Annapurna Circuit

I went trekking in Nepal with the same Sherpa Tribe that worked for Edmund Hillary. Little did I know that our guide, Tsering Sherpa, would lead me on an expedition to Mt. Everst many years later.

I hired 4 Sherpas to take turns carrying me, one at a time, on their back. My friend Bill, who is also a quad, did the same. They put me in big basket called a doko and carried me up and down steep mountains and across foot bridges like the kind you see here. A Sherpa is a native of the Sherpa area of Nepal. The word Sherpa is sometimes mistakenly applied to all porters.

Above, I'm riding in a doko, on the back of a Sherpa. He carried the doko by means of a leather strap, wrapped around the lower part of the doko, then placed on top his head. He walked hunched over, dispersing much of my weight on his back.

 

Most Nepalese have never seen a wheelchair.

It was fun watching them play in my wheelchair.


The Annapurna trail was incredibly beautiful. While on the trail, Tsering, our guide, made it a habit to bring me tea everyday at 6:15 a.m. He would say, "Time to see the mountain, Geno".

We stopped at the friendly neighborhood Yak Cheese store for a meal of daal bhaat, the staple of the Nepalese diet. Daal bhaat consists of white rice and lentil soup and usually plain or curried green vegetable. Other Nepalese foods are Tibetan bread served with jam or honey (a flat fried donut), mashed or boiled potatoes, french fries, bean burritos, brown bread, corn bread, fried potatoes or pasta (with onion, vegetable and/or cheese), instant noodle soup (chicken flavor), pizza, yak cheese, and occasionally yak meat stew. Homemade alcohol is called raksi - made from corn and millet, or chang (less potent, fermented rice). Here, a Sherpa is feeding me. Notice my shirt is drenched with water. It was very hot that day so I kept asking the Sherpas to pour water over me. Most Sherpas did not speak English so I just said, "pany," the Nepaleses word for water, and pointed to my head.


The Sherpas were always very helpful. Anytime I moved, they tried to anticipate my needs and jumped up, as if to say, "We're here to help". Most did not speak English, so it was hard to graciously tell them, "No thanks." At times, they actually got in the way. Once, so many tried to help me through a narrow doorway that we couldn't fit through. When Pam tried to wash my hair, they jumped up to hold a pot or anything else that would be helpful.


This young lady was simply precious.

 

Here we are near the end of our trek.

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