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Guides in Nepal

TravellingMan22

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese/Frances 2020/Norte 2021
Does anything know if the planned introduction of physical guides (people not books or apps!) that was due to be introduced on many Nepal treks last year went ahead? Seems to be a lot of confusion and not really getting a consolidated view via Google.
 
St James' Way - Self-guided 4-7 day Walking Packages, Reading to Southampton, 110 kms
Does anything know if the planned introduction of physical guides (people not books or apps!) that was due to be introduced on many Nepal treks last year went ahead? Seems to be a lot of confusion and not really getting a consolidated view via Google.
I walked in Nepal decades ago with a physical guide, ie a person. I walked solo, i.e. not in a group, but my memory is that the groups also had a guide. I thought it was the norm. Is this something different?
 
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I walked in Nepal decades ago with a physical guide, ie a person. I walked solo, i.e. not in a group, but my memory is that the groups also had a guide. I thought it was the norm. Is this something different?
Yes new rules were officially brought in from 1 Apr 2023 stating that to do the major walks, EBC, Annapurna, you had to go in a group, or indivually with a guide. I heard the implementation was slightly confused but not really heard anything since then!
 
St James' Way - Self-guided 4-7 day Walking Packages, Reading to Southampton, 110 kms
From what I have heard, it is now mandatory. Probably via the gov website you will find definitive proof but I have seen it mentioned on websites.
 
Thanks! It’s is more the ‘real world situation’ I am looking for, as it’s gone very quiet!
 
Yes new rules were officially brought in from 1 Apr 2023 stating that to do the major walks, EBC, Annapurna, you had to go in a group, or indivually with a guide. I heard the implementation was slightly confused but not really heard anything since then!
Wendy and I hiked the Annapurna Circuit + Sanctuary in 2008 on our own, an amazing experience! Strange to think that a guide is mandatory now — it would be a bit like making guides mandatory on the camino!
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Wendy and I hiked the Annapurna Circuit + Sanctuary in 2008 on our own, an amazing experience! Strange to think that a guide is mandatory now — it would be a bit like making guides mandatory on the camino!
Yes it’s new!! Trying to drive employment for the guides and reduced hiker risk which I get and that’s the upside. When I did EBC I was suprised you could do it without a guide… in fact I booked onto a small group of 5 with a guide as hadn’t realised could do it without one. That said one of the hikers collapsed and without the guide sorting out an immediate air rescue the chap would have probably died! Different game at 5000 metres!
 
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Wendy and I hiked the Annapurna Circuit + Sanctuary in 2008 on our own, an amazing experience!
That would have been great. I thought I was pretty adventurous back then (it was sometime in the 1990s?) when I walked solo with a guide and porter- maybe I would have gone 'guideless' if I were walking with someone else. The whole thing was arranged through very slow email exchanges with a local enterprise in Kathmandu. I recall that my 'dial up' connection from Sydney was painfully slow - and no doubt the connection from the other end even slower and less reliable. Once in Nepal, communication was tricky - no mobile phone, no whats app! And I did wonder if someone would show up on the appointed day. But, of course, they did.

I still recall when my guide arrived at the door of my small room in Pokhara and we set off. I had no idea what I was in for - I recall the first half hour was very steep and I wondered what I had done! My guide had arranged a porter who joined us from a village a few hours into the first day's walk. The idea of a porter made me feel quite uncomfortable. I wanted to carry my pack - and for the most part I was 'allowed to'. But there were a few times when I was grateful that my porter insisted on taking some of the weight. I was happy that at least his load looked much lighter than most I saw. From memory, we walked for about 8 days - it was wonderful. We three had long hugs when it was all over. I had formed a friendship with my guide who, thankfully for me, spoke reasonable English. Later back in Kathmandu, I was fortunate to meet his wife and children. We kept in touch for quite some time - via letters and postcards (it was well before social media and my guide did not have a personal email account) but, as often happens, we eventually lost touch.

Apologies for the digression - but this thread has brought back wonderful memories. Thank you @TravellingMan22
 
Ah Nepal! I did the Three Peaks, Three Passes October 2022 but with a group and a few guides. Very glad I did as it is much more remote than the standard EBC trek although on the way back we did stop at the EBC which was not earth moving after the incredible passes and Goyko lake.

