Treks in the Annapurna and the Annapurna Base Camp trek in particular are a cultural melting point of people of various nationalities, cultures, languages and trekking styles.
From the Nepal Tourism Board office in Kathmandu where the permits have to be picked up till the point you exit Nepal, a milieu of people in all packages and sizes will keep cutting across your path. These memories will stay back as much as the experience of achieving your trek targets.
I had wonderful discussions with a cherubic Aussie regarding Nepal’s economy, a German regarding the Syrian refugee crisis, an American regarding the Presidential primaries, a Finnish family regarding the best way to reach Nepal, local people regarding Nepal and their politics, an Italian about life in general and so on. There is everyone from across the world; Spanish, Italians, Portuguese, Koreans, Japanese, Canadians, Russians besides the usual suspects.
The best way to do it is stop and greet them with the traditional “Namaste” on the trail. But what works better is to ask them if they have had a long day. Every “Long day, huh?” from my side would immediately make the other person stop, smile and tell me what they did in the day.
Maybe the best nugget was from someone I forget regarding why there were so many Malaysians on the trail. He said it was because Air Asia, the economy carrier has made prices so affordable, that Malaysians are flying more than ever. Is that true? I have no idea.
The revelation of the trip was from the Aussie. He comes, shows me the newspaper and asks, “What is the biggest source of foreign currency in Nepal?”
No, it is not tourism. It is from foreign aid workers working in Nepal. Touché.