Travels in Nepal #7 Suspension bridges

On the trek in Nepal

On the trek in Nepal

One of the challenges with trekking the Himalayas in Nepal is crossing the suspension bridges. They are unavoidable. On our trek last January I lost count of the number we crossed; it must have been at least eight or nine, perhaps more. Of course, we had to cross each one twice because we returned to Lukla via the same route.

I knew that the bridges could be a potential problem for me. I’m not exactly paranoid about heights; I just respect them with a great deal of caution. Most of the bridges are well secured to minimise the swinging. What they can’t do is do away with the distance between the bridge and the rocks below. Sometimes this can be as little as five metres. On one bridge it must be at least fifty. On my return home I was viewing a photo of one bridge I had taken from below near the water’s edge. I was shocked that I had actually crossed that bridge without fear! Caution yes, but little fear.

Another hazard is the yak trains. If it can be avoided one tries not to be on a bridge at the same time as a yak train. They tend to take up the whole width of the bridge. I was caught once but suffered no ill effects, but I did have to lean out over the edge to avoid getting pushed by these endearing beasts of burden.

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