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Trekking trails half-full… at least not half empty

Sunday, October 25th, 2015
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Photos by SHANKAR DAHAL

Despite predictions that Nepal’s tourism industry would collapse due to the earthquake, the real damage has been done by the Indian blockade. Even so, some of the trails like the Everest and the Annapurna regions which were not so badly affected by the April earthquake are seeing healthy traffic.

There is considerable trekking traffic along the Everest trail, with about 12 flights every morning from Kathmandu to Lukla. In the peak season last year there were sometimes up to 30 flights a day. Lodges along the way say they are seeing half the number of tourists as in normal times, and admit their real problem is the shortage of cooking gas.

The entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park used to see up to 200 trekkers per day during the peak season last year. Park authorities say the figure is down by 50 per cent this year.

 

Trekking in Lukla

Donkeys carry empty gas cylinders to Lukla and Phaplu.

Lukla to Namche Trekking

Yaks carrying food and trekking gears towards Everest Base camp.

Lukla to Namche Trekking

Bhakta Bahadur Tamang, 32, carrying 90 kg on his back to Namche from Lukla. He is paid Rs 25 per kg per day.

Tourists on the Lukla-Namche trekking route in Khumbu region this week.

Tourists on the Lukla-Namche trekking route in Khumbu region this week.

Lukla to Namche Trekking

This landslide damaged the trekking trail near Phakding, but has been repaired. Most other trails are intact.

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