One of the school employees where I'm volunteering this week is lucky to be alive. His bus fell down a cliff; 6 people died.

I took that bus in December last year, wanting to see the Nubri valley. Many of the students are from that area in Nepal's Manaslu conservation area, where you can see the world's 8th highest mountain. Taking a bus from Kathmandu, you can make it to Arughat Bazaar in a day.  Another half-day's travel by bus takes you to the end (start?) of the road; from there it's about 6 days walk to Manaslu base camp.

Can you imagine having only 2 week's vacation a year? If your journey to your family was 5 days each way, that leaves only 4 days spent with them! Young students also can't safely walk the path by themselves; once in the boarding school they might not see their parents again for years.

You could technically walk faster if you are in great shape, up until about 2500-3000 meters. Feeling short of breath due to altitude sickness, I chose not to go to base camp, getting a view of the other side of the great mountain on my way down. 300 meters a day is the safe limit for daily altitude increase.

The path on the way down is hard on the knees, and in a few places it's very slippery. Several villagers have died there. A few students are missing a parent.

We say "trekking". Locals just call it "walking to the village".