The trek is geographically spectacular
and culturally fascinating. The Tibetans of the upper
Buri Gandaki, a region known as Nupri ("the western
mountains"), are direct descendants of Tibetan
immigrants. Their speech, dress and customs are almost
exclusively Tibetan. There is still continuous trade
between Nupri and Tibet; Chinese cigarettes, for example,
are found more frequently than Nepalese cigarettes.
The mountain views in Nupri are sensational, and the
Larkya La is one of the most dramatic.
Though the Larkya La is not a difficult
pass, the trek is harder than most in Nepal. In many
places the walls of the Buri Gandaki Valley are perpendicular,
so you cannot walk along the bottom of the valley.
There is a huge amount of wasted climbing involved
during the first part of the trek as you climb up
and down over ridges or onto shelves to bypass cliffs.
The trail is rough and steep and it often literally
hangs on a bluff high above the river. Don't read
any further if you have the slightest tendency towards
acrophobia. The trek is remote and has no rescue facilities
or opportunities to bail out if you are tired. There
is only one facility that might conceivably be called
a trekkers' hotel, and as late as AS 1992 there was
not a single English signboard between Arughat and
TiljeHimalayan pass crossings.