Hi from Namche!
It has been a wonderful two days in Namche Bazaar, my favorite village in route to Everest Base Camp. I think part of why it is my favorite is because you really get a sense for the local craftsmanship and how much effort has been put in to be able to build and develop here. It is really remarkable the hard work that goes into getting supplies up the valley and to be able to construct everything. Much of everything is hand carried or transported by yaks and horses (or mules-they look like a cross-breed).
First Views of Everest!
I loved the walk into Namche, with a tea break it took us just under 6 hours to get here yesterday. I decided to listen to music today, so my cheesy dance beats got me up the hill pretty quick and I had a good pace.The views are really phenomenal along the way and you get to cross a couple of suspension bridges and get first views of Everest. It really brought back vivid memories of standing in that same spot two years before and how I felt. The mountain from that spot really looks so far away and unreachable, but the awesome thing is in about two weeks I will step foot on it and do my first crossing across the icefall. I had to share the trail yesterday with lots of yaks and horses which caused a few traffic jams :)
An interesting moment was when I was sandwiched between two sets of horses carrying load on one of the suspension bridges! We got up close and personal :) Along this walk you also see how amazing the Sherpas are, as you get a taste for the tremendous loads these people are carrying! It is both impressive and inspiring. We are getting to know some of our Sherpas for our team and it is lovely to chat to them and always curious as to what questions they have of us. They are very friendly and have a great spirit and I am looking forward to getting to know them better over the next couple of months.
I also had a couple funny moments yesterday mainly getting stuck between two horses or mules or whatever these little guys are that were drinking water and refusing to let me through. So I followed the Sherpas lead to cruise through them, except I got stuck between both of their rear ends and was praying not to get kicked! Luckily they played nice and let me through. Note to self, I am not as cool as the Sherpa and cannot do what they do! Haha. We had a late lunch upon arrival and then just chilled out a bit. Some of the team went out to explore. After dinner, a few of us went to check out Daphnie’s and play a game of pool. I know it sounds weird in Route to Namche can you do that on the way to Everest…but you can and many of these local little establishments have tried to cater to Westerners.
Today we had breakfast and then set off on an acclimatization hike to Everest View Hotel at 3880 meters. We had some tea up there and enjoyed the stellar views of Everest, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam! We then went to one of the monasteries to check out the Yeti head they have locked up in a little box and you give a donation after looking at it. We then went off to visit the Sir Edmund Hillary School and monument and then made our way back to town for lunch and more chill out time. Part of the strategy to get into Everest Base Camp is to go up in altitude little bits at a time and adjust along the way. We hope to be in Base Camp by Thursday.
So a little about our team…it is being led by Adventures Global, a South African company. So as of now I am the oddball American :) We will have 5 climbers going for the Everest summit from France, India, South Africa, and USA (me). We then have two other South Africans that are going up to Camp 3 of Everest and two other South Africans trekking to Everest Base Camp. Everyone has been lovely and always nice to meet fellow adventurers.
I am feeling good so far, but also recognize this is the luxurious portion of the trip and enjoying all of the little pleasures I can while I still can. Needless to say my shower yesterday was AWESOME! I can get another one tomorrow so that will be nice :) I am waiting for the team to accompany me to the local bakery here in a bit, as well no yummy pastries once we hit Base Camp.
The support from home has been so very nice and even here, the locals that have found out it will be my second attempt have given the best wishes. I am feeling really well supported and positive and ready for whatever may lie ahead over the next two months. The days are flying though and I feel like June will be here before I know it. Being here in this space can put life in perspective so very quickly and pump up your gratitude on so many levels. I have had an ear to ear grin since I arrived I think. I also have had some of the best sleep since I arrived in the mountains.
Well more to come soon I hope, but technology is not great and I am thinking I may end up with weekly blog posts and Facebook updates. We shall see though.
Thank you again for following the journey. Every moment I am here, I am grateful for having the opportunity to do this, grateful for a childhood dream of visiting the 7 continents that planted this little seed, and grateful for the inspiration women in Congo gave me in 2007 to put thought into action and actually set off on this journey. As I sit here, really feels like there is nowhere else I should be right now but here, and that is an incredible feeling to be grateful for. None of this would have been possible without the support of two dear friends and for them I am eternally grateful and blessed.
Big hugs and if all goes well we should be at Base Camp by Thursday, April 11th.