The Annapurna Circuit is made up of a series of dozens of villages that line the Marsyangdi and Kali Gandaki river valleys. Access to these towns has traditionally been by donkey and foot only, though the construction of the new access road up each valley is slowly changing this way of life. Despite these new developments, hauling supplies to these upper villages is big business in the Annapurna, and thousands of people earn their living moving extremely heavy, awkward loads up steep rocky paths at high altitudes, and doing so in flip flops. We passed (or were passed by) dozens of porters each day, and we were continually awed by the loads they managed to carry. For instance:
At one point, I attempted to lift a porter’s load, which is carried largely on the head and neck.
Unsuccessful. Mad respect for these guys, some of whom are carrying over 150lbs, well more than their own weight.
After seeing everyone else’s loads, we didn’t feel so bad about the bags we had our porters carrying.
Other trekkers, not so nice to their porters:
I was blown away by the amount of manpower we witnessed. I was also rather surprised not to see more of these animals, which seems like a lot easier way to carry all that weight!