Sekretua airean da! Euskal Herrian gaude dagoeneko!
TRANSLATION: By now the secret is out: we are back in Euskal Herria!

Back in April, right after we’d finished the Annapurna Circuit, we sat down to discuss our next move.

Cross back into India and head north to Kashmir and Lakadh, or check out Sri Lanka? Fly on to Thailand and try to cross into Burma? Go broke island-hopping in Indonesia?

Lugging our heavy backpacks through monsoon season wasn’t appealing, and flights to Bangkok weren’t relatively cheap either. Summer is high tourist season almost all over the world, so prices were on the rise.

Also, I was invited to a wedding in the States, and I didn’t want to miss a third one–I’d missed two already because I was “out of the country”!

So, we made the difficult decision to sock away our savings for another adventure in the future, and bought tickets to London for a four day layover before heading on to Bilbao on June 2nd. We kept our early return a secret so that we could surprise Xiker’s family and friends in Zumarraga.

In the days leading up to our departure, I was torn between sadness and anticipation: I’d always wanted to visit London, and especially looked forward to the wedding (many of my friends I haven’t seen since we finished university nigh 5 years ago!) but it meant the end of our epic trip through South Asia.

I really didn’t want to leave just yet.

But with this profound (and indescribable) appreciation for the chaos that is India–as well as a 10 year visa– I know I’ll go back someday. And I’d do it differently too… Give her the time she deserves. Go shanty-shanty.

As for Nepal: I love her beauty and definitely want another go at her mountains, but the real reason for going back will be because my father will never let me forget the fact that I was there and never even got to see a glimpse of the world’s tallest mountain. Nothing short of summitting Everest now will get him to shut up about it.

Anyway, once we’d bought the tickets that left us only 4 weeks, so we tried to cram in as much as we could.

We went off to do the Langtang trek, then we went on a safari at Bardia National Park, and stopped by Tansen on our way back to Pokhara for some mousse. We explored Kathmandu some more and discovered there was more to her than the tourist districts.

Though I kept writing about our adventures, we rarely stopped by the internet cafe to upload pictures, so yeah– I’m behind by a zillion entries, but will be doing my best to catch up as quickly as possible!

In addition to the last few weeks of Nepal, I also have London (and Stonehenge!) to rave about, and even though I call Zumarraga my home away from home, being in Basque Country means a whole new world of discoveries. It won’t be until the end of June I’ll be back in Austin, TX with my family and dogs!

Please bear with me as I slowly consolidate all the writing and pictures into legit blog posts worthy of your time 🙂

At the airport in Kathmandu, a hour before our flight to London.

…In case anyone is wondering: the surprise was a success! Almost nobody in Zumarraga (and Urrextu) knew we were coming back so soon, and it was a fun and joyful homecoming. (By the second day the whole town knew we were back–news travel fast in Basque Country.)