Monday, December 3, 2007

The Ganesh Himal

Above is a clip from a 2007 trek in the Ganesh Himal region of Nepal. It's a fairly obscure trek...we didn't see any foreign faces for almost 2 weeks. The locals told us there were a couple of Japanese dudes a few days ahead of us on the trail.

The Ganesh Himal is sandwiched between two more popular destinations, Langtang and Manaslu. You lose a bit in terms of challenging trekking (we never got over 14,000 feet) and spectacular views, but you do get the chance to experience Tamang culture that has had very little exposure to foreigners. Some of these areas are accessible by bus...we found ourselves crossing over dirt roads on a couple of occasions, which does diminish the sensation of being utterly isolated. On the other hand, adventurous travelers could cover a lot of ground via mountain bike in this region of the Himalayas, something that would be near-impossible on the more popular treks (Annapurna, Everest, Helambu, etc.).

Opening the trekking guides, you see some very well delineated travel plans for particular regions. That's nice, but the truth is that the mountain villages are hugely interlinked via trails, and there's usually no reason you can't espy a particular location in the distant mountains, go there, and then plot a new route back to Kathmandu. It's all subject to time limitations, your trekking permit, and safety considerations, of course.

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