I will be entering Nepal at the Mahendranagar border crossing in January.
What's there to do and see in Mahendranagar?
Or are there any other interesting towns nearby?
I liked the idea of VT Itineraries, but never got around to write itineraries on my own VT pages. Instead, some two and a half years ago I started collecting itineraries - in the beginning as a response to all the questions on the Nepal Forum. That developed into a book which is coming out now in Kathmandu, "Adventures in Nepal. Discovering the Country and the People". I hasten to mention that I wrote this book with a friend for free (even paid our research expenses), and had the Norwegian Embassy modestly sponsoring the design, print and distribution. We receive no royalties. The book is for sale at a not-for profit rate, where the sales money go back into printing more copies according to market request and providing a distribution subsidy. Reasonably priced. A low-resolution edition of the book will be made available for free on an accessible web page of the Norway-Nepal Association later.
The effort was done in order to attract visitors to Nepal, to familiarize them with simple how-to in Nepal, ease their anxiety after the earth quakes, and to encourage the spread of tourism jobs and salaries to other places than in the iconic areas and the crowded trails.
We wrote nearly 130 treks and activities - all of them non-motorized, but not necessarily trekking - covering all but 17 of Nepal's 75 districts. You will hopefully recognize some of the VT spirit in this book. For several of the treks I have consulted VT Nepal pages for confirmation and relevance, but most of the itineraries go in areas that are not on VT/Nepal, in places not many would venture into, or areas people not described in traditional guidebooks. However, in the future the book will need an update, so I look forward to keep in touch with fellow Nepal clan VT'ers. Anyone out there?
Our book does not undermine other guidebooks or web sites, but roll out the real map of opportunities that exist in Nepal. Then you go ahead and buy a specific guide book for your backpack. All we have described is commercially available (but no expeditions, charter helicopters etc.), modestly available, and downplaying the over-featured areas. I am amazed myself of all there is to see and do. My conclusion after all this research, statistics and screening of every district in Nepal, is that people will tend to go where "everybody else has been before". And they are just not aware of the opportunities beyond. From this I had intended to present some of the routes I have taken myself in VT Itineraries. And then, just as the book is ready from the printers VT closes down. If there were to be a dedication in that book, it would have gone to the VT Community and Spirit. The book will become available on Himalayan Map House in Kathmandu and their outlets shortly, and, give it some more time, there will be a free pdf version available on the net. Write me on firstname.lastname@example.org for further info regarding availability and other questions. I am truly sorry VT and this Forum closes at the end of February.
There is a lot of valuable information saved between us on our member pages; any chance of a coordinated effort to save the Nepal info and make the info available somehow? With some of the features of the old VT, incl. the Forum? I am not a very technically capable person, that's why I ask. In fact, I am beginning to take down some of the info from my VT pages to my personal computer in word format, simple cut and past. Most of the original formatting is lost. Asn an example, my Svalbard pages alone (not arrived to Nepal yet) ran to 167 pages of text and thumbnail photos. I think my Nepal files are even larger. There are literally b o o k s of info on Nepal.
To start with, let's keep in touch! My VT nome de guerre is Saagar, my real name is Olav Myrholt, and you can reach me on deurali@online no, and in a little while (about VT close-down time) Nepal@deurali.no . I maintain a Facebook page in my real name and I think I will establish my VT Friends group there for now.
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