Get Ready to Ja aum
I traveled in Nepal with a group of 5 friends, mature but fit women. We had booked with Nepal Pyramids as one of our party had traveled with them on a previous trip. We trekked the Mardi Himal, and 4 Annapurna Viewpoints (Annapurna - Dhaulagiri trek) ending at Mohare Danda down to Ulleri. The pre-travel information, dates, meeting points, pick-ups, and transfers were all on time. The travel arrangements throughout our trip were organized and efficient. The equipment provided (sleeping bags, jackets, bags, maps) were all top quality. The points of difference with Nepal Pyramids were the personal touches and the wonderful personnel. On arrival, we were met at the airport with marigold garlands, and on departure, we were accompanied to the airport and draped with silk scarves for safe travel. Expectations were discussed at the initial briefing, guidelines were set. We were introduced to our assistant guide, Jai, and tour guide, Sunil Gurung. They set the pace, they were the ‘markers’ at the front and back of our group. We could spread out as far as we wanted in between our ‘markers’. At the first briefing, we learned an important phrase, ‘ja aum’ pronounced ‘shjum’ meaning ‘let’s go’. When our assistant guide Jai said ‘ja aum’ we shjummed! We adopted this phrase and had lots of fun motivating ourselves whenever we needed to move on from a rest stop or chat along the path. The trails and sites along the treks we did were majestic (mountain views), magical (forest walks), beautiful (meadow walks), picturesque (villages and terraces), and breathtaking (ridges). There were a lot of stairs! The aspects that lifted this trek were the spontaneous extras that Sunil and his team created and facilitated along the way. Alfresco breakfasts and lunches in courtyards of tea houses when the sun was shining; cooking our own Tibetan, Gurung or Pun bread; joining us in yoga on a mountain top at sunrise; seeing yaks on a mountain ridge, and walking up with us to see them up close and talk to the shepherds; putting us on a local bus to visit Bindhyabasini Temple at the beginning of Dashain; letting us choose the type of boat we traveled in across Phewa Lake; an extra afternoon walk to 360-degree viewpoint at Kopra Ridge.The vistas during the trek were magnificent and the extra experiences during the trek made it memorable. Sunil, Jai, Pemba, Dawa and MingMa made our trek so enjoyable, they were friendly, happy, patient, and ever-vigilant. They were fonts of knowledge and answered millions of questions on politics, socio-economics, religions, geography (lots of mountain naming), geology, cultures, and flora and fauna, along with their own personal stories that we found so compelling. We received realistic briefings each evening about what to expect the following day. These briefings were also a source of fun as we teased and challenged Sunil about the true nature of the walks he had in store for us. We learned another phrase, ‘Nepali flat’. There is no such thing as a flat walk in the foothills of the Himalayas so I will leave the meaning of that phrase up to your imagination! This trek with Nepal Pyramids has been a true adventure and a wonderful experience. I highly recommend Sunil and his passionate team for any trek in Nepal.