A Forum member and avid hiker Sara Dhooma did the Three Passes trek in May 2023 and she did it without a guide, carrying all her gear by herself! She is the only one I know who has done it recently.
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
That would have been great. I thought I was pretty adventurous back then (it was sometime in the 1990s?) when I walked solo with a guide and porter- maybe I would have gone 'guideless' if I were walking with someone else. The whole thing was arranged through very slow email exchanges with a local enterprise in Kathmandu. I recall that my 'dial up' connection from Sydney was painfully slow - and no doubt the connection from the other end even slower and less reliable. Once in Nepal, communication was tricky - no mobile phone, no whats app! And I did wonder if someone would show up on the appointed day. But, of course, they did.

I still recall when my guide arrived at the door of my small room in Pokhara and we set off. I had no idea what I was in for - I recall the first half hour was very steep and I wondered what I had done! My guide had arranged a porter who joined us from a village a few hours into the first day's walk. The idea of a porter made me feel quite uncomfortable. I wanted to carry my pack - and for the most part I was 'allowed to'. But there were a few times when I was grateful that my porter insisted on taking some of the weight. I was happy that at least his load looked much lighter than most I saw. From memory, we walked for about 8 days - it was wonderful. We three had long hugs when it was all over. I had formed a friendship with my guide who, thankfully for me, spoke reasonable English. Later back in Kathmandu, I was fortunate to meet his wife and children. We kept in touch for quite some time - via letters and postcards (it was well before social media and my guide did not have a personal email account) but, as often happens, we eventually lost touch.

Apologies for the digression - but this thread has brought back wonderful memories. Thank you @TravellingMan22

I did this in (gulp) 1987. A friend and I hired a guide, who came with a porter, that we found (rather, who found us) as we were sitting in a cafe in Pokhara. According to the Lonely Planet guidebook of the day, that was how you did it, so that's how we did it. A solo guy at the cafe asked if he could join us and share the cost, and the three of us, plus the guide (Chandra) and the porter (Gahli), had a great adventure. I think we also walked for just about a week.

Some of my journal of that time:
-------------------------------------
*Leave for trek with Chandra. Long flat walk through populated area along river -- lunch at Eden Lodge in Suikhet. Then long steep climb to Dhampus Pass -- top of mountain. Stayed at Sunrise Lodge. Dean and Oliver were there. Had dinner.

*Woke up sick. Climbed to Kaare for lunch -- leeches everywhere so couldn't stop. Path not as well marked. Gahli waited for me. Meadow at top. Took shortcut to Kaare. Then easy walk to Nagadanda for eve. Beautiful view of the Himalayas, especially the next morning.

*Walked to Sanaogkot, then the trail went down, almost like Lombard Street -- very crooked. Saw cute guy, decided we wanted to meet him.
-------------------------------

Rereading this journal now, documenting 3 months traveling around the world, reminds me of how much this entire journey was in some ways like the Camino. Dean and Oliver mentioned above? Brits we ran into in Calcutta, Pokhara, and Srinigar. The "cute guy" was Patrick, a German who we hung out with back in Kathmandu, and ran into again in Istanbul. And then there was Gail who we first met in Hong Kong, then at a duck house in Beijing (China had only recently opened up for independent non-tour group travel and it seemed like there were maybe all of 10 of us western backpackers there, criss-crossing with each other to find the acrobatics halls, Peking Opera venues, etc. that were recommended in LP's first guide to the country), and finally in, of all places, Madrid!

Ah, the travels of youth ...
 
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I’ve been to Nepal 8 times and done most of the main treks and have a friend who owns a Trekking Company in Kathmandu. He says they still haven’t implemented the mandatory guide requirement so walking the popular routes of Everest Base Camp, 3 Passes, Annapurna Circuit, Annapurna Base Camp, Helambu, Gosaikunda Lake, and Langtang can still be done without a guide. Manaslu has always required a guide. I have walked all of those and have done Annapurna Circuit, Helambu, Gosaikunda and Langtang without a guide. The others are doable without a guide.
Does anything know if the planned introduction of physical guides (people not books or apps!) that was due to be introduced on many Nepal treks last year went ahead? Seems to be a lot of confusion and not really getting a consolidated view via Google.ve been to Nepal 8 times
 
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I’m another with many Nepal treks under my belt (and the bad knees to show for it). With the exception of one trip I always formed or joined scratch groups in Kathmandu. It’s more fun, safer and very easy to do. The exception, Langtang, which I did solo in winter, wasn’t nearly as enjoyable without people to share the experience. The main source for companions used to be the notice board on a wall of the Kathmandu Hotel in Thamel. I’m sure that will have changed but also, that googling and social media now serves the same purpose. Though I would always want to eyeball prospective companions before spending a two or three weeks walking with them, and I’m sure the same is true in reverse. But I will say that I didn’t ever end up in a ‘bad’ group, it didn’t matter how different we all were, we always seemed to get on well and have a good time.

