It may seem strange that anyone can write about a part of Nepal, especially in the Everest region that goes unnoticed by most trekkers. Many, many people trek to Everest Base Camp each year and the normal route is to fly into Lukla and then walk on up to Namche Bazaar. They then head further up to see the wonders of the beautiful mountains and visit Everest Base Camp.
There is, however, an alternative route, the Jiri to Namche Bazaar trek. It takes 10 days and wanders through the picturesque farming lands that make up the foothills of the Everest region, the SoluKhumbu. This trek, starting in Jiri, can be added onto the beginning of any trek that is heading up into the Everest region instead of flying straight to Lukla and walking for two days to Namche Bazaar. It helps with acclimatisation and by the time you reach Namche Bazaar you are well and truly trekking fit.
You do need to have the time to walk this track as it takes 10 to 12 days but it shows off the real Nepal. You will walk with local people going about their daily work and see more of what makes Nepal so special. The track passes through farming land and small, picturesque villages. People work outside, tending their animals, making baskets and gardening. As you walk you will see small businesses making components for building houses. We saw roof trusses being produced in one place and windows in another.
We walked along rural tracks that the Nepali used to take their goods to market and exchanged greetings with everyone we met along the way.
We stayed in the homes of locals and ate with the family in the kitchens. Food was prepared from ingredients fresh from their farm and cooked on an open fire. We ate eggs that were laid by the hens we saw happily wandering around each farmyard and freshly prepared Tibetan bread each morning. Every kitchen was scrupulously clean and filled with rows of sparkling pots and pans and dinnerware. Often it was hard to leave the hospitality of our host family.
At times the walking was challenging as there were three passes to cross on the way but all walking is challenging in Nepal! The track varied from beautiful balcony walks on the hillsides in the sunshine to winding, dark and sometimes damp forest in the valleys. There were suspension bridges across each river and they were solidly constructed and easy to cross, much to my delight. Beautiful villages were seen through the trees or across the valley, often beside a river and entered via a bridge. We saw school children taking their lessons in the sun, studiously working with their teacher looking on. In one village, the local Monks invited us to a Puja Ceremony. It was great privilege to sit with them and drink tea.
As the days progressed we went up and over the three passes, two covered in snow, and saw inspiring views every time the track turned. We met some lovely people along the way and saw aspects of Nepali life that we would not have if we had flown into Lukla from Kathmandu.
We used a trekking company in Kathmandu that we found by word of mouth and also reviews on the Internet and they provided a guide and a porter who made our trek a truly enjoyable time.
If you would like to know more or ask a question about this trek or trekking in general please contact me below.