Obviously I write a lot about hiking and trekking, often in remote and exotic locations, such as the Himalaya. Recently, I had the opportunity to contribute to a story written by someone else, who was putting together a piece on trekking in Nepal for senior travelers. (Read: those over 50) The story is now available online at the Philadelphia Inquirer , and is a good read for those considering such a journey, no matter what age. You can find it by clicking here.
The author of the story, Alan Solomon, discusses the two most popular treks in the Himalaya, namely the hike up to Everest Base Camp and the Annapurna Circuit. Alan did the AC a few years back, and spent eight days in the Himalaya with a group of backpackers, many of which fell into the “senior” category. He paints an accurate, and not overly shiny, portrait of what it is like to visit these locations, and what travelers can expect while hiking there.
Essentially, Alan warns us that the trails are quite challenging, the air is thin, and that there is a good chance you could suffer some gastrointestinal disorder. But he also says that it is more than worth the effort, and that those on his expedition considered it one of the greatest travel experiences they had ever been on. In short, expect some discomforts, but you’ll be rewarded for the effort.
My contribution to the story comes at the end where we discuss changes to the Annapurna Circuit. That has long been considered by many to be the best trek in the world, but with the opening of a road through the region in recent years, the nature of the trek has changed fairly dramatically. What was once just mountain trails, villages, and tea houses, now has traffic, noise, and dust as well. By some accounts, it’s a shadow of its former self, while others say that road doesn’t diminish the beauty of the place to any great degree.
The bottom line is that the Himalaya are still one of the best trekking destinations anywhere, and given the opportunity, you should go, no matter what your age!