My tip would be this. You really, really don’t need a guide for any of the major routes, a Lonely Planet guidebook is more than enough. But as you now have to use a guide, find one with whom you have an instant rapport and who sells themselves more as a ‘tour guide’ than navigator or porter. You will have then got yourself someone who can tell you all about what you’re seeing, walking through and so on and who can fix things if there’s a problem (rare). The right guide can transform your trip into the most wonderful, enriching experience.
 
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Wow. I am very impressed with those who have walked solo to EBC. Super-persons!!!!!
I walked half the Annapurna circuit clockwise to Muktinath in 2016 in a group with a wonderful guide. He stays in touch via Messenger. I at least would have needed a porter as I couldn’t carry all my own gear in those altitudes. We did meet a couple of solo walkers going in the opposite direction.
You have to be careful choosing guides. A few years ago I heard a story that some guides were moving their groups up to EBC too quickly so some would get altitude sickness, need to helicoptered out and the guide gets a percentage of the helicopter fee for creating some work’ for the helicopters. Mmmmm. Not sure if it’s true but we did meet a couple when returning from Tibet who became unwell and were basically abandoned to find their own way back home via $1000 helicopter ride.
 
Wow. I am very impressed with those who have walked solo to EBC. Super-persons!!!!!
I walked half the Annapurna circuit clockwise to Muktinath in 2016 in a group with a wonderful guide. He stays in touch via Messenger. I at least would have needed a porter as I couldn’t carry all my own gear in those altitudes. We did meet a couple of solo walkers going in the opposite direction.
You have to be careful choosing guides. A few years ago I heard a story that some guides were moving their groups up to EBC too quickly so some would get altitude sickness, need to helicoptered out and the guide gets a percentage of the helicopter fee for creating some work’ for the helicopters. Mmmmm. Not sure if it’s true but we did meet a couple when returning from Tibet who became unwell and were basically abandoned to find their own way back home via $1000 helicopter ride.

It would be very disappointing if that kind of unscrupulous behaviour was happening. What I held back from saying, because 99% of Nepalese people are simply lovely, is that you really don’t want a guide who is going to determine the daily legs, the lodges to be used, and other such things. You need to be in the driving seat. This is why I’ve never used a porter, because you make yourself dependent. I’d do that on a guided group trip, but not solo. Apart from which, I wouldn’t ever relish being a people manager for my precious 3 weeks holiday, I do that as a day job!

A decent guide will be more than content to give you (good) advice but to go with your decisions. But I have seen people being steered by guides/porters to use lodges because the guide gets freebies, or walked to the guide or porters agenda. If you do your homework you’re very unlikely to get oedema. But if you fly to Lukla and hoof it up Dingboche or Pheriche without at least a couple of days in Namche or Tengboche for acclimatisation, you may well get a very nasty headache and AMS. There’s a very, very simple solution that will avoid choppers etc; if you start feeling very ill, just go back down a bit. You only need to lose 300 or 400 meters of altitude to feel a whole lot better, and you can have another go a day or two later.

For the EBC trek I’d throw in some observations based on what I’ve done and seeing many, many people fly straight in to Lukla on a tight timeframe.

- I don’t see the point of EBC as the goal…. and neither will you. By that, I mean you won’t see Everest from EBC, it’s hidden behind Changtse, a relatively minor peak. If you want the most breathtaking views, go to Gokyo and climb Gokyo Ri. Closer in, climb Kala Pattar. Personally, I think Gokyo Ri is the better choice as you get the ‘picture postcard’ panorama of Cho Oyu on one side, then Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and I think Makalu to the other side. Both hills are easy walks, but you’ll be puffing due to the altitude. Nobody who’s been there will be in the least impressed that you went to EBC itself!

