Namche Bazaar Acclimatisation Day
Headache gone, sleep well.
Work out that residual water in my thermos (still hot) can be put into small jug in bathroom lined with plastic shower cap = wash! = ingenious. Go to breakfast refreshed and smelling sweet. Late breaky at 0745 because its our "rest" day- porridge rates 8/10 on the Nepali porridge index (NPI). Guide and porter are majorly calorie loading- cornmeal, eggs, toast ++ and coffee- hmmm. We sip on our black tea and finish our small serve of porridge.
0840 we make our way up the hill, wow- the elevation kicks in- its a bit harder going this morning. We reach the Tashi Delek Monastery, pass the mani walls and prayer wheels in gold and others in red. Stunning views. Lots of blue pine and juniper (even typing the word juniper conjures up the smell of the juniper wood smoke that wafts around the villages and teahouses on this trek). I continue up the hill a bit further through the icy, muddy track, look around expecting Mary and Dhana to be following but they are nowhere in sight- I am lost (again)- then again..., maybe they are lost? Nope, it
would be me, they never get lost. I retrace back down to the gomba and am found by Dhana, he just shakes his head. Back on track we are heading up again. Kongde Ri is towering gloriously to the west- seriously awesome. We are passed by many dzopkyo (the yak/cow cross breeds) and their herders in various load bearing states. It is an arduous climb, but the sun is shining, the mud is sliding, the helicopters are buzzing overhead, the blood pigeons are hiding behind bushes.... and I am loving it. We eventually hit the snow line and then a trading post. There is a large lodge here that looks primarily to be housing lumber, roofing, guttering, bags of cement, etc. There's also a run down looking porters lodge (they should oust the wood- the wood's accommodation looks better).
Up, up, up further and we reach the Syangboche (? spelling) airstrip. Helicopters are flying in an out- loaded and unloaded. Red helicopters seem to fly faster and closer to the mountains than the white ones! Hahahahaha- get it? Like red cars go faster- never mind.... Apparently the airstrip is too muddy atm to handle planes (although I have also
heard that planes dont land there anymore anyway). Head up even further for about another 15 mins passing two old ladies- I am glad to say we were actually able to overtake them. At 1000 ish we stop at a viewpoint and take a break - break out the Tim Tams!!! and hot tea and soak in the views- shiny peaks all around. Another 45 minutes of climbing after that we pass the Intrepideers- and have a chat to Kelly (QLD) and Amina (VIC), the Irish guys are smiling..... the rest of the group are also blown away with the views. We are then at the viewpoint they have just left and it is SERIOUSLY awesome- amazing views of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam and Thamserku. Lots of photos, lots of "Toyota Moments", we enjoy the next 30 mins up there by ourselves. Have more tea and break out the muslei bar stash. Sublime moments up there with the dzopkyo and the crows and the views. I think it is at this point I lost my full tube of sensitive skin sunscreen (loss #2)- kaching- the $ toll is mounting...
Start the downhill slide around midday, its a quick
descent alternating between stone steps and mud/ice tracks. Watch the helicopters for a while. We pass the Russians - they are heading up the hill, but first have to have a brief stop to get changed. Head down towards the army barracks and National Park Headquarters. This time Mary gets lost, Dhana shakes his head and goes off to find her. I have a chat to Mario (sells wood for chalets) and Sonia (French teacher), they are from Montreal. Stay an hour or so at the museum at the NP HQ- v interesting- worth a visit. The most exciting part though was going in and out as large chunks of melting ice and snow were sliding off the roof. Build a mini snow man- pitiful effort but it looked cute. Got back to the lodge at 2 and downed Mayas v good vege noodle soup.
Spend the rest of the afternoon in the town- lots of shops still closed but it was good to have some down time (translates to - lets go find a decent coffee). Bump into the Germans from the Lukla flight- have a chat. Mary gets a few things- hats, scarves, jewellery. I find a
"real imitation turquoise bracelet" and add it to last years bracelets on my wrist. The shopping proves to be better than the coffee- but i have no complaints- its amazing just being here. The evening is spent eating Maya's dhal bat and playing Scrabble- I look like losing- shame we don't get to finish the game! We meet 2 young guys from Holland- Paul and JJ who have been in India and Rajastan, and a Korean who is staying for a few days waiting for his group to come back for him. The lodge has a whopping 3 rooms rented out tonight! Damn- we have to share the toilets.
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