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Travel and Adventure

Gary Hinds – ‘We’re going back next year’

Gary Hinds farms 3,000 hectares and 1,000 head of dry stock at Boat Harbour Road, Whenuakite. He’s also very much involved with the Hot Water Beach Lifeguards, but a lot of the time his mind is in Nepal.
 |  The Informer  | 

Mercury Bay comrades just returned from the trail – (left to right): Gary Hinds with their Sherpa guide and Carter Hodge, Cindy Williams, Morgan Woolston, Samantha Robinson, Jonty Abrahamson and Taimania Hinds; right, a beanie all the way from Whitianga Continuing Care.

So far, he’s done ten trips to the area at the base of Everest, and next year he’s going again.

Gary’s first trip was in 2012, when he accompanied his 16 year-old niece, Mercury Bay Area School student, Chelsea Johnson with 22 others to Nepal to plant trees for her Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award.

They went to Khude, one of the Sherpa villages at the bottom of Everest, and then they carried on through the Khunde Valley. Youth to Everest organiser John Gully was in charge.

After that, every year until 2019, Gary got groups of local students and adults together, some of whom have gone multiple times, to join the expeditions carrying out projects to help the local people.

“Covid came along, and we weren’t able to go again until April this year,” Gary says.

“In previous years, we never did the trip up to Chomolungma, the first base camp on the mountain.

I always felt it was a shame not to go that bit further on, and this year we did it. It’s just over 5,000 metres, usually a two-day trip but we took rest days to get used to the altitude.”

Eight keen people from Mercury Bay were on that trip, including Gary’s daughter Taimania.

“I’ve been there twice now,” Tamania says. “Some people have been about eight times. The country is so beautiful; there really are no words to describe the place. I saw it differently the second time. I feel I got to know more about the people, and I am really looking forward to going again.”

Taimania is a nurse at Whitianga Continuing Care Unit. The residents have been knitting beanies for the people in Nepal, which Taimania took with her.

“We gave a beanie to one little boy who followed us everywhere after that.”

Next year Gary plans to take a group of adults to Nepal, and then in 2026 he hopes some of those adults will help to accompany a group of 16-18-year-olds.

Meanwhile, back on the farm, Gary’s partner Sandy keeps things going and trains the Nippers to be Lifeguards.

If a reader is interested, contact Gary – email: hindzy@xtra.co.nz