Almost a year after the earthquake that rocked Nepal, Nepalis are back on their feet rebuilding their homes and livelihoods, with tourism back in business. Fiona Harper hits the trekking trail and is struck by the upbeat spirit of the locals.
‘I was in the lobby of a hotel when there was a loud roar, the floor started rocking and a large vase crashed to the floor. I ran outside and kept on running but it was hard as the road was rippling like a wave’, recalls Ganga Thapa, his eyes sad as he relived the terror of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal on 25 April 2015.
A respected leading tour guide and co-founder of Nepal Hiking Team, Ganga talks softly about the day when Kathmandu moved three metres southwards.
As I look over Ganga’s shoulder the snow-clad summit of Mt Everest pokes above Mt Nuptse. Against a cobalt blue sky, a cloud of powdery snow forms wispy tendrils blowing off the upper peak. Having seen so many photographs of this famed mountain over the years, tears well in my eyes the first time I catch sight of it. Known as Sagamatha by Nepalese and Chomolungma by Tibetans, nothing prepares me for seeing it in the flesh. It is majestic. The craggy twin peaks of Alma Dablam, which Ganga affectionately calls the ‘beautiful mountain’ dominates the foreground. At 3,440 metres above sea level, the air is crisp and clear. Though it’s a few weeks into winter the sun on my face is as warm as toast. Multi-coloured Buddhist pray flags flutter softly. Pausing during our chat to admire the stunning mountain landscape before me, the silence is absolute.
This story appears in the March edition of Silk Winds, the inflight magazine of Silk Air. Read the full story
Fiona Harper travelled to Nepal as a guest of Nepal Hiking Team