Nepal was virtually an unknown, closed kingdom until the early 1950s. The western vogue for trekking in the Himalayas is very recent. We did two treks - an 8-day 'taster' in the Langtang Valley, a day's drive north of Kathmandu and the famous Annapurna Circuit lasting 23 days. To enter some of the more well-known areas paid permits are necessary and regularly checked. Trails follow the traditional ' roads ' walked by porters, mules and traders over centuries. Frequent teahouse, lodge, hotel and restaurant development is built naturally upon the needs of these people and extended to cater for western tourists. Facilities are basic but completely adequate and the food plentiful and very tasty. Ironically, as trekking routes become more famous and visited, locals gain a taste of the outside world and seek better communications. Whether the Annapurna circuit remains a traditional trekking trail for much longer is very much open to question. Paths are often made of stones and have vast flights of steep steps. They are occasionally challenging. Some have been 'improved' by cutting away rock. Long metal suspension bridges have replaced earlier ones of wood and bamboo. Crossing a bridge at the same time as a mule train can be an interesting experience! The final slides show the famous traverse of Thorung-La, easily the highest point we had ever reached (5416m), finishing with a picture of our wonderful friends, Dandi and Tenzing. To see the photos click here.