Thursday, March 31, 2016

"Nepal--where adventure begins"

The following taken from Neo Horizon's Blog:

"Nepal--where adventure begins with Neo Horizon Travels. Join the Himalayan specialists of Neo Horizon Travels for adventure in the outdoor paradise of Nepal. Start the adventure by contacting us right now at Keep on trekking. Keep on enjoying the outdoor paradise of Nepal's nirvana. Trekking with Neo Horizon Travels"

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

UN Immunity? UN Boondoggle?

Should any person, any organization be granted worldwide status above human law? The dangers of this high privilege and immunity are obvious, and the risks unnecessary.

If United Nations (UN) staff cannot follow the sovereign laws of the nations in which they operate, then at the very least make them answerable to the laws of countries of their origin or the laws of the nation where the UN is headquartered, perhaps all three (country operating in, country of origin and country of UN administrative headquarters) would be best.

Cheers for your consideration. May all beings find true liberty and true happiness and the causes of true liberty and true happiness.

+United Nations #UN #accountability #immunity #boondoggle #noamnesty

Yearning to meddle in far flung lands with good intentions yet few to no language and culture skills?

Foreign agents, especially aid workers, please study a local language and culture in depth if yearning (and before attempting) to intervene and meddle in a far flung land.

Otherwise, please consider another career as international intervention might very well end up doing the opposite of any good intentions. That is, despite meaning well, interference might actually do more harm than good...lethal harm to a long suffering people whose oppressors are often abetted unwittingly by aid. That is, corrupt, dysfunctional elements of the ruling status quo are often abetted by aid funds.

Cheers for you consideration, please find more information here,

#globaldev #undp #usaid #dfid #donordarlings #deadaid

Monday, March 28, 2016

Social Brownie Points and Virtue Signalling?

Leonardo DiCaprio begs humanity to stop the biggest #climate polluters…hmmm, examples of big polluters? How about Leo DiCaprio, Ted Turner III, Al Gore? Ironically, they are barking  loudly about the climate while playing with #privatejets #yachts #mansions.... #yolo #irony.
Above and beyond these prancing boobs, many climate advocates plead about taking action while absurdly subsidizing the ecocidal factory farming and fishing industries with their own mouths and wallets
That is, meat and fishing industries are among the most potent and toxic destroyers of the environment (keeping in mind that the environment has a direct and immediate impact on #climate) with species extinction, deforestation, fresh water depletion, ocean dead zones and more. 
If a person truly wants to make a difference, then look no further than the breakfast/lunch/dinner plate and the meat and fishing industries that supply it.

Cheers for your kind consideration. Continued reading found here, Power of You

More from the Sydney Morning Herald: 
Leonardo DiCaprio's climate speech at odds with his huge carbon footprint

#socialbrowniepoints #personal #responsibility 

Biggest Killers on the Planet...and the losers are...

According to +AlterNet (link: ) Noam Chomsky suggests "Republicans are a danger to the human species."

Chomsky is often dead on, but are there bigger dangers?

Of 260+ million non-combatant deaths homicides (including the elderly, women and children) last century, according to research at the University of Hawaii, the following chart has the statistics of mass destruction:

#mortacracy #democide #chomsky #alternet

Public Self-Service

How can anyone amass hundreds of millions of dollars (230 million by a Forbes estimate, link below) with virtually a whole career in the government? Is this a public servant or master?

Never owned a business...never headed a worth in millions...

Graffiti by Banksy
More on this subject here:

#gobsmacked #politrix #bribery #malfeasance #graft #cronymilitarism #cronysocialism

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Dhirdo Power 24 Hour?!

Photo by A. Lyons in Rukum, part of Nepal's wild, wild west
Savor a heaping taste of quintessential Nepali fare... beyond daal-bhat tarakari which is a heaping plate of rice with lentil soup and curried vegetables is a lesser know but equally delicious, Nepali dish known as dhirdo . 

Dhirdo is a heaping plate of puréed corn or millet mash typically served with lentil soup and curried vegetables (ingredients for dhirdo and daal-bhat-tarkari are locally sourced and farm fresh).

Accompany the tasty Himalayan fare with a classic Nepali beverage...chiyaa (sweet black or milk tea); fermented spirits include chyang (not distilled) and raksi (distilled) from locally grown maize, rice, millet and sometimes fruit...indispensable for entertaining guests (including you?!)

