We are slowly losing our wildlife..but also the need to experience it…

All of us, whether we are hikers or just armchair travellers, we all know that the world’s wildlife is in danger.

The threats posed by constant pressures from farming, exploitation, mineral resources etc are erasing the world’s wild places at an alarming rate…I’m sure we have all heard that most famous phrase sometime in our lives that goes “an area the size a 10 football pitches disappears from our jungles every day…”?

But, hang on a minute…there is an even bigger threat to our wild places…it comes from the thing you are reading this article from…yes, your PC, laptop or smartphone.

Increasingly, naturalists, hikers, walkers, climbers are all concerned that wildlife is losing the battle not only with human intervention, but from the virtual world.

What does that mean? Well, people are basically so cut off from their environment by iPads, smartphones, computers and other technological gadgets which demand attention within, excluding that which is without, ie outside.

So much so that many now believe that the loss of ecosystems and environments is paralleled by the expansion of the digital ecosystem.

And the main reason for this can be partly blamed on the unavoidable consequence of a society liberated from laboring on the land like we used to. It is indeed a squeeze on time spent with nature.

One example of this change in our lives is a simple one which we fail to notice….there are no children running around in the woods, like we all used to during our childhood….I and my friends were continually outside, either in the local parks, patches of woodland, farms or other open spaces. Now, farms have suddenly become dangerous environments….even a farmer’s own children don’t play on their father’s farm, for fear of an accident happening and their father being castigated by the health and safety mob.

A fearfully high number of highly-strung people have taken over the local authorities the world over, brewing up a compelling broth that is fed to innocent citizens, feeding their minds with untrue propaganda that vehicular traffic, dangers-of-strangers, tree-climbing, netting of fish or tadpoles in little streams are pastimes all fraught with horrendous dangers.

In my opinion, wildlife will inevitably decline if we carry on becoming oblivious of it like we are…..why? Because when we are oblivious to wildlife, the other factors I mentioned, like exploitation, cut and burn of forests etc, is still going on, and so obviously, the wildlife in those areas will decline.

A very tough situation we are in at the moment, and as always, the citizens are virtually powerless to do anything about it.

 

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Hiking the mighty Himalayas

Of all the best hiking or climbing venues in the world, the Himalayas rank supreme.

Even though in this day and age, the mystique of the place has been dampened somewhat, with everybody and his aunty having been there, the area still has that certain je ne se quois about it.

And though Everest has now been scaled by an 80-year-old man, Japanese climber Yuichiro Miura, people the world over still want to go there.

However, there is the slight problem of the fee required for access to the mountain…..$70 000 at present!

But today, we’re going to talk about hiking the area around Everest, not to climb it.

The place is absolutely huge…..approx 5 times the size of Spain, France and Portugal put together! Go anywhere in the region, and you’re guaranteed to come back with having been in the deepest gorge, highest mountain, wildest forests etc.

So much of it is still untouched and talked about in mysterious words.

Some places there are devoid of people, and some have people living there who have adapted in strange ways to the hostile environment. Those people are vastly different from the Indians you meet at lower down south in India. They have different languages, different customs, different religions and even look different.

Anyway, hiking here is no different from anywhere else. The only thing you have to be careful about is altitude, and all of the tour organisers are well-versed in this. Certainly, all the operators I checked with, have accommodation at the correct altitudes, so you can be sure of being ok altitude-wise.

Depending on what you want to see, you can choose from mountain areas, scenic villages, trekking areas, wild forest, canyons, gorges, you name it.

The main concern aside of attitude is your health. I would always get myself checked out by my doctor before leaving, as he/she may be able to tell if you have any underlying problems that may cause hassle when you get there.

Other than that, if you are generally otherwise healthy and have no heart or breathing problems, you should be good to go.

Prices range from around $2000 to over $4500, so you can see that it is reasonably affordable.

Places to see are all based around Nepal, with Katmandu, Makalu, Pokhara being the main ones. Then there is Bhutan, another very interesting area which has only just opened up to tourism.

One of the best operators for not only this region, but the whole of India, are Royal Rajasthan Tours.

These guys have arranged hundreds of tours over the years, and the beauty of going with them is that they can set you up with a group tour, or tours for people who prefer to travel alone with a guide.

All in all, if you have an idea of travelling to the Himalayas, do it now….don’t do like I do sometimes…think about it and leave it at that. The place is being commercialised as we speak, and in a few years time, it will be no different from any other touristy place in the world.