6. July 2014 – 12:58
On some of our treks we can’t go with load horses, but hire porters. The reasons for this are different: sometimes it is just so early in the season that the routes are partly still covered with snow. On other treks, the paths are too narrow or rivers have to be crossed.
As a trekking organizer it is always cheaper to go on a trekking tour with horses. We pay less per horse, they can carry heavy loads and we don’t have to feed them.
Nevertheless, I love having porters around! Again and again nice acquaintances arise, the porters are a great help (cooking, washing, tent construction) and they themselves need this job.
The Porters in Manali all come from Nepal and live in India during the trekking season. If they are not on a trek, they can be found at the market of New Manali. Here, for a few rupees, they carry the purchases of customers from the shops to the rickshaws or help shops to transport material.
A trek offers the Nepalese a good income for several days.
Often also usefull clothing or equipment is given to the porters by our guests after the trek. Many guest leave their old trekking shoes behind- for the porters a huge gift!
Admittedly, their work is hard. With the help of a bandage that lies over their forehead, they carry bags and boxes weighing 15 to 20 kg, over passes and through streams, up and down. They are often faster than our customers!
On our last trek, the four-day Hamta Pass Trek, the oldest porter in Manali accompanied us! Gopal is 52 years old and has been coming to Manali since he was 20. Normally porters can’t do this physical demanding work for too long. On this trek he came with two other porters, one 17 years old, the other 21. He was faster and stronger than both of them. His aged body never seemed to tire and even after the actual carrier work, he was a great help to us! He cut vegetables, did the washing, cooked tea and let his two protégés rest!
The whole time there was a smile on his lips and he was constantly delighted with stories!
To give Gopal a little more rest, but at the same time work. We now prefer taking him along during our bike tours. Here he works as a helper.
Thank you Gopal!