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In the Footsteps of Hilary...celebrating 60 years of the first summit
By George McGowan
29 December 2013

In May this year I won a trip to my favourite holiday destination of Nepal. The trip was the 60th Anniversary Everest Base Camp Trek for 19 days, won through a competition with World Expeditions / Thai Airways International. I had about two weeks notice to prepare for the trip between the time I was notified of winning & the time I flew out of Australia. Luckily for me I was prepared, as I had already started my fitness preparation earlier in the year as I was preparing to travel to Nepal in September to trek in the Annapurna region.

The last time I was in Nepal was two years ago. The feeling I had when arriving in Nepal this year, was the same feeling I had the last time I was in Nepal. Pure excitement. Once I walked through the airport doors, I found dozens of people yelling at me from all directions trying to get my attention. From taxi drivers trying to get my fare, to locals holding up signs for trekking organisations & hotel accommodation. It’s very overwhelming & confronting at first. After about 10 minutes I finally found my driver & off to the hotel we went. If you have never been to Nepal before, I can assure you that the bus travel from the airport to the Hotel is an experience itself. The roads are congested with small vehicles, motor bikes & people everywhere. Every driver seems to have their hands firmly planted on the horn throughout the whole journey. It looks chaotic, but it’s not. It seems to work well for them though as there is little hassle.

Day 1 was a rest day so I just travelled around the tourist district of Thamel. Here I took the opportunity to walk down the narrow streets that are littered with shops selling everything from local crafts to cheap trekking gear. I emphasise the word cheap. The trekking gear is quite good quality & very cheap. There are also many shops that sell food. Some look better than others. I didn’t want to take a gamble on the food so early in the trip so I ate from the food stalls that were recommended to me by people at the hotel. Later that night I met up with the rest of my fellow trekking companions & trek leader. One of the things I love about trekking with small groups is being able to meet up with people from all over the world. On my trip we had travellers from Scotland, England & all over Australia.
For more information about trips to Nepal, visit www.worldexpeditions.com.au

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