If you would like to savor your own plate of Himalayan fare and enjoy a mug or two of local spirits along with it, then please contact a Himalayan specialist soon at

Upcoming departures in the nirvana of Nepal include the following and more: 

Photo by A. Lyons in Rukum, part of Nepal's wild, wild west

#dhirdo #dalbhat #Nepal 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Studying Buddhism in the Land of Buddha's Birth

This image taken from the following site:
Just posted the following on Facebook in response to a friend's question about staying temporarily at a Buddhist monastery in Kathmandu...hopefully useful to someone out there:

I reckon it might depend on type of Buddhism…if Mahayana then Kopan (in west Kdu Valley run by Tibetan-style Gelugpa sect) regularly has foreign residents and visitors…not sure about short term availability for rooms and advisable to make arrangements before arriving…here is their web link:

More easy logistically, in the tourist ghetto of Thamel, central Kathmandu is the Himalayan Buddhist Meditation Centre run by the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (under auspices of Kopan Monastery) …web link here:

Along with Kopan, many Tibetan monasteries in Bauddhanath area in west side of Kathmandu Valley, easiest to go directly there from nearby intl airport…some monasteries have attached guest houses and many lodges in the area…here are links to two institutions in that area that run study academies:

Another consideration and off the beaten path is Nagi Gompa (nunnery) in the northeast foothills overlooking Kdu Valley… more challenging to get oneself to but perhaps the rewards in views and peace and quiet might be worth it…

Even further afield but with regular bus service and less than 20 km outside the Valley is the village of Pharping with caves visited by luminaries including Padmasambhava (aka, Guru Rinpoche). In that area are several monasteries but not sure how accepting they might be of shorter term visitors unless arranged ahead of arrival.

If interested in Theravada Buddhism, then I recommend a lesser known nunnery and retreat center (donation based) following Mahasi Sayadaw style practices and overseen by a Burmese teacher who speaks English, too. Much quieter with few to no foreign visitors…As far as I know they don’t have a website but contact details can be found at my blog link (including much of above information and more) 

If you might be inspired to visit the birthplace of Buddha and other sacred locations in Nepal, then please contact a Himalayan specialist at Neo Horizon Travels

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Yeti Exposed (story link)

Photo by Alonzo Lyons
Please enjoy   Cracking the Yeti Myth , the latest feature in ECS Nepal magazine, 13 March 2016.

The talented Raz Thapa of Imagine Web Solution created the galumphin’ yeti of Neo Horizon Travels' logo.

If you are inspired to join a quest for the yeti in Nepal’s highlands, then please contact a Himalayan specialist at

Keep on trekking, keep on enjoying the wonders of the Himalayan paradise of Nepal. The following are two of the most tantalizing options for chasing yeti's larger than life footsteps:

Photo by Alonzo Lyons
Photo by Alonzo Lyons
Photo by Alonzo Lyons
Photo by Alonzo Lyons
Photo by Alonzo Lyons
Photo by Alonzo Lyons

#Pleistocene #yeti #bigfoot #sasquatch #nepal #himalaya

Saturday, March 19, 2016

'When helping hurts'...the Ugly Side of Aid to Nepal

Tourism has dropped off dramatically in Nepal since the earthquakes of last year. Many aid agents assume that the quakes are what harmed tourism the most. Actually, the majority of Nepal, including most tourist destinations were not directly affected at all by the quakes that tragically did affect a small minority of people.

In fact, the sensationalism around the quakes and pleas for financial help by I/NGOs with accompanying graphic photos of damage (to small pockets of the country) devastated tourism. Yes, humanitarian aid was necessary for a relative sliver of Nepal. That said, gratuitous photos and stories posted for months and months and even up to this day turned away tourists and continue to turn them away and that sensationalism has wrecked a vital component of the economy.

Shamefully, many I/NGOs are taking advantage of a natural tragedy by playing on worldwide attention and sympathy and posting gratuitous imagery of a very small minority of the country in order to solicit funding—even more depraved, most aid funds typically never reach the stated targets but are largely eaten up by administrators misuse if not outright fraud—the very people meant to be helping the situation are in many instances, deepening the suffering. Appallingly,  the poorest of the world’s poor are  used to solicit funds with the side-effects of keeping the  entrenched corrupt gang in power and bleeding the tourist sector dry in the process.

Well, after decades of indefinite aid and few positive results to show for it and much lethal devastation to account for (including total unpreparedness for natural disasters) I/NGOs cannot be given the benefit of doubt any longer. Perhaps aid workers really are trying to assist but in the process they are unwittingly ruining a culture and harming millions of people. Not only are they endowing indefinite oppression by a long-running ruling class but after the quakes they have been scaring off visitors and sinking a lifesaving industry. All the while, nearly the whole country including most tourist destinations have been open and were unaffected by the quakes.

