Thursday, October 09, 2014

Himalayan Sunrise

Our previous visits to Kathmandu have been fairly short and filled with preparations for (or recuperation from) climbing expeditions. So we haven't really explored the area very much. I had read about the sunrise view of the mountains from Nagarkot - a hilltop about an hour out of Kathmandu and looked into hotels but gave up because there were so many and it was impossible to figure out which to choose. When we got here we talked to our trekking agent (Himal of Visit Himalaya) and he recommended the Viewpoint Hotel and arranged for a car to drive us out and back. We were glad we'd waited for a recommendation since a lot of the hotels didn't look too appetizing and most didn't have good views.

drive from Kathmandu to Nagarkot
drive from Kathmandu to Nagarkot
The hotel and rooms were fairly basic but it's right at the top of the hill and has great views both of the distant mountains and the valleys.

evening clouds
I raised my eyebrows when I saw cappuccino on the menu. Given what I could see of the kitchen (and that the power was out), I was pretty sure it couldn't be the real thing, but I couldn't resist ordering one just to see what it would be. I ended up with a small water glass filled with a thick slurry of hot water, hot chocolate, and instant coffee. Not exactly cappuccino but I sure got my sugar and caffeine fix!

As usual, it was cloudy in the evening but we were lucky enough to get a few glimpses of snowy mountains peeking out.

Langtang at sunset

In the morning we got up at 5:30am just as it was barely getting light. The highest rooftop viewing area was crowded with people, but luckily the level below also had a good view and almost no people. We were lucky to have clear skies with only a few clouds in the valleys. The sunrise started with a beautiful pink along the horizon.


After a bit the sun hit the tops of the highest peaks.



Finally the sun itself came into view.


Although the mountains are still a long way away that meant we could see a long line of them. Far to the west was Manaslu. To the north Shisha Pangma (in Tibet) was just visible. We were on expeditions to climb both of these (in '99 and '01) so it was nice to see them again, even from a distance.

After taking a zillion photos we had breakfast and then went to find a nature trail that I had seen a sign for on the drive up. We didn't have a lot of time but it was nice to get away from roads and houses and walk through the cool moist forest. (A change from hot dry dusty Kathmandu)


See all 38 photos as a slideshow or overview

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