July 29, 2009
This is taken in Dunche, Nepal where we started our Gosainkunda trek. These are two of the assistant guides that accompanied us on our expedition, Laxman Rai and Khem Rai , it was a pleasure to get to know them and their help was invaluable.
Without them, or people like them, trekking groups like ours would never get up the Himalayas, (or if we were to get up, we’d likely be very lost, tired and hungry!) They also made sure we all returned safely, their knowledge and fitness was incredible.
Whilst we were coming back down through the Helambu region I hurt my big toe by kicking a rock when I was preoccupied with the view. I had to go a little slower, also my boyfriend had pulled muscles in his knee and we were split from the main group, Laxman and the head Sherpa Tshering stayed behind and found us places to sleep with local families and made sure we were watered, safe and foot sure.
They kept offering to carry our bags and finally near the end of one day I gracefully gave my bag to Laxman who carried it to the next place to sleep without even breaking a sweat!
The Sherpa Guides have had some tough times with tourists in the past, and it is really good to see that there are appropriate organisations now that make sure pay is fair and also what is expected of them is realistic. The International Mountain Explorers Connection (IMEC) has a good porter guide i can recommend and worth taking into account when planning your trek.
We invited all the staff to come and eat with us on our last night in Nepal and this was really nice to sit together and eat. I hope to be able to work with some of this team again next year, great company and the dal bhat (the local staple food) was amazing!