Location: Namche Baazar
Local Time: 26th March, 5:30pm
Weather: Fine, 16C
Hi all – Fiona here again,
We’ve been enjoying another acclimatisation day here in Namche – but instead of the rigorous bakery tour schedule of yesterday, we actually did a bit of walking and exploring.
Views of Everest
We started the day with a hearty breakfast (porridge, Sherpa tea, and omelette) and then the four of us took a short walk up a hill near our campsite where we got our first sighting of Mt Everest. From this far away, it’s difficult to tell that it’s taller than some of the closer mountains. However, the huge cloud plume coming off the top gave it’s size away. It was kind of strange to actually see it in the flesh. From here it looks massive, but with relatively gentle slopes when compared to some of the smaller mountains that have extremely steep sides. Everest almost looks peaceful – but with that cloud plume indicating high winds, I know that it would be anything but peaceful up there today.
After taking in the view, we continued onwards on a walk aimed at assisting our acclimatisation. The first hour or so was steeply uphill until we reached the ridge above Namche. We continued on a little further until we got to the famous Everest View Hotel. Here guests fly in on helicopter, are quickly given oxygen masks and taken by yak to the hotel where they are put inside a pressurised room. Without this, guests would soon be feeling very ill from the altitude as they would not have had time to acclimatise. But for us and the other trekkers, we were able to sit outside comfortably and ordered cold drinks and real coffee. Chris and I (to a lesser extent) had been thinking about this coffee for quite a while. The views from here were absolutely amazing – like we were sitting inside a postcard. Not only could we see Everest (now with an even bigger cloud plume pouring off the top), but we could also see Lhotse, Ama Dablam and lots more. The weather has been extremely kind to us so far – giving us beautiful clear days. Hopefully this will continue further up.
Khumjung and Khunde townships
After sitting for quite a while at the Everest View Hotel, we got going again and walked through the townships of Khumjung and Khunde. We visited the local school (the one Edmund Hilary founded), the hospital, and the monastery. Inside the monastery we viewed the supposed Yeti skull – very hairy but not especially convincing! The monastery itself was very brightly decorated with lots of buddhist images and coloured fabrics. There was a group of monks chatting casually out the front.
It was interesting wandering through these towns, which were clearly a lot less tourist oriented than Namche. We saw lots more people at work in the fields, building works going on, but lots of people seemed pretty relaxed – playing card games, chatting in the streets, and gathering in shops.
The real highlight – hot showers
After our walk, we returned to the teahouse where Chris and Bridget are staying and all enjoyed a hot shower. After only 4 days of grubbiness, this felt amazing.
Tomorrow, our plan is to get moving again and head up to Deboche.
Bye for now,