Sherpa - Definition of hard work

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November 16th 2006
Published: November 16th 2006
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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 goldLooking for goldLooking 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 NamcheSchool at NamcheSchool 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


Additional photos below
Photos: 8, Displayed: 8


Peek a boo mountainPeek a boo mountain
Peek a boo mountain

The path to Namche Bazaar was beautiful
Tibetan marketTibetan market
Tibetan market

The tibetans come over the extremely cold high passes to Namche so they can set up a market. They stay there in tents in the square until they've sold everything. Many of them don't suceed in the journey. Their faces showed much character.
Open sewerOpen sewer
Open sewer

Namche Bazaar has an open sewer system
one of many bridgesone of many bridges
one of many bridges

We had to cross over 10 bridge like this to get to Namche Hill

16th November 2006

16th November 2006

Simply amazing
Hi G, I think it is simply amazing what you are doing. I'm really proud for you and this blog is a fantastic way to give your friends and family a very small insight into a hugely different way of life for the people of Nepal. Look forward to seeing you on the otherside of the mountain some time.
16th November 2006

We are with you, Gareth
Hi Gareth Just to let you know that I am really enjoying following your progress. Thank you for sharing the excitiement of your trip with us all. Sounds like you are doing brilliantly - well done!! We all look forward to hearing more when you are next able to make contact. In the meantime, know that we are all with you cheering you on and sending all our very best wishes to you. Marion
16th November 2006

Keep up the hegine regime! ;)
Gareth, we're following your trek as best we can with google earth. Not quite the same as experiencing it. ;) Again, we're awstruck! Mark
16th November 2006

Keep going Gareth, don't look back, don't look down. well done mate. We are very proud of you.

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