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Carlo Cifiello

Trekking in Nepal
October 2005

It has always been a dream of ours to go trekking in the Himalayas. Our experience has been mainly in the Alps so we couldn’t wait to see what we were missing!

Friends of ours from Dhaka (The Grays and The Leaches) had done a similar trekking with their children 6 months earlier and highly recommended Tenji Sherpa from Sherpa Brothers Trekking Company.

We contacted three companies, noting that we wanted to stay away from the tourists and camp in tents for a 4-day trek from Pohkara. We would be two families with 5 children ages 1-8 years old. Tenji’s company was willing to take us on and gave us a fair quote so off we went. He was even able to make the local hotel reservations and store our luggage in Kathmandu that we would not need on the trek. We weren’t sure exactly what to expect.

However, it was a bit of a surprise when we walked straight out of the airport and continued on foot for our 4-day trek in a loop (never seeing any other trekkers) which eventually brought us back to Pohkara.

Our walking experiences among the adults ranged but that made no difference as there was always a member of Tenji’s team up front and someone in back in case of any difficulties.

Two days straight up … and we never seemed to go down. The trekking pace to keep up with the sherpas,wearing only flip flops, was incredible. Many of the children were carried in baskets by porters or walked,holding a porter’s hand as the terrain was quite rough. At first, we tried to keep up, a test or our endurance!

We quickly felt safe to let the children go ahead up the paths with them while we walked a little slower behind. Slipping on rocks or pulling leaches off our boots, there was always a hand to help before we even needed to ask.

From the very beginning, the children were drawn to the friendly sherpas; they would walk holding their hands, play with them at breaks, or take a ride in the basket when they wanted to have to break from the rigorous trails. Even the 4-5 year olds, walked for 2 hour stretches or even ran up stairs at times!

Our youngest trekker at one sat in an infant carrier with a porter carrying an umbrella over his head at all times to shield him from sun and rain. He did get his exercise by running around the camp grounds and in and out of the tent during meals and at the end of the day’s trek.

Mornings we were awakened to tea being brought to our tents and a wash bowl. We would dress for the day, quickly repack and then sit down to a lovely breakfast. A quick break and then we were off again for another day of trekking, ignoring the tight calf muscles and taking in the snow capped mountains and lake views. Though it was definitely difficult on the legs and the mind, it was also an incredible experience refreshing our minds and our spirits. We tackled leeches, slippery rocks, rickety bridges and aching muscles. We felt stronger in spirit and in body, closer to nature and very bonded with our trekking team.

We enjoyed this experience immensely.The kindness of the entire team made this a powerful experience and a memorable October break for all of us! He was very flexible with us on dates and our children’s needs. He can arrange longor short trips.

We will certainly be going back again!

From the Cifiello’s and Matsaert’s

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