Why People Love Trekking in the Himalayas
Every year hundreds of thousands of foreign tourists flock to Nepal to experience adventure travel unlike anywhere else in the world. Thanks to the majestic Himalayan Mountains, thousands of overlapping trails, and breathtakingly-beautiful landscapes, it is no surprise that the country was named as the #1 Best Value Destination for 2017 and #5 on the Hot List of Countries to Visit this year by Lonely Planet. Of all the adventures you can undertake in Nepal, trekking across the Himalayas is undoubtedly the most desired. There are many reasons why adventurous tourists choose to trek the Himalayas. One of the most prevalent reasons includes experiencing the region’s unique ecosystem which happens to be home to the world’s largest honeybee.
Bees like you have never seen them before
One way to get closely acquainted with one of the most important players in the Nepalese eco-system is to embark on a psychedelic honey hunting expedition. Honey hunting is an ancient tradition among members of the local Nepalese Honey hunting is an ancient tradition among members of the local Nepalese Gurung tribe. Twice a year, every year the designated honey hunters traverse the steep cliffs of the Himalayan Mountains to harvest the honeycombs produced by the Giant Himalayan Honey Bee.
The honey-gathering requires great skill
There is a good reason why people trek the Himalayas just to experience the twice-yearly gathering of the honey. The entire ritual has to be carried out with extreme care as even the slightest miscalculation can result in great misfortune (and even death). While on your honey-gathering tour you will encounter brave hunters who rely on little more than the local Forest Spirits and their own knowledge of the area for protection. Hanging from cliffs as high as 300 meters, these hunters use nothing but hemp ropes and bamboo ladders to reach the beehives from which they will extract the delicious honeycomb. A small fire is typically lit on the ground underneath the hive to drive the bees away. After the main honey hunter has removed the honey from the hive and placed it in a bucket, he will pass it down to others and return to the ground. Bees are cherished in Nepal and the hunters take the utmost of care to preserve their existence for generations to come.
Is there anything special about the honey collected?
Apart from witnessing a ritual that is of great importance to the native tribes, being part of such an expedition may hold a completely different appeal to tourists: the honey that is believed to be psychedelic. The Gurung tribe consumes approximately one teaspoon of specially-harvested honey every day as they believe it to have intense medicinal properties that not only boosts the immune system but has mind-altering properties as well. Often referred to as ‘mad honey’, the special harvest is known to be a strong hallucinogenic as well as a treatment for everything from diabetes and high blood pressure to poor sexual performance.
Despite there being countless documentaries depicting the Himalayan honey hunters they simply cannot compete with experiencing it first-hand. If you have never had any real reason to trek the Himalayas before, this may very well be the motivation you have been waiting for.