I do not know how our trip to Nepal will turn out.
After two years in New Zealand, we plan to stop in Nepal for several weeks on our return to the United States.
First, we have to fly Malaysia Airlines (famed for losing planes) to Kuala Lumpur, then a discount airline AirAsia (one of their planes crashed into the Java Sea four months ago killing all 162 passengers) on to Kathmandu. More recently, one month ago in Nepal itself, another plane crashed killing all 23 passengers. It seems the skies are not so friendly.
Of course in preparation for Nepal, we have been immunized against hepatitis A and B, typhoid, polio and tetanus. Malaria also occurs in the southern area of Nepal near the Indian border. Rabies is also a distinct risk in Nepal; it is rampant in both dogs and . . . monkeys.
For the record, Kathmandu is the third most polluted city in the world. Not only the air but also the water is bad. People often wear masks in Kathmandu because of the air pollution, and we’ll have to make sure the water we drink is purified. The culprits in the water include viruses, bacteria, and protozoa with the cysts of certain protozoa, Giardia and Crytosporidium, being particularly resistant to treatment.
But despite all this, for the last few weeks I have been contacting trekking companies in Nepal arranging a seven-day trek to the Helambu region of Nepal. The Annapurna and Everest regions are the most popular trekking regions in Nepal; upwards of 90% of people go to those areas. Fewer tourists, if any, go to the Helambu region. The region was devastated by the earthquake last year with entire villages being destroyed. Things are being rebuilt but Nepal is a poor country. We are told the Helambu area is anxious for trekkers like ourselves to return to the region.
Through email communications and one discordant phone call, we have finally committed to a trekking agency in Kathmandu named Incredible Himalayan Sherpa Adventure P. Ltd.
While back in the United States, I remember looking at trekking trips to Nepal and seeing that their prices were thousands of dollars (excluding airfare). Negotiating our trek ourselves, for seven days we are paying USD $16/day for an English-speaking guide and $13/day for a porter who will carry up to 25 kg (55 lbs) between us. Food and lodging at teahouses in villages along the way will cost us $22 each/day. Bus fare to and from the trailheads, insurance for the guide and porter, necessary park permits and fees cost an additional $90 each. So our trek will cost somewhere around $360/each. Hopefully, everything will work out.
You might think it sounds a bit pretentious and perhaps lazy to have someone carry our stuff while in the mountains. But in Nepal where people on average earn only about USD$1/day, wages such as those the guide and porter will receive can make a big difference in both their lives and that of their families.
My communications with Tsering, the manager of Himalayan Sherpa Adventure, have been interesting, and despite the broken English, his enthusiasm is infectious:
Many big thanks for your appreciate questions. I am always feel please to response of your questions, curiosity etc.
I found sir you asked me final very important question. Brilliant!
I’ m sorry to say that USD22 is per day for per person that for 2 person. (I wasn’t sure what this meant)
The layout outline itinerary is flexible. Per day after dinner, your guide will brief you about further program you and during the time you will discuss with the guide and then necessary customize can do. (Sounds like after dinner, we can all sit around and talk about what we want to do the next day?)
I’m please and would like to thanks you that you want to book the trek with my company. I assure you that your trust and expectations toward me will prove worthwhile and never go into vain.
To be fair, my Nepalese is obviously far far worse than his English.
But if you go to the Incredible Himalayan Sherpa Adventure website, you will also find that Tsering can get you to the top of Mt. Everest itself.
The Mount Everest is the highest peak of the World 29028ft. (8848m.) through which the climbing toppers feel themselves as the most proud and adventurous person of the World.
The trip as listed on the website encompasses 59 days. The itinerary for days 1 through 10 involves getting to Everest Base Camp. Here is Day 10—
The first section of the trail from Lobuche follows the narrow gap between the glacial moraine and the mountain walls, past turn off to the Italian pyramid. Take time to detour to the edge of moraine to look over the Khumbu glacier. Along windy and rocky path with the wonderful view of Mt. Pumori, Nuptse and other magnificent peaks, we reach Gorakshep. After lunch our adventure continues towards Everest Base Camp. The trail passes through over rocky dunes and moraine and streams.
Then the itinerary simply says—
Day 11 TO 52: Climbing period of Everest.
Then supposedly after you have successfully returned from summiting Everest, perhaps with papoose-wrapped hands and feet from frostbite, and PTSD from selfishly chugging down all the oxygen and leaving fellow climbers to their fate at the snow-clogged Hillary Step, your trip itinerary blissfully continues . . .
Day 53: Return back From Base camp to Lobuche, overnight at lodge. Mornings are usually sparkling and clear and this is the best time to climb the Kalapathar for one of the world’s definitive mountain views. We will be rewarded the 360 degree dramatic panorama views of Mt Everest and surroundings mountains like Mt. Pumori, Mt. Lingtren, Mt. Khumbetse, Mt. Nuptse, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Ama Dablam, Mt. Thamserku along with many other peaks. You will have an easy walk for about 2hrs to reach Lobuche.
And day 58 before your leave Nepal—
Day 58: Free day in Kathmandu, overnight at hotel . Today you will have a free day in Kathmandu valley. Have some rest in your hotel. You can also take a leisurely stroll over the streets and buy some souvenirs and remembering from Nepal.
Be assured, however, that if you have survived all of the above, two months of hiking and mountain climbing, altitude sickness, avalanches, blizzards, and frostbite, according to the website you will also receive a certificate and a T-shirt.