I made two visits to Nepal, one in January/February 1986 and another in October of 1992. My trip in 1986 took me from Kathmandu to Pohkara and part way through the Annapurna circuit. I was 26 at the time, and it was my first adventure in Asia. Nepal is a country with warm, inviting people, incredible beauty and rich photographic opportunities. Children are especially photogenic and accepting of having their photograph taken. Elders are not always as accepting, but if you are and polite and ask first you will almost always find acceptance in your request for an image. In that first trip I spent a week trekking through much of the Annapurna circuit and once we had finished that we did a river raft trip and then a visit to Chitwan National Park. That's where the images of the Rhino's are from. Then I decided to accompany two other travellers on the expedition to India and we visited Goa for two weeks, first travelling through New Dehli and Agra. The images of the the Taj Mahal are some of my favourite images. Halley's comet was something that I'd always wanted to see since I was a child as I've always had an extreme interest in astronomy. It was visible in the sky during my time in India in 1986, and I have vivid memories of viewing it from the beach in Goa. In 1992 I returned to Nepal and did a trek called "Everest in Hillary's footsteps". No, I did not climb Everest itself, but I did trek to Everest base camp, (which isn't really anything more than a high altitude hike). One thing notable about the trek to the Khumbu region that we did was that we did something that only about 5% of people who visit the Khumbu region ever do. Instead of flying into Lukla, we walked the ninety miles into the Khumbu region from the end of the paved road in "Jiri" passing through river valleys and climbing up and over top of many mountain passes. That was the real beauty of making it to Everest and it was well worth the trekking. What's the point of trekking in Nepal if you're just going to fly from place to place? You can see images of the airstrip in Lukla in this gallery. That's where 95% of the visitors to the Khumbu region fly into. Yes, it was a dirt strip when we were there. The runway has since been paved and the entire village looks much different from when we were there. While in the Khumbu valley we hiked up "Kala-Patar". There are shots of the summit of Everest in the gallery taken from the top of Kala-Patar. We also visited Everest base camp for an afternoon and had interesting conversations with come climbers from various countries who were making their bids on the summit. We then turned eastward and hiked up a valley toward and climbed "Imja-Tse", or as it is known in English, "Island Peak" which is actually a pretty stiff little climb. The summit is 20,350' above sea level. Only two of the seven of us in our trekking group made the summit. I was one of the two. We made it to the summit of Imja-Tse on Wednesday October 28th, 1992. It's a curious thing about adventure travel to remote destinations in that you truly do fall "off the grid" with regard to world news and events. I remember hearing about the Toronto Blue Jays victory in the world series while I was sitting in our camp dining. Word had travelled up along the trekking trail passing from one traveller to another and it eventually reached the far regions of Nepal that the Jays had won their first World Series victory. Very cool. Nepal is a fascinating country and one which I'm sure I will visit again one day.
© Steve Tambosso - "The Wandering Fireman"