It was our mother’s idea to do a family visit to Nepal to mark her 80th birthday. Although over the years everyone had been to visit in various combinations, the idea was for us Van Gruisens with spouses to all be together with our children, who in 2004 ranged from 17 to seven years old, resident as far apart as the US, UK, Australia, India and Nepal. A carbon footprint that created memories and forged cousinly bonds.
The cold months suited school holidays and us five siblings getting time off our various work commitments. In all, 21 of us were gathered in Kathmandu before heading off to Chitwan then a trek in the Annapurna foothills followed by New Year at Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge. As well as Christmas and New Year, there were birthdays to celebrate, and palaces, temples, jungles and mountain villages to explore.
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