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Trekking Nepal: Your Adventure Guide | A Zero To Travel Podcast Series

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Episode 17: Addendum: The 2015 Earthquake

On April 25, 2015, a huge earthquake shook the little country of Nepal, killing 9,000 people, causing avalanches on Everest, and destroying entire villages. Some of the places Jason and Anne Dorthe had visited were destroyed. Is Samir ok? Is Mingmar ok? These were the first thoughts that struck Jason and Anne Dorthe when they heard the news. Learn what happened, how the Manaslu Circuit was affected, and whether it’s still a good idea to travel to Nepal. Is it worth it? Are you ready for...


Episode 16: Bhaktapur: The Side Few Tourists See

It’s the last day of hiking, and at the trail’s end Jason, Anne Dorthe, Samir and Mingmar take the terrifying Jeep ride after dark along cliff edges back down to Kathmandu, and say their sad goodbyes. Set off with Jason and Anne Dorthe to explore other parts of Nepal, including Pokhara and Bhaktapur! Learn about obtaining a visa in Nepal, visiting Nepal’s UNESCO World Heritage sites, and traveling between cities in Nepal. Visit Nepal’s largest stupa in Samir’s home town, Boudha, and...


Episode 15: Electricity: Return to Civilization

Jason and Anne Dorthe experience the luxuries of modern civilization again for the first time in 12 days. They will miss the high Tibetan Buddhist villages and the ritual of hunting down the village water source each evening. The couple reflects on how the trek has changed them forever. Is one trek in Nepal enough, or will you want to go back and do another one? Learn what Jason and Anne Dorthe would do differently if they were to plan this trip again, what type of information should you...


Episode 14: Raksi: A Native Nepalese Beverage

Jason and Anne Dorthe enjoy their first alcoholic drink since the trek began: a native beverage called Raksi. While waiting for their drinks, they talk to Samir about the different kinds of Buddhist monks, and share the story of an impish old man they met on the trail. Experience Raksi for the first time and learn about how it’s made, learn what mornings are like on the trail, and enjoy Jason’s detailed description of the physically exhausting experience of using a squat toilet. Ready to...


Episode 13: Travel Companions: Sharing Pain and Pleasure on the Path

Jason and Anne Dorthe feel sad as their trek nears its end. They enjoy talking about little things and big things in life as they walk together, and about the difficult struggles each has had on the long hike. At day’s end they reflect on the pros and cons of traveling with a companion versus solo travel. Learn some of the advantages of traveling in this unique and rugged way, what you can do to physically prepare for a trek, and how trekking in Nepal is different from trekking in other...


Episode 12: The Seasons: When to Trek Nepal

On Day 9 of their trek, Jason and Anne Dorthe discuss the trekking seasons with Samir. At day’s end, Samir and some villagers sing and play music on native instruments. What is each season like? What is the most popular month for trekking? Which month is the greenest? The warmest? The quietest? When will you see the most flowers? When is your best chance of making it over the high passes? Which season is driest, and which is rainiest? Learn all about trekking in different months of the...


Episode 11: The High Pass: A Difficult Decision

Today Jason and Anne Dorthe must decide if they will take on the high mountain pass, rumored to be snowy and icy on the other side, or turn around and retrace their steps, making a longer trek. People have died on the pass in recent days. Most guides do not want to go back the same way they came up. Jason and Anne Dorthe speak with Samir and Mingmar, weighing the pros and cons. What’s the ideal group size for a Nepal trek? Learn the advantages of having a smaller group, find out which...


Episode 10: Altitude: Recognizing and Preventing Acute Mountain Sickness

Come along for an easy day with Jason and Anne Dorthe; it’s a shorter walk as they acclimate to the increasing altitude. As they walk up, an avalanche of people are hiking back, unable to get over the high pass. Rescue helicopters fly overhead. Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and smells of the day-to-day life of these remote villages as Jason and Anne Dorthe pass through. Learn about altitude sickness, how to tell if you have it, how to treat it, and what you can do to help...


Episode 9: The Monastery of Lho: Tibetan Tea with the Monks

On the rocky path to a mountain-top monastery, Jason and Anne Dorthe see Manaslu—the mountain for which the circuit has been named—for the first time. Close your eyes as you listen, and contemplate the beauty of the mountains as fall colors begin to appear. Hike up a stone path through a village toward the colorful monastery at the top of the mountain. Learn about the history of Buddhism and Buddhist monasteries. Experience harvest time in the Himalayas, take your shoes of to enter the...


