, Wen

5 responses to “Bistari Bistari – 4/4/23”

  1. Diane Hills Avatar
    Diane Hills

    The images and emotions that I see through you, Wen, make my day. Keep on keeping on and let your body also make you aware. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. hunbunx2 Avatar

    Wen…..those mountain pictures are breathtaking !!! I firmly agree about our connections we make through life are so greatly special! Your smile tells us all what a wonderful trip you are having. So happy for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wen Avatar

      Thank you! It is a spectacular adventure! So glad you are enjoying too. Thanks for the support 🙏🏽


  3. Art Avatar

    Amazing. I hope your foot adapts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wen Avatar

      Thank you. 🙏🏽 I’m so proud of what my body has accomplished so far!!


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