One day, just as actress Shwetha Prasad opened her social media, a suggestion to trek popped up. “It was like the universe conspired to go with it. When I looked up the details, I realised I only had a couple of days left. I wasted no time and was one of the last ones to register,” she says about her 14-day trek. She opted for a Sherpa and a porter to take her through it because she preferred doing the trip solo than with a group.
The base camp was about 130 km from the start point in Nepal, and despite not undergoing the 60-day training that is mandated for such trips, she finished it with flying colours. “My sherpa told me that around 75 percent of people drop out midway and only 4 out of 18 people make it to the base camp,” she beams.
‘Clean up after yourself’
Littering has spread even to the Himalayas, with trekkers leaving behind used plastic bottles and wrappers. “An NGO now works towards waste management, and trekkers can volunteer to take litter down with them on the return journey, which gets recycled there. I think it’s a great initiative,” she says.
‘It helps to have a fit lifestyle’
“The treks usually demand a 60-day training period with a focus on strength training and breathing because the trek involves walking for eight hours every day in high altitudes. This is where exercises like pranayama and swimming will come in handy. I had signed up closer to the date, and the organisers allowed me because fitness is an everyday routine for me.”
Cost of travel
“One can even complete the trip with a budget of `1.5 lakh. I stayed at tea houses for the night, where basic rice and dal are cooked. However, be ready to pay as much as `400 for packaged water, and around `500 for an hour for Wi-Fi.”
Shwetha’s Aha! Moment
“One night, I came out of my camp to look at the Milky Way at 2 am. It was so magical and utterly delightful. It’s a sight that will stay etched in my mind.”

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