- Walk in from Jiri if at all possible. The most beautiful part of the Everest trek is the foothills up to Lukla. It’s lush, verdant, hugely varied and the high Himalaya is revealed to you bit by bit. You’ll have 7 nights in comfy lodges where you’ll eat well and sleep like a log. If you fly in to Lukla, you’ll be giving most of your attention to getting up those never-ending ascents (whereas, if you’ve walked in, they don’t feel so tough). Once you’re above the snow line it’s sterile and lifeless. Nothing lives above about 4500 metres. It’s spectacular but often quite uncomfortable and unenjoyable. Sleep can be difficult. Food doesn’t taste very nice. Just going for a wee at 2am requires an act of will. I’ve done that journey several times now and pretty much all my best memories are of places like Junbesi, Bhandar, Chaunrikarkar, well before going high.
 
Thanks for all the great stores and observations, and information here, especially that the ‘mandatory guide’ is not quite what it seems yet. I have done the EBC of worldwide fame, but keen to do a bit more meandering and seeing some of the best of the area, and not just the most hyped, though I loved EBC and have a million stories.

I am a natural slow walker which I think has helped re the altitude but it something I will consider moving forward. Keep the stories coming!
 
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€46,-
Thanks for all the great stores and observations, and information here, especially that the ‘mandatory guide’ is not quite what it seems yet. I have done the EBC of worldwide fame, but keen to do a bit more meandering and seeing some of the best of the area, and not just the most hyped, though I loved EBC and have a million stories.

I am a natural slow walker which I think has helped re the altitude but it something I will consider moving forward. Keep the stories coming!
After 8 trips and many treks in Nepal I wrote a post that may be of help in selecting a trek:
Which Nepal Trek Is Best For You.
The following treks are summarized:
-Everest Base Camp
-Annapurna Circuit
-Annapurna Base Camp
-Upper Mustang
-Gokyo Lake
-The 3 Passes
-Manaslu and Tsum Valley
-Langtang
-Gosaikunda Lake
-Helambu
-Poon Hill
 
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ISleep can be difficult. Food doesn’t taste very nice. Just going for a wee at 2am requires an act of will.
Thanks for the memories 🤣.
Walking in altitude is unimaginable until you have done it
Day 2 on my 3 day walk around Mt Kailas in Tibet I thought …. Camino - ha - walk in the park compared to this.
But a most memorable experience- I went back twice more.
 
Thanks for the memories 🤣.
Walking in altitude is unimaginable until you have done it
Day 2 on my 3 day walk around Mt Kailas in Tibet I thought …. Camino - ha - walk in the park compared to this.
But a most memorable experience- I went back twice more.
I remember landing in La Paz once, the highest major city on world, and a fair few arriving passengers were in a bad way just walking out the terminal! One girl was being sick!! I remember running up just a few steps there in a market just to catch a lift and I had to really catch my breath!
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
After 8 trips and many treks in Nepal I wrote a post that may be of help in selecting a trek:
Which Nepal Trek Is Best For You.
The following treks are summarized:
-Everest Base Camp
-Annapurna Circuit
-Annapurna Base Camp
-Upper Mustang
-Gokyo Lake
-The 3 Passes
-Manaslu and Tsum Valley
-Langtang
-Gosaikunda Lake
-Helambu
-Poon Hill
Great list! I really appreciate it and all your other info!!
 
I remember landing in La Paz once, the highest major city on world, and a fair few arriving passengers were in a bad way just walking out the terminal! One girl was being sick!! I remember running up just a few steps there in a market just to catch a lift and I had to really catch my breath!
I hear ya. I didn't have the same issue in La Paz, maybe because it was late in my time in Peru and Bolivia and I'd acclimatised by then. Also altitude sickness is such a personal thing - and seemingly bears no connection to your level of fitness or whether you've taken medication or not - just luck of the draw? I didn't suffer from it but my sister with whom I travelled was quite ill for a few days.

Early in that trip we walked the Inca Trail, with a few days in Cuzco beforehand. On the trail, I recall the second day involved a serious altitude gain. It was pretty tough going. I was in a small group which included two young Danish guys. They were sprinting ahead most of the time. And then stopping frequently for 'smoko' breaks. Given that some around them could barely breathe - it was a surprising sight. But they seemed none the worse for wear.
 
