I met Jaya in April 2007, who guided me on the Gokyo – Cho La pass – Everest Base Camp Trek. As well as wanting to do this trek, I was also out there with a work colleague who was climbing Everest that season (he succeeded with Alpine Ascents). Jaya more than met my expectations and assisted me in my needs for the trek, ensuring I could meet up with my colleague at specific places, as we had different itineraries. My personal highlight was meeting him at Base Camp, where his group was carrying out a Puja ceremony, something I hadn’t seen before. Jaya found good accommodation in all of the villages and as a bonus, I paid extra to get us into the Eco Lodge at Lobuche. In addition, he will take account of your physical condition, primarily thinking about your walking speed and not allowing you to ascend the trail too quickly in order to aid acclimatisation.
He noted that I had some time left in my holiday, which I had set aside for sightseeing and collecting souvenirs in Kathmandu. He asked if I would like to trek to his village, just south of the Ganesh Himal. It gave me a further insight into Nepalese culture, a different way of life in comparison to the ‘commercialised’ regions of the Khumbu and Annapurna.
He is very friendly and is open, honest and understanding with a great sense of humour. He always seems to be happy, but then he loves his job, which you can probably understand! He has a great knowledge of Nepal’s rich history and culture and was always quick to point this out along the way.
Jaya will pick you up from the airport and will ably assist you in looking for extra gear you may require for the trek.
Jaya is not just a guide to me, he is also a friend. We have stayed in contact since the Everest Base Camp trek and I visited Nepal again in October/November 2010. I was one of Jaya’s first customers since going freelance and I had intended to trek Kanchenjunga, as well as trekking back to his village. There were problems for me to fulfil this trek, so he suggested and detailed a new itinerary perfectly within my timescale. We first trekked in the Ganesh Himal area back to his village, this time via the start of the Langtang route, catching a bus to Syrabru Bensi and west over two passes. A further two days trekking, a Jeep and two buses led me to the Annapurna Circuit. It also gave me the opportunity to visit Pokhara and carry out some sightseeing in Kathmandu’s districts of Bhaktapur and Patan.
In March/April 2015 I undertook a long-held ambition in trekking the Kanchenjunga region. Jaya was unable to accompany me due to other commitments and he assigned me a fantastic guide and porter. I trekked the north side and was unable to get over the Sele La due to snow conditions and consequently we had to come back down the same way. This area is rich in culture and flora and fauna and it is sparsely populated. However, it was possible to teahouse trek all the way and due diligence is important in ensuring the lodges are open at Kambachen and at Lhonak. The lodge owners live in Ghunsa and they need to trek up to open the teahouse. This is a difficult and strenuous trek that needs utmost respect. There are many places from start to finish that need care where there are steep drops down the valley sides. There is also a dangerous landslide area, where rocks can fall at any time and a quick crossing is required. Those that have a nervous disposition of heights should seriously consider the trek and have a backup plan if you do not succeed.
I can thoroughly recommend Jaya as a guide and if you enjoy your trek as much as me, then you will have had one of your best experiences of a lifetime.