My husband and I have just returned from our 4 week trip to Nepal to search for our missing son, Gareth.
As all flights to Lukla were cancelled we decided that we would walk in from Jiri. It wasn't until we started walking that we really discovered how hard it was going to be. It took us eight days to arrive at Namche Bazaar. In that time we were well looked after by our guide (Bimal Gurung) and our 2 porters.
We met the District leader of the Maoists. He was a very well educated and polite young man who has taken copies of our missing posters and is going to spread the word around his district and get in touch with us if he hears or sees anything which may help in our search.
We were able to find evidence of a couple of places where Gareth stayed but when we arrived at Chhukung, where we know he spent 2 nights, there was no record of his stay. By this point we were physically and emotionally worn out and so decided to turn back.
Nepal is a country with its problems but we both feel that it is safe for travellers as long as they use basic common sense and are aware of their surroundings. THE ONE THING THAT WE ARE BOTH CERTAIN OF IS, THAT UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU EVER TREK ON YOUR OWN.
If you do not have a companion then ensure that you travel with a porter and or guide.
We have had to return to the UK without finding any more information about Gareth. I should like to ask that, if you are travelling in Nepal or you were there earlier in the year, please keep your eyes and ears open for any information that may tell you about a Westerner who is on his own and may be having difficulties. Please inform the British Embassy if you do hear anything. Thank you so very much.