I hear ya. I didn't have the same issue in La Paz, maybe because it was late in my time in Peru and Bolivia and I'd acclimatised by then. Also altitude sickness is such a personal thing - and seemingly bears no connection to your level of fitness or whether you've taken medication or not - just luck of the draw? I didn't suffer from it but my sister with whom I travelled was quite ill for a few days.

Early in that trip we walked the Inca Trail, with a few days in Cuzco beforehand. On the trail, I recall the second day involved a serious altitude gain. It was pretty tough going. I was in a small group which included two young Danish guys. They were sprinting ahead most of the time. And then stopping frequently for 'smoko' breaks. Given that some around them could barely breathe - it was a surprising sight. But they seemed none the worse for wear.
Reminds me of a trek >4000mts where a youngish chap, was a bit too confident and moaning that we were all too slow so he got a move on. A few hours later he was coming down on a stretcher! Thankfully he was fine with the the damage being to his ego.

I arrived in La Paz from Europe, probably Madrid and certainly felt it on arrival! But was ok. I certainly agree it’s nothing to do with fitness. In fact it was the younger fit folks who were struggling as they went up quicker.

On the ‘Kilimanjaro trek’ you hear the phrase ‘pole pole’ (pronouned poley poley) non stop as it means ‘slowly slowly’! I am naturally a slow walker so that’s great for me!
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Early in that trip we walked the Inca Trail, with a few days in Cuzco beforehand. On the trail, I recall the second day involved a serious altitude gain. It was pretty tough going. I was in a small group which included two young Danish guys. They were sprinting ahead most of the time. And then stopping frequently for 'smoko' breaks. Given that some around them could barely breathe - it was a surprising sight. But they seemed none the worse for wear.
I did the same “hire a guide at a cafe” for the Inca Trail and joined up with another woman who had flown direct from home to Lima then Cuzco that morning and we started the next morning. That first night we had to visit the campsite of one of those fancy expensive tours for oxygen for her and she went back to Cuzco the next morning.
 
Does anything know if the planned introduction of physical guides (people not books or apps!) that was due to be introduced on many Nepal treks last year went ahead? Seems to be a lot of confusion and not really getting a consolidated view via Google.
I hiked the Annapurna Circuit in November. We had the most wonderful guide (if you ever want a recommendation). That said, I'd say about 90% of the people we met were using guides. Another 10% were not. I think implementation of the new rule is not being inforced 100%. While we were trekking, 2 groups needed helicopter rescue. One after an avalanche knocked someone off the trail literally 5 minutes behind me. I can't imagine not having a knowledgeable guide in that situation. Hope this helps.
 
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As it was my first trip to Nepal in 2022 and besides having done the amazing Huayhuash trail in Peru in 2018, I had never climbed over 5,050 meters so I was very glad to have the company and expertise of a guide.

I also had never climbed at altitude with ice and snow necessitating crampons so I personally disagree with those who posted that the Three Passes (ours included also 3 Peaks) can easily be done alone. I certainly would not risk it unless you are experienced! I went in October (off season) and we met up with very few trekkers after leaving Namche Bazaar and up until Goyko Lake.
Just my 2 cents 😉
 
Thanks again to everyone for some great stories and especially for the very specific answer to my question (which was the answer I was hoping for!).

A few bits and pieces.

I know there was a joke about mandating a guide on the Camino. Hopefully it will never come to that and I am sure it won’t. That said one post talked about doing the Inca Trail ‘off the cuff’. Way back when I am guessing. To do the trail nowadays you need a permit and I am sensing the ability to do stuff ‘off the cuff’ may recede as we move forward, for a number of reasons. I saw an article yesterday about mandating the removal of personal human waste on Mount Everest (I.e take it back down to base camp) so I guess peoples behaviours and futures freedoms are going to be heavily linked.


Re altitude.. I took a cable car ride yesterday up to 3,143 metres. On leaving the car my head was very light, I even had a slight wobble. I was ok quite quickly but again felt quite nauseous when I retuned to the lower level! Brought back memories.
 
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Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
Does anything know if the planned introduction of physical guides (people not books or apps!) that was due to be introduced on many Nepal treks last year went ahead? Seems to be a lot of confusion and not really getting a consolidated view via Google.
I have trekked with with friends in Nepal four different times, always with a guide and porters.. The porters carried our luggage since the terrain is not conducive to vehicles. In the Everest area the porters are usually Sherpas but not so in other areas. Guides were not mandatory when we trekked but they were strongly recommended due to people getting lost as well as natural disasters such as the earthquake in 2015. There are many trekking companies who will arrange a guide (and porters). We used a company called Earthbound Expeditions based in Kathmandu and were very happy with their service.
 
