Trekking with Sherpas

Photo story by Naomi Sherer

Tourism became an essential part of Nepal's economy when people came to climb
Mt Everest,
the Mother of the World.
Trekkers wanted hot fires
and trees were chopped away.
Tourists brought wonderous things
and people dreamed.
By the time Sir Edmund Hillary scaled the highest mountain
he had lived among the Sherpas enough to know
they needed education and alternatives to prevent total destruction
of their unique and beautiful land by tourists.
He built schools and they learn in their own language.

Fields were carefully tended Folkways Institute hosted this Elderhostel. From Lukla we could see fallow fields on the plateau. Our guide took us to his home for Yak tea. Yum-m! The strong drink was made from a black tea and flavored with salt and yak milk.
Sherpas carried equipment on  their backs Our cooks hurried ahead with fuel to heat water which they fetched at the site in those large lightweight aluminum utensils. They carried more than their weight in equipment and supplies after we reached a height where the yaks were no longer used.
Namche held a bazaar every Saturday Sagamantha Park museum was a long steep walk on paths carved above Namche on the mountain side. Sir Edmund Hillary worked to save Nepal's trees. He quickly realized that although trekkers helped the economy they also demanded more heat which rapidly depleted the forest.
Fresh meat arrived on the hoof In Namche's bazaar vendors displayed grains, which they carried up steep trails. Buffalo, chickens and goats were herded up the trail and were slaughtered for sale. A buyer couldn't ask for fresher meat.
Sturdy bridge with no railing Walking across the river was scary sometimes. This bridge was solid as few others were. Most swung across chasms protected by prayer flags hung on the tenuous guard rails.
Breached lake wiped out construction site The Milk river was crossed by many bridges. We skirted this washout that occurred when an earthquake breached a lake above it years ago. Japan developers lost material and pulled out of the region to open a hotel on safer ground.
Snowfall and 20 degrees F kept us in camp for 2 days Snow fell during the night we stayed near one of Sir Hillary's schools. We woke in 20 F. Our well-clad feet made deep paths in the snow but our Sherpas wore only sandals and stayed inside. We sang and danced with Sherpas in a teahouse until the trail dried enough for safe walking for the barefoot guides.
Sherpa child carries hisown baxket This child had his own basket in which he gathered and carried leaves to mix with the human waste on the upper end of the garden.

These photos illustrate the places described in my novel of intrigue and romance



[Home] [What's New] [Products & Services] [Feedback]

Send mail to Webmaster regarding any questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 1997 - 2010 - Salmon River Gazette - All Rights Reserved

Last Modified: Thursday, 02-Feb-2006 20:09:47 EST