I arrived to Nepal to meet my friend Jude G (review below) with little idea about Nepal, Annapurna trekking and what it would be like. Firstly, Bishnu the office manager met with us on a Saturday afternoon, outside of his work hours to talk us through some options. He arranged us to visit a monastery as well as to the Annapurna trail to suit our needs (both timing and distances). Bishnu planned our trek for us with very little organisation required from us which was perfect. Our guide Phura was to me, so much more than a guide. As a Sherpa he takes his duty very consuentciously. Not only does he share knowledge and insights, he helped me with the descent down, and was a helpful singing buddy passing those hours trekking. We had a lot more fun on this trek than expected. The lodges in the villages were more comfortable than imagined. Our guide really was exceptional, even reaching out to help others who didn’t have guides and were underprepared for the journey.
How lucky we were! I would just really question why any trekker wouldn’t get a guide to share in local traditions (like Rhaksi local wine) or Tibetan tea, which were only able to be arranged through his social and language skills. We were able to relax mentally to give our energy to the task of a trek as well as the lovely evening hours socialising with the Sherpas and other trekkers. I didn’t expect to be so well supported on a personal level and the guide support really meant so much that I couldn’t imagine trekking again without his company. Nepal is meant to be the most re-visited country on earth, and with all my interactions with this company and the relationships they build, I can easily see long lasting connections and future returns to Nepal!