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Yes new rules were officially brought in from 1 Apr 2023 stating that to do the major walks, EBC, Annapurna, you had to go in a group, or indivually with a guide. I heard the implementation was slightly confused but not really heard anything since then!
I was on Everest walk last nov and word out there is that after a month these rules were implemented the authorities gave up checking that the rules were being carried out. They only applied to Annapurna, and associated walks and Langtang and that area. Everest area refused to bring this law in. Therefore so many experienced walkers and young back packer boycotted the western walks and all headed to Everest region obviously to save money and or to remain independent. However there is word out officials may try again to enforce the rules later next year!
 
I was on Everest walk last nov and word out there is that after a month these rules were implemented the authorities gave up checking that the rules were being carried out. They only applied to Annapurna, and associated walks and Langtang and that area. Everest area refused to bring this law in. Therefore so many experienced walkers and young back packer boycotted the western walks and all headed to Everest region obviously to save money and or to remain independent. However there is word out officials may try again to enforce the rules later next year!
To add to my comments I beleive the Annapurna and Langtang Tea house owners are struggling financially because of this law because of downturn in business and therefore there is a chance that it wont be reinstated that need a guide.
 
To add to my comments I beleive the Annapurna and Langtang Tea house owners are struggling financially because of this law because of downturn in business and therefore there is a chance that it wont be reinstated that need a guide.
Thank you! Yes it a tough one. I don’t really want to have a guide though walking alone at 4-5k metres carries risk! Whilst I understand the need to support local guides, to me mandating a guide will put loads of people off. There will always folks that want a guide of course but the archetypal backpacker / trekker values independence over almost anything else.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I have read that the regional government for the Everest region has opted not to implement the new regulation. I'd make sure before heading out / planning though
 
Apologies for the digression - but this thread has brought back wonderful memories.
@Pelerina, I mostly just skimmed reading this thread as I will not be going to Nepal in the balance of my lifetime, but totally relate to those who have hiked in Nepal and are excited to recall and share their wonderful memories. I think many of us occasionally digress on threads; I know I do.
Efren Gonzales has walked this route in 2023 and he also had what seemed to be a private guide.
Anyway...I always enjoy reading Camino stories on the forum as they often trigger my own happy memories.
 
I did this in (gulp) 1987. A friend and I hired a guide, who came with a porter, that we found (rather, who found us) as we were sitting in a cafe in Pokhara. According to the Lonely Planet guidebook of the day, that was how you did it, so that's how we did it. A solo guy at the cafe asked if he could join us and share the cost, and the three of us, plus the guide (Chandra) and the porter (Gahli), had a great adventure. I think we also walked for just about a week.

Some of my journal of that time:
-------------------------------------
*Leave for trek with Chandra. Long flat walk through populated area along river -- lunch at Eden Lodge in Suikhet. Then long steep climb to Dhampus Pass -- top of mountain. Stayed at Sunrise Lodge. Dean and Oliver were there. Had dinner.

*Woke up sick. Climbed to Kaare for lunch -- leeches everywhere so couldn't stop. Path not as well marked. Gahli waited for me. Meadow at top. Took shortcut to Kaare. Then easy walk to Nagadanda for eve. Beautiful view of the Himalayas, especially the next morning.

*Walked to Sanaogkot, then the trail went down, almost like Lombard Street -- very crooked. Saw cute guy, decided we wanted to meet him.
-------------------------------

Rereading this journal now, documenting 3 months traveling around the world, reminds me of how much this entire journey was in some ways like the Camino. Dean and Oliver mentioned above? Brits we ran into in Calcutta, Pokhara, and Srinigar. The "cute guy" was Patrick, a German who we hung out with back in Kathmandu, and ran into again in Istanbul. And then there was Gail who we first met in Hong Kong, then at a duck house in Beijing (China had only recently opened up for independent non-tour group travel and it seemed like there were maybe all of 10 of us western backpackers there, criss-crossing with each other to find the acrobatics halls, Peking Opera venues, etc. that were recommended in LP's first guide to the country), and finally in, of all places, Madrid!

Ah, the travels of youth ...
Yes those were the days!
 
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