Monday, March 23, 2015

11,000 Feet and Counting

I really, really wish I had some pictures for your entertainment, but I don't. You'll have to wait until I get back to Kathmandu in 9 or so days. For those of you who are wondering, I am on my way to Everest Base Camp with my Providence College buddy, Jeff. We are currently sitting in a cafe in Namche Bazaar, located at about 3440 meters, which is almost 11,000 feet. Our highest destination is at 5550 meters, so we still have quite a ways to go.

I am disinclined to write too many details because I hate writing on my tablet. It's like asking for typos. Here are some highlights though:

March 19 - I arrive safely back in Kathmandu from Pokhara. Jeff shows up safely at our hotel around 11:30 pm.

March 20 - After breakfast, we take a city tour, followed by a thrilling trip to the airport to retrieve Jeff's lost bag. We kind of wander in upstream, and no one seems to care. Great security.

March 21 - An early flight on a 14-seat prop plane brings us to Lukla (the gate to Everest). We trek for almost 3 hours. Jeff spends the rest of the day teaching me to play poker.

March 22 - Within a 7 hour trekking day, we ascend 600 meters in about 3 hours. One word: brutal. Jeff eventually admits to having been violently ill with food poisoning the night before. He's a trooper. The trail includes several suspension bridges, including one a little over 100 meters (330 feet) above the rushing rapids below. Eventually, we catch our first view of Everest.

Namche is the most welcome sight in the world.

March 23 - After 12 hours of sleep, Jeff is much better. We take a short acclimatization hike to the Sherpa Museum overlooking Namche, and spend the balance of the day resting.
So yeah. Our guide is excellent, our porter is excellent. This may be the most beautiful place in the world, at least to my sense of what constitutes natural beauty.

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