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Featured image: Everest and Spectacular Himalaya Range from Pattale
Breadtag Sagas ©: Author Tony, 3 September 2018
Trek 1 Pattale to Juke, Solukhumbu District, lower Everest region, Nepal
Pattale to Juke: There & Back, March 2013
The reason for this article is that Nepal is changing. The major treks are becoming crowded. Some tourists want to go to less visited places. We visited Pattale village in March 2013 and in late 2017. Much had changed in 5 years.
New roads are being pushed through into regions that were once isolated. One good example of this is Upper Mustang, which was once a long walk up the windy and gritty Kali Gandaki River to the former Tibetan Kingdom of Lo and its remote villages. Part of the construction of new roads is a subtle competition in influence between India and China. But other nations are also involved in providing aid, such as the Japanese, who are responsible for part of the excellent road along the Sunkoshi River, in the middle part of the journey to Okhaldhunga and Pattale in the Solukhumbu or lower Everest region.
Also the nature of the trekking fraternity is changing as well. Indians and Chinese are newer trekkers, and now middle class Nepalis have begun to be curious about their own country.
Similarly, a few years ago Pattale was difficult enough to reach that only intrepid tourists ever came. Still a nine-hour jeep ride, the newly tarred road is now the main route to Salleri the district headquarters of the Solukhumbu District.
Since the end of the Maoist insurgency many fit trekkers are again taking the harder route into the Everest region from Jiri Bazaar via Junbesi and Taksindu to Namche Bazaar, rather than flying to Lukla. Some of these are also diverting to climb Pikey Peak, which brings them into the Pattale area.
At 2840 metres Pattale provides sweeping views of the Everest Range, if the weather is right. I suspect that trekking from Pattale will grow quickly from now on. The village in late 2017 had that air of expectancy and change. We may bemoan civilization impinging on what used to be out of the way places, but it is improving the lives of locals.
A huge statue of Buddha is going to be erected beyond 2018 on a levelled hill just outside of Pattale — to promote tourism in the area. It probably will! There is room for a parking area for busloads of pilgrims. However, this will take some time and perhaps now is the time to trek from Pattale, before everything changes.
This article covers a trek in 2013 along the valley bottoms with an excellent introduction to Nepali village life. The next article on Pattale covers a trek we did with our friend Teresa’s Slow Trekking in November 2017 higher up along the rim of summer pastures from Pattale to Pikey Peak and then down to Paphlu via Junbesi and Taksindu La. Another interesting trek would be from Pattale to Pikey Peak then back to Kancha’s lodge with a very steep climb down to Juke village and back to Pattale.
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