Photos Nepal 2008 Nature

Our treks took us from semi-tropical valleys to high Alpine pastures. As the scenery changed dramatically every day so did the vegetation.In April, however, many of the plants were not yet in flower particularly at high altitudes. It was a delight to see what, for us, were exotic plants thriving. Banana plants provide a very safe form of fruit for foreign visitors. Bougainvillea, poinsettia and many other colourful shrubs blossom in spring. Best of all were the vast rhododendron forests ranging from deep red to white - trees the size of large oaks in all directions and found at up to nearly 3,000 metres. Everywhere there were high stands of bamboo, a plant put to 1001 purposes such as baskets, seats, bridges, even scaffolding. Cattle are sacred - woe betide anyone who harms a cow! As a result they amble freely throughout villages, towns and cities, often living within temple complexes. Buffalo are used for ploughing and also roam freely through streets. Opportunist monkeys live in family groups near many of the tourist sites whilst in the forest we saw groups of the much larger Langur monkey. On high cliffs men climb down ropes to harvest honey from wild bee hives. Goats and chickens abound near villages and mule trains of up to 30 animals do much of the transportation. Yaks provide all for the highland farmer - meat, skin, dung for fertiliser and heating, and transport. The female yak is called a nak ... surprising then to see yak curd for sale!! To see the photos click here.

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