Ironically, helping Nepal is causing harm. Foreign interlopers bear and continue to bear responsibility for the incalculable loss and indefinite harm done to Nepal in the name of ‘aid’, especially now as they short circuit one of the most vital sectors that keeps Nepal’s economic heartbeat going.

Aid agents are using the suffering to seek #deadaid funds that typically end up abetting dysfunctional elements of the ruling class. This inhibits progress and stifles development in deadly ways as chronic poverty and its many ills overwhelm the people.

If a foreigner must intervene in a country where they often do not understand even the basics of the language, the culture and the political situation, then the best way to meddle (if meddle they must) might be to assist the Nepali people to be free from their oppressors and government interference--namely, the freedom to follow their own dreams with their own talents and capabilities without interference, foreign and domestic. In other words, work towards a transparent, functional liberal democracy and do nothing else to interfere with the country in any way.

Otherwise, aid intervention tends to have the opposite effect by entrenching dysfunctional and corrupt systems and prolonging development issues.

Please find more information about the Nepal quakes and deadly foreign meddling in Nepal at this link,

Cheers for your kind consideration…keep on trekking, keep on enjoying the outdoor paradise of Nepal…a visitor's participation in the economy will be the best possible assistance anyone can imagine.

#nepalquakes #deadaid #freenepal

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Island Peak (Imja Tse) -- your first Himalayan mountain?

Photo by Alonzo Lyons
Read about Climbing Island Peak at the following link, written by *yours truly* for Adventure Travel, the UK’s leading adventure magazine, Issue #108, November/December 2013:

Climbing Island Peak

Typically, Island Peak (6,189 m / 20,305 ft) can be summited with less than a week's addition to the Everest Base Camp Trek or other famous treks in world famous Sagarmatha National Park.

Want to try climbing a 6000+ M (20,000+ ft) Himalayan peak? If you are inspired to tackle tantalizing Island Peak (Imja Tse) and more in Nepal’s Khumbu Region (and beyond) then please contact a Himalayan Specialist now at and find more details at

Photo by Alonzo Lyons
Photo by Alonzo Lyons
Photo by Alonzo Lyons
Photo by Alonzo Lyons
Photo by Alonzo Lyons
Adventure is calling from Nepal…and Neo Horizon Travels is in the Himalaya waiting to answer that call to adventure with you. Give them a try -- I am sure that you will be satisfied with your experience in Nepal and their professional services.
Climbing Island Peak (Adventure Travel, #108, November/December 2013)

#trekkingpeaks #nepal #climbing #neohorizon

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Great Himalayan Fairy Tale (REDUX)

 (Advisory: The following is a critical and hopefully realistic assessment--don't mind--with the intention of holding aid entrepreneurs' feet to the fires while they meddle in foreign lands with large sums of money and leverage, little oversight and few to no language and culture skills--unfortunately, a lethal recipe that leads to suffering for the common people while the interlopers enjoy a lifestyle in the top echelons of society) 
Photo by Alonzo Lyons
I am certainly not the only one who sees the Great Himalayan Trail Trick(?) to be a well-funded, Himalayan snow job. Although, I might be one of the few Himalayaphiles willing to call it out publicly (many others have shared their disbelief with me in private), especially in the face of a moneyed industry that has grown up around the fictional line on a map. A corps of well-paid and articulate people have worked feverishly to will the very concept into being with exuberant energy and talent despite Himalayan obstacles and Himalayan chasms and a lack of a any semblance of a contiguous trail.

Even the talented gentleman who wrote the eponymous guidebook makes a striking confession. In his Acknowledgements he mentions the three Sherpa guides who made it possible by joining him 'every step of the way'

Three Sherpa?!

Ever step of the way?!

This is a skilled, veteran trekker with many seasons of experience in the highlands of Nepal. If he needed three Sherpa guides every step of a cross-country journey to find the way, negotiate logistics and technical sections, in other words, survival, then what hope is there for the average trekker to pick up a guidebook and go?

In fact, an elite, world-class trail runner tried just that and was dangerously off course within days, losing personal items and forced to return to Kathmandu by vehicle, perhaps lucky something worse did not happen.

Again, if an elite, battle-hardened trail runner was immediately lost, then what hope is there for the average trekker?
Photo by Alonzo Lyons
"One Trail to Rule Them All" was a slogan put forth with a grandiose, kingly name at a time when Nepal had just ousted a 239 year-old tyrannical crown--perhaps a more appropriate motto during that dynamic time might have been One Trail to Unite Nepal or even The Trail to Unite Them All. After all, the country was just out of a ten-year civil war and working to come together as a newly born democratic republic. Yet, even my above alternate names would miss the mark considerably until there actually is a trail. 

