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1. Posted by Gill (Budding Member 5 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

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.

2. Posted by stevieh (Respected Member 615 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Hello Gill,
I'm sorry to hear you didn't have any luck in your search and hope that something turns up to help soon.
Why were the flights to Lukla all cancelled? Was this just a few days or longer? I ask because this is peak season for trekkers and I wondered whether the Maoists had anything to do with it.

3. Posted by Gill (Budding Member 5 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Hi Stevieh

The flights to Lukla were cancelled because of the cloud levels. The monsoon was late this year and we managed to get the tail end of the bad weather. There were no flights for the best part of a week, they were then able to fly for a day before being cancelled again because a plane lost a wheel on the run way, (at least I think that was the reason).

I think we are still suffering from the results of the walk as I have got aching Knees, ankles and hips. (It must be age catching up with me!!)

The only contact we had with the Maoists was very positive, they are going to help look for Gareth. More than can be said for the Nepalese Police and Interpol. A file had been created in the Interpol office but that is as far as they will take things. It is not like the UK, they do not go out and conduct a search. This was one of the things that made the trip very frustrating.