On April 25th 2015, a massive earthquake hit Nepal killing over 8000 people and injuring thousands. An avalanche struck the Everest Base Camp taking the lives of 21 people. Aftershocks followed for a long time including another big tremor on May 12th 2015. This was the worst natural disaster to strike Nepal in history. People around the world saw the carnage and destruction that nature’s fury had brought on this small mountain nation. Nepal was left in shambles and is now slowly trying to rebuild itself back to its former glory and their resilience is commendable.
Nepal, a major tourist destination, but also one of the poorest countries in world, relies heavily on tourism and the money it brings in to their economy. For a long time after the earthquake, a lot of countries issued travel warnings and bans on travel to Nepal. By February this year all warnings were lifted and it is deemed safe for travel now. But the after effects of the disaster and the bans have left their economy is dire straits.
With this in mind, I am heading to this mountain country. I have engaged with Nepalis at work and otherwise and always experienced their friendly attitude towards all people. After hearing about the situation there on the media over the past year, I felt a bigger urge to go and visit this beautiful nation. Although one person’s efforts cannot add much to their economy, this can trigger, motivate and inspire more people to do the same without any fear. Well, that’s the idea anyway.
I will be heading to the mountain trails of Nepal, to the Khumbu region, famously known for the Sagarmatha National Park which also holds some of the highest peaks in the world and of course, the world’s tallest mountain, Chomolungma in Tibetan or Sagarmatha in Nepalese or Mt. Everest, what it is known as to most of the world. My plan is to trek to the base of Mt. Everest and also traverse the three high passes of the Khumbu region that will take me through a lot of Sherpa villages, some which were badly affected by the earthquake. I intend to learn about the life since the tragedy and how the Sherpa people are coping up in these villages.
I leave on May 5th and will document my experiences here, with a hope that some of you reading will get inspired to do the same
From the time I took my trips to the mountains of Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh in India, all of these within the Great Himalayan Range, I have felt a special connection with the Himalayas and its people.
What I want to achieve with this trek is not just to fuel my passion for adventure and travel, but also to go out there and do a little from my part to help the economy of this shaken country; to witness the culture and great hospitality that the people of Nepal are known for. Whatever tourism dollars spent here, will directly help the people and their families.
I leave on May 5th and will document my experiences here, with a hope that some of you reading will get inspired to do the same in the months and years to come and help this little country and its people.
Featured image taken at Kala Patthar capturing the sunrise behind Mt. Everest and Mt. Nuptse. (Nicholas Allen, Copyright 2015)
All images used with permission from www.masteringmountains.org and www.protofos.com.