Sole Trekker Experience With KWN

Posted in 15th Aug, 2019

With regards to walking in Nepal as the sole trekker, I can say it was a very positive experience. The Keep Walking Nepal staff met me at the airport and were very welcoming as was Pemba and later Ang. They were willing to put in quite a lot of time to show me around their city prior to going on the walk and were sensitive to my needs as a fairly ignorant traveller in their country, ie in dealing with beggars and sellers of wares on the streets and bargaining in the shops.

As far as the trek went, it was wonderful. One of the big pluses of being the sole trekker was that I could virtually go at my own pace. I was reasonably fit but had asthma problems at times and guides were very accommodating of my slow moments. We obviously had destinations planned for each day and needed to achieve those but if I needed a rest there wasn’t pressure to keep pushing on, I was able to stop and take photos and they were happy to take photos of me if I asked, I think they actually offered to do that – as Pratap said “it’s your holiday”. Pratap and Lhakpa [guides]were also very helpful with some of the steeper steps and awkward moves on the trek, such as in deep snow or icy snow and would offer me a hand if needed and when I got sick they carried my day pack when I was struggling.

As the only trekker, I was able to ask many questions and learn a lot about the local culture, and Pratap was very good at volunteering information and explaining about things such as the mountains we could see, as well as flowers and plants we saw along the way. I also managed to learn quite a bit of Nepali language/phrases from them and some of the writing of numbers. They were willing to spend some time with me during the afternoons/evenings and taught me some card games, even a local folk song. I did teach them some things about Australia, a song and card game and stuff about my life in Australia, it was a good two-way exchange. I needed to be aware they needed some time out each day, particularly on the Holy Day holiday.

I was fortunate that I had a twin room to myself each night, so had plenty of room to spread out my belongings, I might have found that a lot harder if I’d been sharing the room, particularly with someone I didn’t know! My trip to Nepal was the first overseas trip in a long time and my first to a developing country, as well as my first solo trip (other than one to Tasmania) I’m reasonably happy in my own space but, do like company at times, so, even if Pratap and Lhakpa were busy elsewhere, there were often groups of other trekkers at the Lodges who spoke some or good English and I made friendly contact with a number of them and have exchanged some photos with a group in the Netherlands, I would also take time out to amuse myself with reading or sketching, but I’d probably do that in a group anyway.

I was quite surprised to be doing the trek by myself but in fact, had a wonderful holiday thanks to the lovely welcoming staff at Keep Walking Nepal. I would recommend it as a great holiday, fantastic opportunity to meet a whole new range of people and get some different experiences.

Sue Hurst

South Australia