Tel Hai’s President, Dave Shenk, is on a 3-week trek through Nepal. This is the first blog posting of his adventures. Check back to the Tel Hai blog often for an update on Dave’s journey!
We arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal on Qatar Airlines on April 24 and enjoyed the culture, chaos, and hustle bustle of Nepal’s capital city for a day. The next day, we took a very rough seven hour “Jeep” ride to the trailhead to begin our 11-day trek in the Annapurna mountain range.
Several immediate things come to mind. We take so much for granted in the developed world – things such as running water that is safe to drink, electricity, heated rooms, internet access. None of these were consistently available, it at all, in many of the villages we stayed in. I was so impressed with the resourcefulness of Nepali people in spite of the lack of means. It reminded me of how much we have and the choices that we have because of our wealth.
I was also very aware of how important the role of religion is in the daily lives of the people here. Nepali’s are primarily Buddhists and Hindus. Throughout large cities and tiny villages, we saw people praying at temples, shrines, stupas, and other holy places.
Trekking 8 to 12 miles a day was an amazing adventure and the hardest physical exertion that I experienced in my life. Several days we climbed over 3,000 of elevation with the highest day yesterday at Thorong La Pass at 17,769 feet before descending 6,000 feet. Temperatures dipped into the 20’s and we hiked most of one day in snow.
The views of the Annapurna range were incredible and will never be forgotten. The snow-capped mountains are beautiful from every angle as we trekked around and through different valleys and mountain slopes.
Seven sherpas and porters supported the eight trekkers in our group. They acted as guides, cooks, interpreters, and carried about 90-pounds of gear and we only carried day packs with 12 to 15 pounds of water, snacks, extra jacket layers, etc.
The local folks in the small villages along the way were very hospitable and the food was outstanding. There were staples of rice, curry, dal, etc. on a daily basis. I look forward to a return to the United States on May 12th and seeing everyone again. And a hot shower and a hamburger might be nice as well!
President & CEO
Tel Hai Retirement Community
Photos include the Annapurna mountain range and Dendi Sherpa, our Nepal trekking guide!