There is no one such trail or even a contiguous series of trails to venture cross-country in any sort of efficient way. If a person is lucky and with adept guides and tremendous logistical and technical gear and support (arranged with a great amount of funds), then they might be able to trek across the country from the eastern to western border, but certainly not on any singular trail, or even one contiguous route linking trails. There simply are not trails linking other trails in a number of remote areas even as maps might hazardously make it seem unless some very lengthy detours and wild zig-zags are undertaken to connect sections (such detours are not indicated on any of these maps).

Photo by Alonzo Lyons
Moreover, the seasonal window for crossing secluded, technical, mountain passes on a cross-country high traverse is relatively short and through isolated, rugged, uninhabited highland areas along the ramparts of the Himalaya. Spending time in this no-man's land at altitude including traversing technical passes requires not only the aforementioned expert guides with technical skills but a good deal of supporting gear and food as well as staff to help with both and not just route-finding. Certainly, such an expedition-style journey is outside the ken and budget of casual trekkers and most veteran trekkers for that matter.

Additionally, there is no Lower GHT. It is simply a conceptual line on a map, and I personally know the two guys who casually placed that line on a map. They did it from an office in inner-city Kathmandu far away from any remote trails. One of them never trekked in his life, the other manages a company that specializes in taking foreigners to Annapurna, Langtang and Everest and did no recce whatsoever in the majority of the country. 

Please don't get me wrong. People have hiked cross-country, and of course that is totally possible. Some people did near cross-country walks decades before the 'launching' of this posh project, but no one has hiked the so-called Lower GHT route because it  simply does not exist (the highly sponsored and talented group who hiked border-to-border followed a myriad of trails and not an advertised route). 

To the credit of SNV (the Dutch INGO that funds along with help from DFID, the aid wing of the United Kingdom, the heavy promotion and dazzling salaries of a multitude of people both foreign and domestic working on promoting the GHT fantasy), they have retreated from 'One Trail to Rule Them All' realizing at least that the initial slogan was a total fiction, although it is astonishing that the motto was vetted in the first place with the many paid experts that were on board.

Photo by Alonzo Lyons
Further retreats have been made, yet whatever the amorphous conception has been molded into at this point, with all due respect, the cash-infused notions of the GHT and Lower-GHT are nothing like the names suggest. I humbly request that people affiliated with the swanky campaign might reconsider associating their good names with it no matter what the financial rewards might be.

At this point, with all due respect, great Himalayan truth needs to surpass all else now more than ever as Nepal re-builds post-quake and I/NGOs and government agencies, agents, and accomplices might do well to consider a new, more transparent paradigm. If nothing else, then do it for the safety of trekkers who might be fooled into attempting a long-haul hike on a non-existent route.

Follies like this prompted a Nepali journalist to cry out, "Does Nepal need DFID or does DFID need Nepal?!" It is a fair enough question, especially for a citizen of a country burdened by indefinite 'aid'. Nepali journalists should turn the heat up on interlopers by continuing to ask valid, hard-hitting questions of these outsiders meddling in their homeland and demand credible, evidence-based answers to their operations as well as a time frame for withdrawal.

Notwthstanding humanitarian quake relief, Nepalis might do very best with the opportunity to choose their own programs and own targets without outside intervention that often enables dysfunctional elements of the status quo and therefore, empowers and embeds the wrong people while dis-empowering and disenfranchising the 
citizenry through mis-governance and paralyzing entitlements. 

Removing the deadweight, malignant establishment players and entities will be the best anyone could possibly imagine for development in Nepal. It would allow the Nepali people the chance to follow their own dreams with their own capabilities and efforts unencumbered by donors, diplomats, politicians and an entitled gang.

Many cheers for your patience and consideration regarding my comments above. Please keep on trekking, sightseeing and adventuring in Nepal, an outdoors paradise offering endless cultural and natural treasures along with a legendary hospitality that will charm visitors to this enchanting Himalayan Nirvana. And to the misguided of the aid workers, donors and I/NGO staff who've traveled overseas to change a society, please give renewed consideration to the trekker's maxim, "The Himalaya might change you, please don't change the Himalaya."
Photo by Alonzo Lyons
#DonorDarlings, #globaldev, #deadaid, #myGHTbs, #AidBully #Nepal #trekNepal #Himalaya

Monday, March 14, 2016

With all due respect to Noam Chomsky...

Photo by Alonzo Lyons in northwest India.

With all due respect to Noam Chomsky on climate change, I reckon it ain’t up to any person, organization, government or coalition  to ‘save the planet’ so to speak (and truly might be a fool’s game to rely on phlegmatic government agents and agencies and political leaders and expect anything more than politicking and vested interests from them).

