I am at Namche Bazaar, beneath a statue of Tenzing Norgay, Sir Edmund Hillary’s guide on the first successful expedition to Mount Everest. If we had any doubts about returning to Nepal so soon, it was all cleared up by our guide Pemba. “We are very happy to see you.”
It is quieter than usual here but otherwise everything points to the fact that Nepal is back in business. The next day we began our descent from 3440 m, heading towards Lukla. We pass porters carrying 80-100 kg loads, bent over double with the sheer weight of it and Yaks laden with supplies. “Outside, safe side,” chimes Ram, reminding us to move towards the rock wall rather than towards the side where a wayward yak may push us plummeting down the mountain face.
Later we cross a sign that says, ‘Please Respect: Porters and Yaks have Right of Way!’
Intrepid, the company that organised this trip to the country, has pledged to provide all profits from tours in the region this season towards the recovery. After the disaster, Intrepid worked with World Bank engineers to assess trails and guesthouses in the Everest and Annapurna region. Trails were declared safe and reopened within months. Their aim, this season, is to raise $1 million by the end of May.
At Phakding, where trekkers like to enjoy one too many post climb drinks, we encounter the obligatory ‘reggae’ bar. Ram warns us humorously, “Drink, but not drunk.” An advice we end up not paying heed to. The next day, still feeling the effects of one too many Everest beers, we are dazzled by the resplendent mountains at sunrise, sights that mere pictures cannot do justice to. Chubby cheeked children ran to us with enthusiasm and took over cameraman duties in villages.
Finally reaching our destination at Lukla, we fill up on generous breakfast and much-needed coffee, waiting to board our flight back to Kathmandu.
Admittedly, this was one small trek but it has made me hungry to return to Nepal for a bigger and bolder adventure. There are more mountains and more momos waiting to be conquered!
This story has been adapted from the original post on www.Heraldsun.com.au. Click below to read the full article :