Participants of the Wounded Heroes Trek, who trekked along the Ghorepani-Poonhill Route in the Annapurna Circuit shared their Nepal experience with their Nepali counterparts on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016, at a program organized in Nepal Tourism Board.
The 20 participants from the United States who were mostly amputees on prosthetics toured Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Pokhara, and trekked in Nagarkot and parts of the Annapurna section. The Annapurna section trek was a 5-day challenge and the trekkers comprised a mixed team of professionals including ex-army veterans.
Chief Executive Officer of Nepal Tourism Board Mr. Deepak Raj Joshi welcomed the team and presented them with letters of appreciation for having completed the arduous and scenic trail and thanked them for highlighting Nepal during their trek. Mr. Joshi who expressed that trips to Nepal, even though sometimes physically challenging, were always emotionally rewarding.
Ex – Army Veteran Ms. Ana Luisa Manciaz expressed her delight over having accomplished the trek. Nepal is already accessible and only minor adjustments would suffice in making it a trekkers’ destination for all, she said.
“To have a challenge before me and to achieve it and Nepal offered that. Nepal is a great place to prove that to yourself that you have achieved that challenge,” she said.
Another participant Ms. Danika J. Viola, an Occupational Therapist, said the trek was a cool opportunity for her to learn both at personal and professional level. She said she was pleasantly surprised by the experience.
The participants were very impressed with the porters and guides who accompanied them, and said they owed much to them for the success of their trek. Many expressed that even though much awareness and support was already present on their trails, paying attention to details like accessible toilets on the route, proper communication regarding the level of trek, options to stop at tea houses for the night earlier than the scheduled time, keeping lamps and other essentials more accessible during night time when mobility can be restrained, and awareness along the trails, could help in making trekking trails accessible for all.
“The opportunity was great and Nepal was beautiful, we’ll definitely be back,” said Mr. Jonathan Barth, one of the participants.
The trip was a historical one in terms of pioneering Accessible Tourism and Tourism for All in Nepal.
Photo courtesy : Wounded Heroes Trek to Nepal