Nepali veterans we met told us that the amount of trekkers and the size of the groups had increased significantly over the last 10 years. Lodges are also more comfortable.
I think you meant to write, 'some
lodges are almost
The number of trekkers in Nepal has increased enormously in recent years, or recent decades. When I first visited Nepal over 40 years ago, I was able to wander around at will. No permits required, no guides, and because I was young and strong, I had no need of porters.
I saw almost no tourists during my trekking, I slept in no hotels or lodges, just the standard Nepalese house in the village I happened to reach at the end of the day. I relied upon the hospitality of the very friendly villagers, some of whom had never met a Caucasion before. I was a curiosity for many and some villagers would run away when I attempted to take a photo of them.
Now they tend to hold out there hand for money when they see a photo is being taken. A bit sad, but understandable considering the dire poverty of many Nepalese peasants.
There is something rather bizarre about a situation where hordes of well-heeled tourists carrying cheap cameras which are (nevertheless) far beyond the means of the average Nepalese villager, snapping away at unusual, exotic and therefore interesting scenes.
It's almost like a Ray Bradbury science fiction novel, where visitors from the future, having mastered time travel, go on holiday to earlier centuries to have a look at the quaint way of life of communities from the past.
Last time I was there, in October/November 2006, there was a lot of consternation amongst backpackers about the new law stating that no tourist could go trekking without hiring a guide. This is obviously a significant cost burden on those who are travelling on a budget. It's also an impediment to those whose prime interest is photography.
My own experience is, my guide and porter get extremely bored whilst I wander around looking for interesting angles. I'm not the slightest bit interested in arriving at the planned destination at the end of the day.I just want to explore the scenery and see what I can make of it. However, I feel thwarted in this goal under the current regulations,