Sunset on Annapurna ©Solange Hando
Guide or no guide, mountains are fraught with danger even for seasoned trekkers.
We all remember what happened last autumn.
All the more reason then to put luck -and experience- on your side, chances may be slim if disaster strikes but better a glimmer of hope than none at all.
Great View, Keep Safe ©Solange Hando
Fortunately, major disasters are rare but what about altitude sickness or stomach problems? That's pretty frequent.
How will you cope on your own, or even with a friend? Help from locals? Sure, but in a poor country, that might cost you more than a guide would have done and be limited by lack of medical knowledge and language barrier.
Well, hire a guide and you can rest assured he will do his utmost to keep you safe and healthy for it is in his own interest as much as yours.
Discover Village Life ©Solange Hando
If you're into local culture, that's the best way to discover it and communicate with people along the trail. You may have the chance to rest in a farm house, enjoy butter tea and mountain potatoes straight from the embers, take photographs, meet a weaver or a schoolteacher, learn about local customs and daily routine.
Then of course, there's the natural world.
Did you see the honeycomb hanging from a branch, the blue poppy at your feet or the plant that will soothe your headache or that nasty insect bite?
Pokhara below the Annapurna ©Solange Hando
Fine, but how do you know you can trust your man?
Easy, don't do it on the cheap, go to a registered agency in Kathmandu or Pokhara, explain what you're looking for and they'll have someone to meet your needs, knowledgeable, trained in hygiene and first aid and speaking your language, or at least English.
View from Sarangkot, Nepal ©Solange Hando
After many visits, I'd say so...
And all for $20 a day (how much was the flight?) and just think what that would mean to your guide and his family...
Enjoy and I'll see you there...