Cannot say for sure because I cannot look into others’ heads but I imagine that “Nepali trails” evoke images of the main Himalayan range, fantasies of running across 5000 meter passes, and otherwise alpine inspired associations. That’s all very understandable and is certainly an important part of what the country has to offer.
But it’s not all and with my last couple of weekends very much being farewells of the trails that I run from home I want to share some pics of what is at one’s doorstep living in Kathmandu valley, a pretty busy chaotic, urbanizing piece of the planet.
All of the above still tends to look North, towards the main Himalayan range. Last weekend a couple of us went South, crossing the Mahabharat range towards the Terai, the Nepali extension of the Gangetic plane. and the next day ran for a couple of hours through Tharu villages and the buffer zone of Chitwan national park. My short write up of this outing ends with what I think really makes this country stand out if you’ve got a thing with running trails:
I am tempted to also say something about the rubbish that we came across along sections of the trail where I didn’t expect it, including the community forest area in Chitwan; about the atrocious state of nearly any road we drove (“this was surfaced two years ago”…”What! only two years ago, where did the road go??”); about the unplanned nature of any development; but however much those observations are valid, they would divert attention from what ultimately matters most: the absolute magnificent trail running outings one can have here. It’s not this or that particular route, it is not this or that particular part of the country, it is all over the place, everywhere, put on your shoes (or go barefoot) and hit these trails.
Raj took some video. The second day in the Chitwan national park area:
And the first day through the Mahabharat range to the Terai: