We travelled to Nepal with our three sons, aged 14, 12 and 8 in April 2011 and instantly fell in love with the country. For our children, it was a fantastic education especially being introduced to a nation where poverty was so prevalent. They (and we) learnt a great deal about this beautiful country, its culture, rituals and beliefs. It was a real eye opener and it's gift to my children was priceless. We were even witness to a cremation on the river banks (I can only imagine my 8 year old's school diary!).
Kathmandu is a busy and chaotic but charismatic city and just the starter for our fortnight's adventure. We were fortunate enough to take a flight to see Everest - definitely a 'must do' - can't imagine why anyone would want to climb it! For my 14 year old the highlight of the trip was the four day Himalayan trek. There is no denying the breathtaking beauty of the Himalayas. There was far more 'up and down' than I had imagined but it was an unforgettable four days.
We all enjoyed the white water rafting although it was more terrifying that I could have imagined. Possibly a little too so for our youngest son but the elder two and my husband thought it was fantastic.
Chitwan National Park brought about some wonderful encounters with elephants - sitting on the back of an elephant in the river being squirted by their trunks and hanging on for all our worth produced some magical moments. My youngest son's face will hold a place in my heart forever. Pokhara had a wonderfully laid-back charm and is clearly popular with backpackers. This is the place to do all your shopping. Our post-dinner walk was further entertained one evening by stumbling across a snake charmer who produced not one but two cobras out of baskets!
All in all, I cannot fault the holiday. A lovely group of people, a hard working rep and a fascinating country made for a brilliant two weeks. Bring on the next one! (FDN -1st April 2011)