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Published: November 16th 2006
I'm not at Namche Bazaar after a exhuasting climb of Namche Hill. The air up here is thinner and its amazing how easy you get out of breath.
Today is the last opportunity I'll get to write here until I return on my way back. Tomorrow we head out on our path to Everest.
This morning we got another sneak peak of our goal. Everest 's 'hat' which stuck out on the skyline, proud and wise. The winds up on the summit are around 200km per hour and the temperature is about -60c. When we get to Base camp we can expect -10 and to walk 10-15 paces before we have to stop to catch our breath.
The trail up here was frequented by a Yak herds and 100's sherpa porters. These porters (man and women) carry 60-70 kilos on their backs for around 3500 rupees a week (30 quid). Their endurance and stamina is inspiring and they bring home what hard work really means. I can not thank them enough.
Namche is their 'capital' and it sits nested in the mountains, frequently at cloud height. These people are a testimony to humanity's ability to survive in
Looking for gold
Young boys sift through cremated body remains in the river in search of gold teeth to sell.
all extremes. The humble way of life should be a lesson for us all to draw on.
The streets here are cobbled with rocks from the surrounding mountains. Namche means 'dark forest' but sadly most of that has been stripped though extensive forestry practices. Wood is still the major source of fuel here. As we ascend above the tree line the main source will turn to dung.
Namche is undertaking a re-planting project to rectify this.
As I sit here typing this someone else is playing a cover of a Jimi Hendrix song on a computer. It's done by a Sherpa cover band. This is Namche, a traditional (medieval) town laced with the modern. I even had a shower here and the odd internet cafe usually brings in a stable source of travellers and urgently needed funds.
As we descended from the lookout today a few of us stopped off at a local school. We visted the children and teachers and learnt about their curriculum and way of education. We made small contributions to their development. The experience was magical and made me feel much better (felt a bit groggy this morning with this altitude). Its
School at Namche
We visited the school at Namche with gifts. Children go to school seven days a week but friday to Sunday are extra-curricular activity days. The kids can be part of clubs like the eco-club. Lessons take place in English. The school is closed in the winter.
easy to drink the recommended 4 litres of water a day.
Yesterday 6 mountaineers died on a nearby mountain in an avalance. Ama dablam was their killer. Their bodies were flown out today. It just makes you appreciate just how 'raw' life is here.
Generally I am well, while 1/3 of my team have come down with the shits, I am still above it. I continue to maintain a a good hygine regime.
The coming days will be difficult... All of us are only too aware of this.
This is no holiday. It is hard, hard work in all respects.
I'll see you on the other side of the mountain my friends.
I am well prepared, have the correct equipment and have a good chance
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