On the semi-bright side  -- the answer is up to the very people who can actually do something swiftly and make a real change of behavior with real-time results, i.e., you. It is up to each person to take individual responsibility for his or her part in the crisis and to curb his or her own desires and modify actions as needed. If we all do that then the ripple effect will be enormous and immediate as we administer a balm to the environment with resulting climate effects.

With that in mind, among leading causes of environmental degradation, including water depletion, deforestation, ocean dead zones, species extinction, and methane emissions and other flagrant harms are the meat and fish industries. Yet, rather than seeing the problem and the resource insanity lost to raising and producing meat and fish. Rather than acknowledging the resulting environmental devastation, people continue to patronize industries doing some of the greatest harm.

Knowing these major causes and modifying individual behavior to reverse the effect of these causes seems straightforward. Instead, the notorious naked ape is increasing rather than decreasing consumption of animals and animal products…go figure that behavior out and perhaps figure out along with it the balm for climate change...and perhaps even an answer to other human conflicts and dilemmas.

In other words, why are intelligent people relying too much on lame authority to dictate an unlikely solution to climate change when each individual can clearly and presently do something (e.g., reduce meat and fish consumption) to effect change in their own lives and thereby the world around them.

The revolution, if there is to be one, must start with oneself, otherwise, mandates, criticisms and condemnations emanating from anyone or any ruling body will smack of hypocrisy if the person/s promulgating them are not even doing their part. Now more than ever, the golden rule applies, 'do unto others as you would have done unto yourself'...If you believe in the necessity to tackle climate change, then start with yourself. Do not wait for any other person, government or outside force. After all, it is up to you and that might be good news because it means that something can be done--if you are willing to do it.

Related articles: Power of You

#noamchomsky #climatechange #climateaction

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Yes, you, too, can stand atop a Himalayan peak

The following link outlines the most popular trekking peaks in the Himalaya of Nepal:
Inspired to tackle a peak in Nepal's Himalayan paradise? Contact a Himalayan specialist at ( for more details....and see you in Nearer Vanna, soon. 

Flying Snow Leopards (a true story)

A true adventure story about homegrown heroes from Nepal's Himalaya and their high-flying journey from the top of the world's tallest summit to sea level at the Bay of Bengal (first published in ECS Magazine, October, 2016):

Monday, March 7, 2016

¿Adios Amigos? Vaya con diosa...

This post is in response to Make America Migrate (New York Daily News, 2nd March 2016)

Astonishingly, the top recommendations of NY Daily News author Meg Warner are draconian Singapore and Ecuador– both countries on (or very near) the blistering equator and both suffer from human rights issues, especially regarding free speech and the right to protest ruling regime policies.

Ecuador: “People engaging in public protests against environmental and other issues are prosecuted for ‘terrorism and sabotage’, which may lead to an eight-year prison sentence.” -WORLD REPORT 2013, Human Rights Watch. pp. 1–3. Retrieved September 13, 2014

Singapore has the highest execution rate in the world relative to its population including executions for drug trafficking –  Amnesty International.

Additionally, Singapore immigrants can expect a caning for certain immigration violations -- ironic in light of the NY Daily News author's views on the US' more liberal immigration policies and the debate of which is needling her to the point of plotting emigration to less liberal outposts.

The author decries Mexican 'drug lords' and brings up visa requirements to emigrate legally to Mexico and other destinations while hypocritically deriding a certain candidate (the bashing of whom is sure to win social brownie points) for doing the same. 

It is a piece full of ironic hypocrisy and misguided recommendations...unless an émigré can adjust to roasting in Singapore (the top recommendation), a heavy-handed pressure cooker, or some place less recommendable...

#social #brownie #points #irony #election2016

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Shark-tooth Peaks of Nepal

The Himalayan specialists at Neo Horizon can deliver the secrets and treasures of the Himalaya from lavish jungles with wildlife in their natural habitat to secluded, shark-toothed peaks prowled by elusive snow leopards...and occasional claims of yeti sightings 

Contact them now at and find out more at

Keep on trekking, keep on enjoying the outdoor Nirvana of Nepal.

Shark-tooth marvels of the remote Himalaya. Photo by A. Lyons

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Emerald and Golden Paddy Fields's not Nirvana, it's Nepal...full of Himalayan treasures including emerald and golden terraces of rice, barely, maize, wheat and more.

Contact a Himalayan specialist for information at 

Join Neo Horizon Travels in Nearer Vanna...keep on trekking, keep on enjoying the outdoor paradise of Nepal