When my friends and I first came to Nepal in January 2017, we wanted to trek the Annapurnas by ourselves. We spoke to some tourists and locals and they told us it would be better to hire a guide, because they can be helpful with routes, guest houses and checkpoints. And that’s how we came to meet Funuru, introduced to us by a local tour operator. Funuru was such a diligent and thorough guide. Before leaving Kathmandu, he checked that we were all well prepared and correctly equipped. During the trip, he accepted our wishes and helped us when we were in need. When one of us was slow he would adapt the group speed, and when we were all at top form, he would lead us to our maximum! He found the best trekkers in each of us. Always full of energy and warm, we quickly became friends and our trip was better for having him lead us. And to think, we were going to take the trip on our own! Years later, we continue to keep in touch. And without a doubt, I hope to have him as a guide again when I make a future trek in Nepal.
I first visited Nepal to trek Kanchenjunga in 2014. The company I trekked with appointed Funuru as my guide, and we got along really well. Not only did he make sure I achieved my individual goals, but he took his role as my guide very seriously and made sure I was safe and healthy. He was also very warm and welcoming, and we quickly became good friends over the duration of our trek together. When I decided to return in 2016 to trek through Gaurishankar, I immediately contacted Funuru and asked him to arrange a private tour for me. We had become good friends, and not only did I want to share the journey with my old friend, I wanted to make sure that he was well compensated for his hard work. I was aware that some agencies don’t pay their staff very well, and I suspected that of the company that hired Funuru for me on my first trek. Our time together in Kanchenjunga was filled with laughs and adventure. Funuru even made momo for me one night when the staff at the teahouse we stayed in couldn’t. When I fell ill, he made sure I had everything I needed to recover my health. Nothing was ever too much or too difficult for Funuru. But I think the best part of this trip was that Funuru invited me to stay in his house in Kathmandu before and after our trek together, where I stayed with him and his younger brother. I have never felt as welcomed and honoured as I do trekking with Funuru. They say in Nepal “Come as a guest, leave as a friend”, and that couldn’t be more true than of Funuru and his family at Sherpa Spirit Treks & Expeditions.