New Zealand: Along the Ben Lomond Trail.


Hike-about is an adventure that commenced June 2010. After storing our household movables, ridding ourselves of a house but retaining our 'home' together, we set off with the purpose of hiking in different parts of the world, not forgetting the home country, the USA.

Our primary focus is hiking to mountain peaks but any challenging hike will do just fine. Extended stays enable us to enjoy and experience living in various places amongst differing cultures. Hike-about has evolved into a way of life. It's also a process of discovery, both the world and ourselves.

We work and live 'on the road' but return to the city in which our grandchildren reside, every couple of months. This provides us the wonderful opportunity to be with them as well as a child or two, even three and of course, friends.

By the end of 2022, the blog contained over 1,470 hikes, each a set of pictures with stories and anecdotes from the trails. An index to the right allows the viewer to identify earlier experiences.

Finally, we are often asked about the journey's end.
ur reply, as accurate as we can state, is: "When we are either forced to cease through health issues or the enjoyment level no longer reaches our aspirations, we will hang up the boots."

"A Life Experience As No Other: Dare to Seize the Day Together", published by Fulton Books, depicts our life on the road and mountains until the beginning of 2017. It has developed 'exponentially' since then.

Jenni and Jeffrey Lazarow

Whereas we continue to update the blog regularly, we no longer circulate email notifications.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

40.11 Nepal: Returning from this country and a plan of returning.

Jen gazes at our favorite, 'Fish Tail', one late afternoon in a 'peaceful' setting.

From the 'hill' of the Japanese Stupa overlooking Pokhara...contrasting this 2nd city with Kathmandu, (pictured one below).

Kathmandu from the 'Monkey Temple'. The ribbons dot the place with Buddhist wisdom throughout the country.

Staying out late in the Himalayas; what a place, what a period. (Taken from Deurali.)

The towering giant rises upward, toward the dark sky, appearing less than fully developed because of dwindling sunlight illuminating only parts of its mass. Even so, those lit parts are only kissed or caressed gently by the failing light but sufficient to provide an observer, better yet, an admirer, exposure to its form and color. At first glance, one feels it’s a haunting sight but moments later, we changed our minds. No. It’s not scary. Rather, it’s mesmerizing. It leaves a person stunned, even shaken. The view is temporary, the impression could be long-lasting. We hope so. Perhaps that’s the beauty and wonder of photography, recording nature's miracles for our lasting benefit.

Four and twenty blackbirds alongside Mount Everest (not in view).

At Everest Base camp. The ragged edges are distinguishing...for the mountains only.

Contemplating the next stage at tiny village of Deurali.

Approaching on foot, Gorak Shep, a 'schlep' indeed. We notice we could have taken a helicopter to the last village before Everest Base camp but decided we did not like the color of the 'chopper'. On principle, we decide to walk instead.

Delightful...they look so low from this altitude of about 17,000 feet. Ha!

A conglomeration of snow, ice, and mountains, with Everest tucked inside snugly.

Returning from a bathroom break; check out the speed of her leg as she whips it over the barrier.

Then she dragged me to a mountain disco. The local music is terrific; it's melodious and soothing (giving away our ages.)

Scenes we find stunning, somewhere along the trail to Kala Patther peak.

Soft morning light 'softens' these rugged rocks; the clouds fill the valley.

Sun lights up Annapurna South.

Another of 'Fish Tail' in a broader context.

Stopping for hot tea (always a delight on the trek) and a little rest in another village, Thukla, with amazing views.

Down the rugged trail after leaving the village, sometimes a town, cross the glacial flow on long bridges usually swaying in the wind and then grind upwards as the towering mountains smile upon the little people, ant-like so far below the peaks as to be insignificant. And in a sense, they're correct. In a few years or decades, none of the 'ants' will remain but the mountains and land will prevail, unchanged and probably continue to look down observing the repeating activity. 'They never learn--what do they hope to achieve?' might be a peak thought. Then again, why should the peaks even bother as they anticipate their next covering in white, shining and fresh snow. There's little doubt the snow enhances these giants, covering their imperfections, not unlike make-up hiding blemishes.

The more we hike different parts of the world, the more humble we feel. We don't think the natural elements intend to humiliate us deliberately, but they sure do a good job. Yet, we have begun to understand the process and feel better for it. We are mere visitors come to meet the challenges offered by the mountains, to view their changing beauty and their interaction with other elements of the natural world, particularly the sun, snow, wind and rain. Add in birds and animals and one has an adequate, although not full complement of components.

While we have enjoyed hiking experiences in many countries, and all countries have spectacular natural offerings, we would humbly suggest one's hiking experiences can never be fulfilled without spending time in the Himalayas. Without fear of contradiction, after only ten days on trails, every moment has been overpowering because of the sheer beauty, the overwhelming size and shapes of these staggering mountains, a surreal feeling that one is in a different place from planet Earth. We can understand, certainly borne out by history, a lurking danger abounds as the weather is unpredictable and subject to change on the proverbial dime. The threat of avalanches is real, earthquakes less so plus the issues of being at high altitudes keep one alert. We expect (hope) to reach 18,500 feet, some thousand feet above Everest Base Camp. (Fortunately, it came to pass.)

After 6 weeks on the trails and mountains, not only is our earlier comment about the quality of the Himalayas valid, it’s even more so. Each day exposes us to varying sights, trails and challenges. Funnily enough, it gets more exciting and interesting with each passing moment. Life is so dynamic that we never know what to expect and any change is likely to be sudden and impressionable.


Jenni and Jeffrey

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