Around France

In Training for Nepal

Before I ever dreamed of living in France, I had this wild idea about visiting Nepal and Kathmandu. Now it seems even my craziest thoughts are coming to life.

Well, almost …

Let’s just say I had put this trip planned in 2011 on the back burner. Then I learned I was going to lose the deposit if I postponed it again. So I decided it’s now or never. Nepal here I come!

  • 5 locations in 15 days
  • Multiple early departures
  • Brisk paced, with no more than 2 nights in most locations, with 2 days rafting and 3 days hiking
  • You must be able to walk 5 miles unassisted and participate in 2.5-3 hour treks
  • Elevations up to 5,000 feet
  • Travel by 18-passenger minibus, canoe, river raft, and elephant back

What was I thinking?!

Now that the trip is almost a reality — November 25 —  I have to get in shape.

My friend from the States who came to visit in September loves to hike. We walked down to the Vallee de l’Eure where I discovered the “SWINGING BRIDGE” … and the “STEPS.”



01ebbf55ffc76e3d1ee94ef4a9c5b956ab7580416a“If you cross this bridge and climb these steps everyday before your trip,” said my friend Pat, “you’ll be ready for Nepal.”

“Yea, right,” said I. ” I’m going to do just that.”

IMG_0046Then there were my new friends who were visiting Uzes from California. Paula and Rich love the outdoors.

“Come along with us,” they said. “We climb to the top of this hill that overlooks the Vallee de l’Eure and  Uzes almost every day.”

“Sure,” I said, confidently. Then I followed them up the steep incline… 20 feet or so behind.

“Here,” said Paula as we reached the rockiest part of the uphill path. “This might help you keep your balance,” she teased as she threw a stick at me the size of a large tree limb.

“You’re a pal,” I gasped, trying to breathe and walk at the same time.

 I made it up the hill and vowed I might do it again. 

The view of Uzes

The view of Uzes

The Big Test

The training turned serious when my son came to visit a few weeks ago. In his travel bags from the States, he brought me a retractable trekking stick. He was intent on making me get as much exercise as possible. Little did he know that I could show him a thing or two … like the STEPS and the hill at Vallee de l’Eure.


Me with my proper trekking pole at the Vallee de l'Eure

Me with my proper trekking pole at the Vallee de l’Eure

Up again … this time with a proper walking stick, which made a huge difference on the rugged path.

Rocky path at Vallee de l'Eure

Rocky path at Vallee de l’Eure



The biggest test was the trek up the hill at Pont du Gard.

It’s not the  hill that you climb so that you can see the Pont du Gard from on high.

Pont du Gard

Pont du Gard


It’s  beyond there. It’s the one that makes the Pont du Gard look like an anthill!  Yep, I walked that far!

Pont du Gard from afar

Pont du Gard from afar


Up we went …

IMG_0154  Through the hidden wall ….


Remnants of the aqueduct

Remnants of the aqueduct




… up the long path



Path at Pont du Gard










… to an opening beyond the trees 


to discover a long lost treasure

Abandoned gas tank

Abandoned gas tank


And some amazing plants I’d never seen.



Along a treacherous and steep path …




Up higher and higher …






And then … we turned around and went back. This was not the trail to another view of Pont du Gard.  We were on our way back to Uzes.  No thanks. I’ll drive!

Lesson Learned

Since the hiking expeditions, I’ve been on the move, but probably not enough. Time will tell. Nevertheless, the experience has helped me realize an important fact again. Whether you want to climb a mountain or move to another continent:

Everything new in life starts out just the same. Take one step at a time.







9 replies »

  1. WOW, Debby! I’ll be thinking of you. That really sounds like a once in a lifetime trip. I love my trekking pole, but I can’t imagine using it in Nepal…. are you sure they have O2 there?!?!

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