NEPAL, EVEREST CIRCUIT
People from all over the world come to admire the spectacular nature of Nepal. Since Ola visited the country in 2005 he has been dreaming about returning. In the fall of 2016 this wish could finally turn into reality and we went on a three week long group tour to the magical country with the high peaks. The treks in Nepal depart in spring and autumn, during the summer there is a monsoon, and the winter is simply too cold. There are several different routes to choose between and Everest Circuit is one of the most challenging treks in the area. We selected it to be able to visit Mt Everest base camp and to see the beautiful Gokyo lakes. The trek lasted for 14 days and went up to 5550 m. Our trek started and ended in Lukla at 2800 m. From there we went both up and down, through different climates and vegetation, under our feet we had rocks and boulders as well as sand, grass and snow. Some days we got exhausted by the long destinations, others by the thin air and sometimes by the challenging terrain. The high altitude makes you lose your breath and gets your heart to race, forcing you to move in slow motion. But to stand on a hilltop looking down at valleys and clouds knowing that it’s your own legs that brought you this high up is absolutely mind blowing and very rewarding. Not everything is tough, there is a liberating sense of the simplicity for this kind trip. There’s a beauty in being told when to get up, when to eat, where to go, what to do etc. You just tag along. The lodges are very simple with rooms big enough to fit two narrow beds. The walls are paper thin and it feels like you’re sharing bed with the snoring neighbor next doors. The restrooms are shared. If you’re lucky there’s a sink, sometimes with running water, sometimes not, sometimes indoors, sometimes outdoors. The food on the menu is vegetarian and the same everywhere with focus on carbs like potatoes, rice, noodles, spaghetti, fries. Dahl Bath (lentil soup and curry with rice), Momos (dumplings) and Spring Rolls are the local specialties. We had been recommended to work out for at least three month before the trip, but some in our group had been preparing for years. Anyway, no matter how fit or strong you are there is no way of knowing how one will react to the high altitude until you are actually there. We had some problems in the group with headaches, insomnia, reduced appetite and cold among other things. But overall we had a successful trip and only one person wasn’t able to complete the trek and had to diverge after half way. Our group consisted of eight swedes, three local guides and five porters. As a tourist you carry a backpack with the things you need during the day, like camera, water, snacks, toilet paper and change of cloth. The porters carry your main luggage with the rest of the stuff. The porters usually set off in the morning while you’re still at breakfast and your bags are already waiting for you at the room when arriving to the lodge later during the day. We felt quite conflicted about having porters managing our bags. But the truth is we wouldn’t last one day on the trek carrying our own luggage. Porters are a part of the Sherpa tradition and the Nepalese transport system in the mountains. During our trek we met many porters carrying all kind of gods like furniture, food, yak shit etc, some porters carrying as much as up to 100 kg of gods on their backs since being paid per kilo. Tourist taking care of their own bags are not very popular since it’s considered a lost income opportunity. Except for an age limit of 18, there are no national laws or units to protect porters, and some companies are really mistreating their employees. Therefore it’s utterly important to check what kind of policy the travel agency has when choosing company. Our porters didn’t carry more than 30kg which is quite good. By the end of the trip it’s custom to tip the crew, and seeing our porters looking genuinely pleased at our thank-you-ceremony felt comforting.
KATHMANDU
Culture / City
LUKLA ̶ PHAKDING
Outdoor
PHAKDING ̶ NAMCHE
Outdoor
NAMCHE
Outdoor
NAMCHE ̶ PHORTSE THENGA
Outdoor
PHORTSE THENGA ̶ DOLE
Outdoor
DOLE ̶ MACHHERMO
Outdoor
MACHHERMO ̶ GOKYO
Outdoor
GOKYO RI ̶ THAGNA
Outdoor
THAGNA ̶ DZONGLA
Outdoor
DZONGLA ̶ LOBUCHE
Outdoor
LOBUCHE ̶ E.B.C. ̶ GORAK SHEP
Outdoor
KALA PATHAR ̶ PANGBOCHE 
Outdoor
PANGBOCHE ̶ NAMCHE
Outdoor
NAMCHE ̶ LUKLA
Outdoor
DAY 5 DAY 6 DAY7 DAY 8 DAY 9 DAY 10 DAY 11 DAY 12 DAY 13 DAY 14 DAY 1 DAY 2 DAY 3 DAY 4
Japan Les Deux Alpes
Ola & Maria are full time workers and part time adventurers, follow for photos around the world, over and under water. © sixweeks 2018
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