Annapurna roads

Lots has been written in guidebooks and in blogs about how the extension of the road into the Annapurna region is ruining the trekking as it means walking on roads for longer than in the past. First of all, the roads are just single jeep tracks, unpaved with hardly any vehicles and an average speed of about 5 miles per hour, mainly due to the terrible surface. They're really not that bad and the views are pretty impressive whether you're on the road or not. More importantly though they give locals access to goods and services that they didn't have before. It also means that some children no longer have to walk two hours each way through forests to a school or to get medical treatment.

If it was a 6 lane road with vehicles racing past at high speed, we could possibly complain but yesterday, on a 2 hour walk along the road from Tolka, we saw three jeeps and two motorbikes. In fact we saw a lot more cows and definitely more children than that using it to get to school.


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