We made it - New Zealand!!

Trip Start Sep 10, 2007
Trip End Dec 20, 2007

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Hi All,

Following our last update we have spent around 2 months passing through Tibet, Nepal and India. Tibet was a fantastic experience, although we spent most of it out of breath given the 3700m-5300m altitude, which had us climbing stairs like old men at the beginning. We had a great time hiring a jeep to take us through the countryside and to the Nepal border, via Everest Base Camp (Tibet side). The Tibetan hospitality was great, especially if you just said hello in their language (Tibetan, not Chinese of course!). Most of our time in Nepal was again spent above 3000m, climbing to Everest Base Camp on the Nepal side, via Gokyo Lakes and the Cho-La Pass. The trek was definitely hard work, not so much in the walking itself, but the 'other' factors that go along with it, namely the altitude, the poor hygiene and resulting sickness, the water quality, and the cold! But it was also very rewarding as hopefully the photos show.

Our final country was India. India was very much an interesting place, and we are still trying to work out quite what we thought of it all! The place is a buzz with action, with people, animals, rickshaws, cars, and more people everywhere. This is certainly something to experience, and the Taj Mahal, sunrise on the Ganges, and biking through the countryside outside Delhi were fantastic highlights. However, as we soon found out (approximately 250m over the border from Nepal) it is also a place where the tourist-savy locals are very keen to rip you off, which means you pretty quickly learn not to trust anything anyone says to you, which is kind of sad. All in all, we are very happy we went there, but not somewhere we'd go back to in a hurry.

From India, via a very short stint in Singapore, we made our way back home to New Zealand. We are really enjoying being home and settling into the summer - NZ style: BBQs, beaches, socialising, runs, and of course a spot of cricket. We have now made the move to Auckland and are enjoying staying with friends before finding our own little place to move into (which we'll make sure is just ripe for visitors - hint hint!!)

Anyway, hope this finds you well and we look forward to hearing from you,

Love Mark and Natalie
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