Patagonia and/or Nepal
Hi people. Did one of you guys ever tramped in those countries? Would you like to share some experience if you did ? If you have 3 weeks off from work which one would you choose and why?
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that may be so but the forum rules don't support statements endorsing breaking the law.. I cant say i like those laws,
Another way of thinking about this. Nepal is a very poor country and its main source of income is tourism. How do we all feel when we find tourists not paying hut fees etc. Its exactly the same in Nepal except there peoples livelyhoods do depend on it. Here a tourism worker that gets laid off can just go on the dole. There is no dole over there so if you dont have work you dont eat. Do lots of research before you sign up and pay though. Its very hard to employ a guide directly so you have to go through a travel company and some of them treat the guides like yak leavings. Every $100 you pay the travel company for the guide he gets $5. Most of these companies are not Nepally run.
That's not breaking the law Wayne that is the law you don't know what your talking about. I was just trying to be nice. Here's the law. You buy a Tims card guided or not. It's 1000 rupee guided or 2000 solo. At the beginning of any trek be it everest base camp, annapurna circuit or what ever there are armed govt workers who check your tims card (mine still has pride of place in my bedside table). It has your photo and details etc. After every couple days you will come across another checkpoint. It is almost impossible to avoid these. You need a Tims card. I went solo as I like doing things myself, plus the companies that do the guided trips don't pay guides and porters jack all. I spent my cash on the family owned lodges each night I bought Thali and chai tea. I had showers when offered. My money was spent local. Going independant is not breaking the law it is the law in all the main trekking areas. It's easy to spew info searched online but better to have info from people who have had first hand experience.
I dont doubt what the rules were when you weren there. read the neplalese govt websites, the laws have changed, in some regions it is now breaking the law now to go without a guide and at least two trekkers and paying a big fee. its a recent law... it was mentioned on various outdoors websites not so long ago.
Nepal is fantastic. Cheap and interesting. I did the Annapurna Circuit and Poon Hill and Annapurna Base Camp in mid winter. It was intensely cold (-25degC overnight one time!) but clear and hardly any people. We started with a guide but he was no help, and was slightly annoying, so we paid him the whole fee plus a bonus and paid for his bus back home. Seeya! It was so much nicer with no guide. It's true the rules have changed somewhat, but only the most remote trails need a guide. 99% of trampers won't go to those places, they're remote and difficult to get to, and mostly near the border with China. You can sort your Timms card in Kathmandu or Pokhara in one morning. Or more likely one day, since you'll probably have to go back to your hotel for something you've forgotten.
I've been looking on the Three passes trek (which touch the Everest base camp) and apparently you can do it even without guide. I don't know how much you will save...but if the difference is small I'll rather to have someone local that can introduce to the culture too. Plus apparently is better to book locally rather than doing it online..you will save a lot of money
I've done it solo it's a stunning trek. Being alone in that environment is a truly magnificent experience. Buy a timms card in Kathmandu. Book return tickets to lukla from Kathmandu online giving yourself 15-18 days. Go slow and take the recommended rest days to acclimatise. I went to base camp and climbed kala patar twice. I climbed gokyu ri twice too. You have to put in the effort for the good pics. Leave super early to get places to yourself being there without another soul around was a really powerful experience. Go two weeks before the September hordes arrive. That's when you can mix with locals. I had trails and lodges to myself, except with locals. Going in a tour group with a guide and porters looked like a horrible way to have that experience. I can give you more details if you were seriously considering this trek.
I've been to Nepal a few times now and have never hired a guide until the last trip where I went to an area that was a bit more off the beaten track. It was a different experience having a guide and a porter from what us New Zealand'ers are used to but it was great you get involved a lot more with the people. They know which lodges take their hygiene seriously. For $20 a day they take a lot of the hassle out of it. They become friends for life. Unfortunately my guide died in the earthquake. When I go back again I'll hire a guide again. They may be a lot of dodgy guides around but mine was excellent.
Didn't tramp here, but was on one of the Ayahuasca retreats in Peru. But it wasn't a place where you talk a lot, more meditation, so maybe it counts. https://dmt.vision/en/ this retreat, as I remember.
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