Nepal, here I come

So I’m off to Nepal in a few days. The excitement has been building ever since I got my tickets. I’ve never been to that corner of the world before. Having read a fair bit about Nepal now, I know it’s going to be like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Sure going to France or Germany, or even the USA, is experiencing something different to the UK, but in terms of how people live, they are all pretty similar when compared to a country like Nepal.

As I’m a geek and like numbers I’ll mention a few about the the terrain and weather.  The country is 124 miles wide and 500 miles long. The altitude varies from sea level to over 7000 metres. In  a 10 mile range the altitude can rise from 1000m to 7500m (in the Pokhara region).  The country experiences five seasons – the ‘extra’ one being the monsoon, with some places (again Pokhara) reaching 400mm of rain a month.

Aside from the geography and meteorology there are some economic numbers that stand out. Nepal is ranked 144th in the world by it’s Human Development Index. In contrast to that, the lowest HDI country I’ve visited so far is Greece at 25th (the UK was 21st – 2009 values). The GDP per capita is $1025 when corrected for purchasing power, the absolute value is $452. However, this value does not tell the story of the asymmetry between poor and rich.

All these numbers open a little window into a place very different from where I live and have visited before. However, I want more than just numbers! So I’m off in a few days to experience it all, the weather, the geography, the food and most importantly, the people.