flyingaway wrote: ↑
Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:20 pm
Theseus wrote: ↑
Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:24 pm
There are numerous local Nepal based travel companies. Most of them can communicate effectively in english and can provide an english speaking guide. All foreign travel agent/companies contract with them. I would just go directly with a Nepal based company. You will save a LOT and won't make any difference in the service level.
My first trek in Nepal, I went without any plan. Flew into Nepal and then flew to Pokara. Spent a night there. Many travel companies on the main street. Talked to several of them and narrowed down to the one I was comfortable with. Talked to their guide (sort of an interview) and next morning we were on the trek to Annapurna Base Camp. Our itinerary was loosely defined. We would trek as much as we could each day and then find a tea house to stay overnight. We changed our itinerary in the middle of the trek - we ended up shortening it by a day and my friend had to split on the 7th day due to a family emergency. I continued on.
I am sure you are not going shoot from the hip like us but the point is that it's not that difficult in Nepal.
Also if you go, I highly recommend a shoulder season to avoid the crowds - especially if can handle colder weather.
Would it be possible to do some trek without a guide, i.e., I just hike as much as I like, as slow as I want, stay at any tea house I find in the evening? If I don't feel good, I just go back.
If you have a private guide you can do what you want. If you don't feel like trekking on a given day, you stay in the village and rest.
I trekked in Nepal two times: in 1996 to the Everest Base Camp and in 1997 on the Annapurna Circuit, including Annapurna Base Camp. In 1996, I went with a group. In 1997, I arrived to Kathmandu and hired a private guide and a porter. The private trek was much cheaper and much more satisfying.
When I was with a group in 1996, we were a self contained expedition. We had many support people (and yaks at higher altitudes) who carried our stuff as well as tents, food, and kitchen things. When we were arriving to a night stop, they would put up our tents, a kitchen tent, a dining tent, and toilet tents. They would cook meals for us. And in the morning they would fold everything up and move to the next location. The problem was that we had to follow a strict schedule which was rather fast and did not provide enough time to get adjusted to the altitude. On the day when we had to reach the Everest Base Camp itself, there was a heavy snow, and trekking became unsafe because crevices were not visible and we did not have ropes and other safety equipment. I would be happy to wait for a few days until the weather had improved, but the group had a strict schedule and we turned back. I still feel dissatisfaction of trekking to the Everest Based Camp and never reaching the Everest Base Camp through no fault of my own.
In 1997, I hired a private guide and a porter for a fraction of what I paid in 1996, and it was a much more rewarding experience. We stayed at tea houses instead of private tents, and every night I was meeting new people. Instead of getting privately cooked meals, I ate dal bhat three times a day, which was fine with me. I allowed a lot of time in my schedule for possible avalanches and other weather delays. Ironically, none of these events have happened, and I had a lot of free time when I returned to Kathmandu.
The guide was pretty useless. His main function was to translate our plans to the porter. Otherwise, the path of the trek was so obvious that it was virtually impossible to get lost. I'd say that going alone is feasible, provided your backpack is very light. The pack should be lighter than what you would normally carry, because the altitude makes you weaker.
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. |
Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)