- ADVERTISEMENT -
November 2009Best New Trips: Hiking Nepal's Great Himalaya Trail
Photo: Nepal

Nepal's New Path

After a decade of civil war, the birthplace of adventure travel is back with a new 1,600-mile, trans-Himalayan trail. It may be time to re-rank your life list.

Text by James Vlahos
Photograph by Dmitri Alexander

I dreamt in music, of singing and clapping reverberating through the starry blackness of a Himalayan night. But when sunlight hit my tent at dawn, the serenade was still going. Following the sound, I crossed terraced fields that stairstepped to what looked like a medieval castle. It was built of intricately chiseled stones, laced by crooked alleys, and topped with colorful, wind-whipped flags. The midnight singers were gathered at the base of the southern wall. They were processing the barley harvest and, to judge by a suspicious level of graveyard shift enthusiasm, had been working—and drinking—all night.

Someone passed me a beer. It was chang, a citrusy beverage that, at 6 a.m., hit the stomach pretty hard. Then a man gave me a woven basket. In a place more accustomed to tourists, I might have been marked immediately as a fleece-wearing ATM. But in Humla, a yet to be discovered destination in a country otherwise well-known for trekking, a guest was something more elemental: an extra set of hands. The man showed me how to scoop barley from a chest-high mound, then shake it so that the chaff fell through. Easy enough, but after half an hour of work, I had sore arms and a sweaty brow. I got another cup of chang, and this time took a deep, satisfying draft.

Continue »
email a friend iconprinter friendly icon   |   
Join the discussion

National Geographic Adventure is pleased to provide this opportunity for you to share your comments about this article. Thanks for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Recent Comments
  • I think that the main picture for this article has been digitally altered in a MAJOR way! Maybe Nat …
  • ok beautifull scenery and people but why to claim to be the first one ? A french trekking company Te…
  • at the time of civil war
  • at the time of civil war
  • We hope that Nepal will get its constitution in 2010 so that it will be inclusionary for all of its …
Read All »