Meeting Yaks on the Track
On the Everest Base Camp trek you might see mountain goats, magnificent eagles and other beautiful birds but the yaks were my favourite along the trail.
These hardworking animals are the delivery vans on the EBC trail. There are no roads. Everything goes up and down on the back of a donkey, yak or a porter.
The First Rule of the Track – Stand Aside for Yaks
I loved the sound of the yak bells as they approached. Hearing the bells is a signal to find somewhere safe to stand on the mountain side and wait while they pass. The first rule of the track. If you are caught standing on the outside of the path you risk being knocked off the side of the mountain. The baby yak in the video had his own plans about which path he would take.
The walled sections of grassland above are yak pastures between Shomare and Dingboche. Not only do these wonderful animals carry packs and food up the trail they also provide fuel. The woman was collecting dung from the yak pasture to dry to use for cooking and heat.
A young girl resting with her basket full of yak dung behind her.
Yaks, well really the naks which are the females, provide milk which in turn is made into cheese which you probably will find on top of your pizzas on the trek.
This guy just would not move. I really think he wanted his photo taken. Say Yak Cheese!
Many travel experiences provide possibilities of interactions with animals, wild ones if you are lucky.
Some animal travel memories of mine are seals on Kangaroo Island when I was a child, monkeys in Bali, passaperos (dog walkers) and their packs of dogs in Buenos Aires, llamas in Argentina and a day spent riding camels in the desert in Rajasthan. But hundreds of dolphins in the mouth of the Gambia River was probably my most magic wildlife experience. It took us totally by surprise and was amazing. Do you have any special memories of animal encounters while you traveled?
Unbelievably most of the photos and the video show yaks without loads! Which means they were on return journeys. The photos were taken in 2015 when the season was extremely slow after the earthquakes. I’ll have to get a good full load photo next time.