Local time: 05 April 19:10
Location: Namche Bazaar
Weather: Fine in the morning, then cloud and drizzle 10C
It is Tim coming to you from Namche Bazaar.
We have just enjoyed a relaxing day around Namche Bazaar. Knowing that everything in the town has to be carried in by porter or yak makes Namche Bazaar all the more fascinating. I was amazed to find that there are many climbing gear shops, coffee shops and bakeries. There are also fully stocked grocery stores, chemists(pharmacies) with a wide range of medicines and internet cafes with reasonable download speeds. I managed to find a reason to go gear shopping and after some negotiating I walked away with a new pair of Teva sandals for about $10 USD. Namche Bazaar was founded as a trading post for merchants from Nepal and Tibet, being a 1-2 day trek for each, and it is clear that they have very successfully adapted to a model of providing goods and services to climbers and trekkers.
Everybody is well. We have each experienced some mild discomfort in the form of headaches and slight stomach upsets, but nothing of significance and within expectations for the 1900m gain in altitude over the past 36 hours.
Prior to the trip I was a little apprehensive about my level of fitness for the trek. I have never been accused in my life of ever being overly sporty or fit. My cardiac training for the trek consisted mostly of Stairmaster sessions. While it is only early days I feel like I was at least exercising the correct group of muscles. I have not experienced any leg soreness. In a large part I think this is due to the easy pace at which we are trekking. We will take around 12 days to reach base camp whereas 9 days would be more typical. Hopefully this means we will all arrive fit and healthy.
Sherpa Family Visits
Our extended stay in Namche provides an opportunity for the Sherpas to visit overnight with their families who live in the area. Lakpa Nuru, Paul’s climbing Sherpa, left this morning to visit his family overnight. The trip home for Lakpa will be about 4 hours walk each way, at Lakpa’s pace. Lakpa’s family are yak herders and Lakpa will have to look around in the area to find exactly where they are located.
We used one of the internet cafés to briefly login our website. It was awesome to see the gps plot of our trek to Namche. The plot is very accurate and shows us crossing the river multiple times before climbing up Namche hill. Ryan O’Hara was kind enough to supply Paul with a GPS tracking device. The device sits inside the top pocket of Paul’s backpack. Every 4 minutes the device wakes up, listens for a GPS signal, and writes the coordinates to a memory card similar to what is used within digital cameras. The GPS file is then transferred to the website as part of the nightly update (note, this is no longer on the website). Gary from Imapping then processes the GPS file to produce the beautiful map you see on the site. This is an incredible application of technology and one I think we will see used more and more in the future. If everything goes to plan Paul will carry this device all the way to the summit of Everest!
Tarrington Vineyards..Tamara Irish:
Thanks for your message. I am doing my best not to slip. I have learned quickly that it is better to step to the mountain side of the path when the yaks squeeze by. The yaks don’t seem to be aware of how wide their horns or loads are. I hope the harvest went well,
Thanks for the message. It was my third flight into Lukla and each one has been an incredible experience. Paul.
It was a great relief to see all of our gear arrive. This year I am staying in in the lodges with Tim and Damien. While there is some weight to the argument of camping being isolated from the other trekkers, the comforts of the lodge are hard to pass up. Asian Trekking has everybody in our climbing party staying in the same lodge. Paul.
Dad & Mary:
Thanks for the message. We thought of Meals on her birthday. The BBQ sounds great. The trip really has been an adventure. The days since arriving in Kathmandu have been pretty full on as we got everything ready. My hat is off to you Mary doing the walk in by yourself and the day after you flew in! Dame and I, and the other climbers, lean on Paul for advice on everything, especially gear advice. This has made it much easier!
You are right, it has been great to have my brothers here. Hopefully we don’t get sick of each after 3 weeks together (ha ha). Thanks for your good wishes.
Hello Ann and hi to Andy,
Thanks for your continued of support. It was great to have everybody post messages. I went on a hike with Andy up Mt. Washington last year so I know that he would have enjoyed it. Well, Everest is not going anywhere so there will be plenty more opportunities for Andy.
Hello Andy’s mum and hi to Andy also,
Andy is a great friend to both Inna and I. It would have been great if Andy was here but it was not meant to be. Things happen for a reason and I am sure that this new job will be great for Andy. When Andy does get over to Nepal he will have to bring extra suitcases to transport all the outdoor gear that can be bought at good prices over here.
Thanks for the message,
Steve is indeed trekking with our group. We passed on your message and hopefully he has been able to get in touch.
Hi Cel, Thanks for your SMS. It came through loud and clear. Hope things are well in Cambridge.
Hi Mira, Its Atilla here – its really good to hear from you. We will try to have a group picture posted on the website tomorrow, so that you can see everyone. Hope to see you in Budapest 😉 Cheers, Attila
Hi Bridget, Great to hear from you. Yes, its a far cry from the heat of Australia here. We are all settling into the trekking routine. Really enjoying the food at the two lodges we have stayed at so far, and also at Kathmandu. Paul.
We are off for a walk tomorrow around the nearby area.