Nepal

Starting from Kathmandu, we spent the first couple of days getting the necessary trekking permits, and wandering around the city. Photographically, I could tell that Nepal was going to provide me with a lot of subjects.

Having awoken at around 6am one morning, I decided to grab the camera, and get out and about. This was a bit out of character, as anyone who knows me will tell you, but having braved it, I was rewarded - some people still even seemed as sleepy as I was.

We set off, towards Dhunche - a full days bus ride, which is enough to take it out of anybody! No one mentioned the huge avalanche they had had over a year ago, making the road un-bussable, about 5km out from our destination. Yomping over the scree with backpacks was an unexpected early start for things to come. We stayed in Dhunche overnight, making the most of our last nights rest, before the agonising road ahead - a climb of 3km (vertically!).

The next few pictures, give you some idea of the terrain we covered during the trek up to Kyanjin Gompa, and the people we encountered.




Information

The Langtang trek takes about 4 days, from Dhunche to Kyanjin Gompa, and 3 days back. Food is limited - in fact, all food in the valley is either grown locally, or transported up by sherpa - it goes without saying that until they get Coke to grow on trees, the price will always be proportional to the distance you are from Dhunche.

You stay in villages along the way - the major ones tend to arrive after a hard 8 hour trek from the last, and there are many 'hotels' for tourists - these generally consist of a bed and a door to lock - expecting more would imply you chose the wrong sort of holiday!

Highlights must be the scenic valleys and rivers along the way, and the snow capped mountains and glaciers at the top.

It is breathtaking - both scenically and literally. Walking at altitude, you are recommended to ascend only 1000m a day. Also, a water filter is a good idea - it also gives you an excuse (not that you need one) to stop for a rest whilst everyone re-fills their water bottles.

We went in 1995, and would recommend it to anyone who wants incentive to get fit!