I was really sad to learn this morning that a road is being built to Jomsom. Jomson is in the Nepal Himalaya and is part of the famous “Annapurna Circuit,” which I was lucky enough to visit in 1991. I suppose that it is entirely logical that Nepal shouldn’t stay in medieval times – and believe me, Nepal is very medieval in many ways – but I’m not sure how much help the road will offer the people.
On the surface, the road seems like a good idea. Easy transport of people, goods and supplies, it moves products to market. On the other hand, I wonder how much tourism may be lost because of the road. From the article linked above, it’s likely not much and in fact it may increase. I wouldn’t be surprised if record numbers of Indian tourists and pilgrims are attracted to a more accessible region.
In any event, roads are inevitable. The trek from Besisahar to Manang will also be compromised at some point, and that will be an even sadder occasion. One can only hope that as time progresses in Nepal, that eco-friendly roads and construction will be applied in an effort to have the best of both worlds.
Here is a photo of mine that was taken around the Jomsom area:
To follow a portal/walkthrough of my trek in Nepal, click here and hover your mouse over the photos to click to the next one in the series.