In 2013, my wife Zettie, our daughter Nicolette and I decided that we would like to hike to the base camp of Mt. Everest in Nepal during April / May 2015.
We met Dipak Bastakoti of www.trek2himalayas.com during a visit to South Africa and soon after that, we began with the planning and preparation for the once-in-a-lifetime trip with Dipak as our guide.
We arrived in Kathmandu on 18 April and we were fortunate that, with Dipak’s guidance, we were able to visit various historical, cultural, and religious sights, which a week later were severely damaged or destroyed in the earthquake of 25 April 2015 which claimed thousands of lives in Nepal.
Form the moment we started walking from Lukla on the first day or our 17-day hike to the base camp of Mt. Everest via the Gokyo Lakes, the people and the countryside of Nepal made a huge impression on me. I think the beauty of the Himalayan Mountains has such a profound effect on its inhabitants that it clearly comes to the fore in the character of the Nepalese people. They are all gentle, friendly and very hard working. Although they have to live in harsh conditions, their love for the land and fellow human beings is there for all to see and experience.
What struck me most is the determination of the children to learn hard and qualify themselves for their future lives. We saw children of all ages daily walking vast distances over very difficult terrain to school and back. There is no other mode of transport available in the mountains where we hiked. Their sacrifice to reach the goal of a proper education is awe inspiring to say the least. With such grit and determination, a bright future for the Nepalese people is guaranteed.
We had first hand experience of the earthquakes that struck Nepal on 25 and 26 April 2015 in which thousands lost their lives. Many lost almost everything they had, but with their strength of character and their iron resolve, I have no doubt that Nepal will rise from the ruins once again and be a tourist destination that is unique in the world.
I can unreservedly and without any hesitation recommend a tour of any kind in Nepal under the expert guidance of Dipak. From the moment he met us at the airport in Kathmandu until he took us back for our departure, Dipak always went out of his way to make sure that we stay in the best Tea Houses, had the best rooms, ate the best food and enjoyed every minute. Despite the fact that the home of his elderly parents was completely destroyed in the earthquake and his wife and daughter had to sleep in the open in Kathmandu, Dipak refused to leave us and was committed to ensure that the remaining 12 days in the mountains were both enjoyable and problem free. This is surely the mark of a truly professional guide. A big thank you Dipak!
When we eventually had to leave Nepal with heavy hearts, but wonderful memories, the only way I knew to sum up my feelings was to tell Dipak that “Nepal has touched my soul ……..”
It remains so to this day.Neels Campher, South Africa| Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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