Episode 8: Food: The Finest Fuel for the Trek

Jason and Anne Dorthe talk food with Samir. They’re both feeling strong and healthy on the diet he recommended. As they make their way higher and higher, Jason and Anne Dorthe encounter more prayer flags, more influence from Tibet…and more trekkers coming the opposite way. Will they be able to make it over the snowy pass a few days from now? What should you eat when you trek in Nepal? Discover what to eat and what not to eat, so you can tackle the trail with the least risk of...


Episode 7: Clothing: Staying Comfortable on the Trail

On Day 4 of the trek, Jason and Anne Dorthe walk a breathtaking trail with mountain views and beautiful waterfalls into a Buddhist region with many monasteries. Hike alongside them and experience the mule trains, scenes of village life, and prayer wheels. What kinds of permits do you need for this trek? What happens if you don’t have the proper permits? Learn the answers to those questions, plus a comprehensive overview of the best type of clothing for a comfortable Nepal trek, and yes,...


Episode 6: Porters: Getting to Know Mingmar

Dubbed “the cutest person ever” by Anne Dorthe, Mingmar carries the bags for Jason and Anne Dorthe during the trek. Jason and Anne Dorthe discuss their feelings about having someone else carry their things and why they decided to hire a porter. Experience a typical lunch on the trail with Jason, Anne Dorthe, Mingmar and Samir. Is it a good idea to hire a porter? What is your responsibility toward your porters? Learn all about porters, what to carry with you on the trail, and what...


Episode 5: Samir: Our Wise and Witty Guide

Jason and Anne Dorthe become better acquainted with their guide Samir as they start out on day two of their hike. What is his background? Samir shares how Nepal’s turbulent recent history affected his life as he grew up through the Maoist uprising and became a guide. Learn how Jason and Anne Dorthe are coping with her health concern and the other emotions that accompany being far from home in a strange place when you’re not feeling your best. Enjoy a taste of dal bhat—Nepal’s national...


Episode 4: The First Day on the Trail: Health Concern

Anne Dorthe gets up multiple times during the night with a worrying health concern. During Jason and Anne Dorthe’s first 24 hours on the trail, they must face a difficult decision about Anne Dorthe’s illness. Should they keep going and risk it getting worse in a place where they will have no access to medical care, or avoid risk and turn around? What options could you consider if you are about to start a trek and you get sick? Also, is it a good idea to bring gifts for villagers along...


Episode 3: To Arughat Bazaar: A Raw and Rugged Ride

Jason and Anne Dorthe dance in their seats and struggle not to get sick as they endure the bumpiest jeep ride they’ve ever experienced. They are en route to the place where they will begin their Manaslu trek. Why did they choose the Manaslu Circuit instead of the more popular Annapurna or Everest Circuits? Join Jason and Anne Dorthe on their epic jeep ride to the starting point of the Manaslu trek. Along the way, discover the history and geology of the region. Learn the features and...


Episode 2: Kathmandu: The Quest for a Guide

Many outfitters approach Jason and Anne Dorthe, trying to sell their guiding services. Can they fend them off and sort out the gougers from the gurus? Who has real experience in the high Himalayas, and who is babbling bull crap? When you’re trying to set up a trek in Nepal, how can you stave off feelings of overwhelm? How do you choose your guide? What are the logistics of preparing for a trek? Learn how to choose your guide and gear, how to negotiate your costs, what gear you should...


Episode 1: Norway to Nepal: Fears and Fantasies of the Adventure Ahead

In the wake of an avalanche that wiped out many trekkers, along with the political turmoil that Nepal experienced in its recent history, Jason and Anne Dorthe feel apprehension about this potentially dangerous excursion. Is it worth it? Should you travel to a country with potentially dangerous weather, natural disasters, and political instability? Learn about Nepal’s culture, its complex past, the tragedy in the mountains, and the hopes and challenges that Jason and Anne Dorthe...


Sneak Peek: Trekking Nepal Adventure Series

Ready to take a long walk with us? Part guide and part diary, this unique 16 part audio adventure series will take you through the entire Himalayan mountain trekking experience from the bustling capital city of Kathmandu to remote Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and beyond. You'll experience Nepalese Culture, meet her famous friendly people and along the way learn how to plan your own mountain trek.