Queensferry travellers ride out aftershock

Darren Smith and Fiona Lamont
Darren Smith and Fiona Lamont

South Queensferry couple Darren Smith and Fiona Lamont have pledged to carry on with their round-the-world trip after being caught up in the Nepal earthquake.

Currently still in Pokhara the pair are helping with the recovery operation before heading back to Kathmandu next week and bringing their year-long journey to an end in India.

In a brief message via social media this week, Darren told friends and family that they were both safe and well.

Darren’s father, Andy told the Journal and Gazette of the rollercoaster of emotions he suffered before he discovered the pair were safe after the massive earthquake hit.

“When we realised what was happening we were frantic,” he said.

“Then we remembered they were trekking the Annapurna trail, so we knew they weren’t in danger from collapsing buildings.

“Then your imagination kicks in and you start thinking about landslides and avalanches engulfing them.”

Andy and wife Lorna cut short a family weekend to return to their home on the Dundas Estate to await news from Nepal.

“You just imagine the absolute worst the whole time. I can’t explain the relief when we heard from them,” he said.

Andy said that the pair, both teachers, were working to do what they could to help in Pokhara but that very specific skills were needed to aid the town’s recovery.

He added: “They didn’t realise the extent of the earthquake initially and I think the reality of the situation took a while to sink in.”

He said that social media had been invaluable to them.

“Thankfully we had a good ending but it makes you realise that there are so many people still waiting for news of their families – my heart goes out to them.”

Darren and Fiona left for their world tour last summer and have used their skills to work with charity projects.