Kathmandu: “These eyes are considered very beautiful.”

Kathmandu. I have always wanted to come to Kathmandu, though I didn’t really know anything about it. The name alone convinced me it was somewhere I needed to see. What did this Cat Man look like?

Tatopani to Beni to Baglung to Pokhara: “Happy Jerni to Pasanjar.”

On four wheels instead of two feet at last. Now I could relax. Yes, there I was relaxing. Enter disaster, stage right.

Sikha (1935m) to Tatopani (1200m) – Trek Day Four: “My name is Large Joyous Wisdom.”

Brushing your teeth with a quietly buzzing electric toothbrush while standing outside at a water tap with a view of Annapurna One, and being observed by several curious water buffalo in the field next door, is probably one of those moments where you feel like the luckiest person on earth.

Ghorepani (2870m) to Poon Hill (3210m) to Sikha (1935m) – Trek Day Three: “Are we nearly there yet?”

It is 4.30am. It is very, very dark. It is very, very, very cold. What in the hell am I doing climbing 340 metres of perilous rock stairs with only a headtorch for light?

Tikhedhunga (1540m) to Ghorepani (2870m) – Trek Day Two: “Golliwas in the mist”

I worry that I am slowing everyone down, and we’ll all get eaten by Nepali mountain forest wolves before we reach civilisation.

Varanasi: “Breaking news”

We broke for the Indian border on the 28th of December with a feeling of relief, sadness, and excitement to see new places and get away from ones that suddenly didn’t feel so safe.

Varanasi: “Welcome to Varanasi.”

People waded into the Ganges to bathe, bent to wash clothes, stood beside the water to place floating lights on its surface, fished about in the depths for errant cricket balls, and in some cases took a quick healing drink (I didn’t join them on that one).

Jhansi: “Aoooowwwwp!”

Suddenly she spies the sleeping hound. My stomach screws up as I watch her hand flail behind her and close around a thick bamboo staff leaning against the wall for just such an occasion. She wrenches herself to her sandalled feet with anger blazing from behind her thick spectacles.

Jaisalmer (Thar Desert): “In the morning we go to meet your camel.”

I was first introduced to my camel as Michael Jackson (the camel’s name, not mine), but I later found out that his real name was Rallu. A much more camel-sounding name if you ask me.

Jaisalmer: “Oh… It go ice.”

It is clear to me that the waiter has the power to freeze water at will, and that sometimes, maybe when he has spilled birayani down a customer who would have been a big tipper, or a cow gouged at him on the way to work because he looked at it funny, he loses control of his power and ends up showing it to us mere mortals in the form of sudden soft drink freezing.