Imagine… dramatic and rugged peaks soaring thousands of metres above your head in all directions, surreal starscapes and ever-changing scenery.
The thrill of crossing an old bridge above rushing rivers, waking to the most spectacular sunrise, enjoying another (so different to the last) Dahl baht complete with handmade Tibetan bread. Communicating in the universal language of hand gestures and facial expressions with the locals in tiny villages perched on the ridge of a mountain. All this sounds like a terrible cheese advert for a cliche tour with a hefty price tag. Sod that!
This is reality, this is the experience of trekking in the Nepalese Himalayas, the beauty of these mountains is just phenomenal. The people of this region are a delight, a joy and a reminder that good humans that don’t live in greed do still exist, the food is consistently delicious and for the veggies out there, easy peasy, and the cost is minimal.
Devastated by the 2015 Earthquake, and then the fuel crisis with India later that same year, Nepal is no stranger to severe struggle. The aftermath of the quake was completely evident in the country’s capital, Kathmandu, during our visit late 2015. Walking amongst rubble, passing completely destroyed buildings, dodging holes and broken roads is the norm. Tourist numbers were still dwindling, and were to be continually affected by the fuel crisis. Venturing out into the country and the foothills of the Himalayas, the crisis here was obvious. People were queing with their gas bottles for what seemed like days, treks were on hold until there was enough fuel to get out to the mountains, restauarants were serving limited menu – trivial things for us when compared to the hardship these people had to suffer as a direct correlation of the crisis; lack of food, medical supplies, inability to study, risk of deaths for over 3 million. The reason I speak about these trying times in Nepal is the resilience and will the locals demonstrate, the kindness, openness and intrigue they offer is something to behold and something unforgettable. A lesson could be learnt from those that suffer and have such little yet are willing to give for nothing in return.
For this reason alone, forget about the natural beauty, the wonderous landscapes, explore Nepal to experience it’s truest beauty, the Nepalese.