I'd met Raj only the day before we started the Trek. He was assigned to me through an agency as the only guide available that knew the whole route from Jiri to Everest. The same way that Sir Edmund Hillary took when he and Tenzing Norgay became the first people to summit the highest mountain on earth. On the second day into the trip Raj asked me "Why did you decide to do this trail in Monsoon season??" and I replied "I didn't know it was monsoon season. Raj said "It will rain every day and be very hard.. maybe we should go back!" and I laughed and said "no.. I think we'll keep going." This trek was the most intense hike I've ever done in my life. It rained every day for 20 days and we only saw the Himalayan mountains for a 5 hour period one morning on the 18th day of the trek.
Shida. He wanted some food so I gave him a pack of peanuts I'd stolen from the plane. He was a leper but it never occured to me that I shouldn't hand him the peanuts directly. I reached out and he stepped back, held out his little wooden pot, and I dropped the peanuts inside.
Since this trail is only done by about 300 tourists a year, and rarely in monsoon season the kids were very curious about me :)
The welcome gates are built my the Maoist Rebels in many of the villages on the trail. I will refrain from posting any pictures of Maoist Rebels on this site because I dont want to put the families of the rebels at risk from the army. The red welcome gate was demolished by the army troups less than half an hour after we took this picture. The Rebels will rebuild it as soon as the army leaves or is defeated in combat.
Women in Nepal are TOUGH compared to their white counterparts.
Raj and I ate boiled potatoes whenever we found someone that was willing to sell some. They were SUCH a treat after hiking in the rain for hours. Especially with the hot sauces provided =D
Since there are no roads in this area of Nepal, the people must carry their supplies for days to get back to their village. Even the kids carry heavy packs.
This is the biggest load I've ever seen a porter carry. Professional porters get paid per kilogram and the porter said that his pack was 100 kilos (220 pounds!). The porter himself didn't weigh much over 100 pounds. I've never seen stronger people in my life.
The people in this area are of tibetan descent. Many tibetans fled to Nepal during Mao Tse Tung's rule in China.
Raj had a knack for bargaining a meal from any house we happen to be passing by when hungry. These kids ate twice as much as I did for breakfast. What you see in the picture is only their FIRST helping. They had 2 plates of rice each and 2 bowls of lentil soup.
Nepalis eat just like me.. LOTS. Some of the porters can eat 5-7 plates of rice, potatoes, and lentil soup. One night Raj ate 3 and I tried to beat him. I felt sick after 2 plates.
Lamjura Pass. The highest point on the trail so far. 2 weeks before we got there a plane crashed into the pass because it's at such a high altitude and there was so much cloud cover the plane didn't see it. There were no survivors. http://www.nepalnews.com.np/archive/2004/may/arc_may04_27.htm#8
After Lamjura Pass there was a beautiful tall forest and the trail went under a canopy of unbelievable height. It started raining and Raj, even though he had a rainsuit, prefered to walk with a piece of plastic covering himself.
High altitude tree.
Village in a beautiful valley. We stayed there that night.
River from high altitude.
We had to cross many many bridges but this was by far the longest.