Continuing the Annapurna circuit trek, I had time to think about supply and demand.
Not being an economist, I saw a few simple conditions for my questions.
There are three towns:
- Muktinath. Altitude 3800 m. Reachable by helicopter or on foot from base of the mountainous area (4-5 days).
- Marpha. Altitude 2670 m. Reachable from nearby airport in Jomsom (6 km away) or on foot from base of the mountainous area (3-4 days)
- Ghasa. Altitude 2010 m. Reachable on foot from base of the mountainous area (2-3 days).
The questions are:
- Why is it that while descending from Muktinath to Ghasa, food does not become cheaper.
- Why can't I find apple pie in Marpha, Nepal's "apple capital", while the supply is plenty Ghasa, which is a day's walk.
- What reason lies behind a fact that the price for accomodation is highest in Marpha, and around the same in Muktinath and Ghasa.
I had even more questions coming to my troubled mind, but the companions had found a perfect place with a cozy courtyard to stay, so the focus shifted to dinner.
Eating my daal bhaat, I read in a brochure that "prices of food and accomodation on the Annapurna circuit are fixed by local management committees, therefore please do not bargain".
The conclusions followed:
- If the problem and its conditions seem absurd and unsolvable, it might very well be that the rules and levers work according a different system than the one I'm trying to apply.
- Can't solve it? Sleep overnight, relax, take a break. The solution can come through a very different way than expected.