Best Hike has posted Day 2 of their recent hike through the Himalaya, with more photos and thoughts courtesy of site editor Rick McCharles, who is a virtual walking encyclopedia of trekking knowledge from around the globe.
Besides the usual great photography that accompany his posts, Rick shares his thoughts on hiking independently in Nepal, which he says is easy to do and very safe, despite the fact that there were several signs posted about missing trekkers. Rick says that the trails are full of other hikers, and it’s rare that you’re actually alone, which makes for fairly safe traveling in general, and lends itself to backpacker camaraderie.
On his second day in the Himalaya, Rick, who is a very experienced trekker himself, said that he was still feeling the effects of altitude, so playing it safe, he didn’t hike far that day, but instead, elected to set up camp early in the afternoon, and make a short day hike into a more remote, lesser visited area. By the end of the day however, he was feeling better and getting acclimatizing well to the altitude.
Everything that I’ve ever heard says that Nepal is indeed a very safe place to trek. Even when the Maoist rebels were in control of the countryside, they rarely messed with the climbers and trekkers, and when they did, it was usually to shake them down for a few bucks as a “tariff” for using the trial. But even that has come to an end in the past few years, as the Maoists are now in power and have no need for those kinds of actions. Plus, tourism is the top draw to the country, so it is important that they keep it safe for travelers that come to check out the amazing culture and natural beauty.
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3 thoughts on “Best Hike Goes To The Himalaya: Day 2 – Hiking Independently”
I've been to Nepal twice (2005 and 2006) and I must say there was never any severe threat. Although the Maoists did stop me, I was warned this was about to happen from days before (they were always waiting in the descend of Poon Hill, where you have a magnificent view on the Annapurnas). You just pay and no harm is done (even a brief discussion wasn't a real problem, although I must admit the machine guns had put me in an uncomfortable position).
Your remark concerning the trail, I can only admit. Very easy to find your way, especially for experienced hikers. No worries!
One last remark: it seems like the Maoists aren't in power anymore. There are even reports of some clashes in the west of the country. Hope this will be sorted out fast. More info on The Economist:
I went on a 45-day self-guided trek in the Khumbu in 1995 and felt totally safe the whole time. However, at a dance club in Pokhara, a man I presumed to be Nepalese burst in waving torches, shattering windows, and screaming something like "death to tourists". Needless to say, the festivities ended abruptly.
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