Although we had never visited Nepal before, we decided our first trek would be in Dolpo. We wanted to start with the very remote and the very best. Where’s next? Not yet sure but…
It was important to us that our trek should be organized and led by local people. In such remote areas, we knew we wanted to visit this most awe-inspiring of landscapes but equally, we wanted to support the local economy where income generation opportunities are limited.
The itinerary planning and preparation were excellent, with a very friendly welcome and support during our stay in Kathmandu. Our airport transfers and internal flights were well organized and even when the outgoing and return flights to and from Dolpo were canceled at the last minute, staff in Kathmandu and Nepalgunj ensured travel and our return to Kathmandu were both easy and straightforward. It could easily have been very difficult and stressful.
The trek staff team were all, without exception, very knowledgeable, thoughtful and constantly cheerful throughout our trek. The entire team made our trek an absolute pleasure, looked after us very courteously and gave us an experience we will not forget.
We owed much of the fun and comfort of the trek to our guide. Having worked in the Dolpa region, he knew the route very well, knew people along the route and enabled us to visit local places of interest to us that we would not have been able to visit otherwise. This meant we talked to lamas at the gompas we passed and traditional amchi healers in local clinics. Even with unexpected heavy and early snowfall that caused such problems in the Annapurna range, and which made conditions in Dolpo more difficult, Pemba was very calm, managed to raise some smiles and ensured we all reached the next campsite safely.
Everyone said the Dolpa would change us. And it did. Renewing our perspective on life, ecology, and landscape, it opened our eyes to the ways that people and landscape mould each other. We were inspired by the people we met and the way they wrest a livelihood in the most challenging of environments. Their inspirational lives and the Dolpolandscape and wildlife will live on in our memories for years to come.
-By Deborah Lang and Dominic Habron, Scotland