Nepalese trek left Cally Taylor feeling on top of the world

Sitting monkey on swayambhunath stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal (iStock)
Sitting monkey on swayambhunath stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal (iStock)

CALLY TAYLOR has gone from university manager to one of the country’s bestselling authors.

She quit her uni job more than a decade ago and, as C. L. Taylor, her books have won awards and sold a million copies. Her latest, The Escape (Avon £7.99), is out on March 23.

Cally, 43, lives in Bristol with her partner and son.

Cally Taylor
Cally Taylor

Sometimes, it’s the simple pleasures that make a holiday.

I still have the fondest memories of going to stay at my gran’s caravan in Aberaeron in Wales when I was a kid.

It was a static caravan on a park and I remember meeting up to play with the other kids.

I loved being by the sea and having fun at the penny arcade.

All these years on I can still vividly recall sitting in my mum and dad’s car and eating fish and chips with the rain battering down.

Ireland’s another favourite. I’ve been quite a few times to Cork and the south-west and most recently to Clogherhead. As they say, the craic means you’re always welcome – I’ve been invited up to join in Irish dancing in pubs by total strangers.

But the most special holiday by far was to Nepal in 2006. I had a friend who was working over there in an orphanage and she arranged for three of us to go and visit.

We went to Kathmandu and saw all of the temples, with monkeys running around on the tops of them.

Then we took a rickety old bus about three hours to Chitwan and got to ride elephants and feed the babies.

It was on the edge of the jungle and we were taken on a walk. There were rhinos around and our guide was unarmed.

It was simultaneously exciting and terrifying to know we were walking around in the same area.

The only advice was that if one charged we were to climb a tree. Every snap of a twig had us all jumping.

Then we went on a tiny plane to the Annapurna range and trekked up the mountain.

There were a series of 5000 stone steps you have to climb up.

My thighs have never burned like it. But when we got to the top and watched the sun come up on the final morning, it was all worth it.

I felt like I was on top of the world.