It has now been over 4 months since we were last in Nepal and I am now on my way to lead another climb of Mera Peak. Sitting in Sydney waiting for my next flight, I feel empty without Sharon by my side, it was a tearful departure and I feel bad to leave her behind. This is what we do, we spend time together in the mountains taking care of our clients and it just won't be the same without her with me. Who is going to annoy me by constantly packing and rechecking her gear in the confines of our dome tent, or push me off my down mat in the middle of the night. Who is going to make everyone laugh with her spontaneous incredibly witty personality or great stories. I am going to miss my soulmate, but know we will be back together on our next adventure.
Sharon has had a minor set-back and is sorting out an injury which is stopping her from climbing at the moment. That being said, she will be busy getting next years trips organised and also adding a climb of Kilimanjaro to the itinerary. I think this is really exciting and will give people a wonderful opportunity to experience a part of Africa whilst climbing its highest peak. Sharon will also be joined by two legendary guest climbers who will surely make this one trip to add to your bucket list.
Since the earthquakes, we have been speaking with friends in Nepal, and there is already a sense that people are starting to come back. Such is the lure of this amazing country and despite all that mother nature has thrown at Nepal and it's people, you just can't keep people away.
It will be with a mix of excitement and sadness that I return, with the memories of how the people were suffering when we left in April still fresh in my mind. But the resilience and determination of the locals has been awe-inspiring, committed to rebuilding and getting Nepal back on its feet. There is still a long way to go, and many remote areas continue to struggle, without adequate housing and clean water.
Confidence is rising though, and by next year, the regular flow of tourists, who are the very backbone of this fragile economy, will return. Shopkeepers will be smiling, trek leaders will be guiding their clients, tea-houses will be full and the farmers will be selling their produce. It's already starting to happen.
Although without Sharon, I am excited with our Mera climbing team, all of whom have been to Nepal, taking on different treks and climbs. Like me, they all have a strong connection with Nepal and its people. It will be a pleasure to be in their company, only hope they laugh at my jokes and put up with my bad singing.
Sharon will be blogging and updating on Facebook throughout the trip. Hope to have you all on board for the ride.