Thursday, May 1, 2008

At Namche Part II

Wednesday-Thursday, April 30-May 1
As DJ mentioned in the previous blog, the hike from Phakding was a pretty strenuous one as we ascended over 3000 ft. to Namche. The hike took us past the Sagarmatha National Park Entrance and Tourist Information Center where we showed our trekking permits and got our bags inspected. At lunch time I had the opportunity to show the NASA tattoos I brought with me to two children playing nearby. I think they found the tattoos interesting and proudly displayed them!

When we arrived to Namche we started to settle in to our tents located in town next to one of the tea houses. Some of us took naps and others just sat in awe over the scenery as the mountains seem to screem over the sky. After dinner most folks headed for a good night sleep.

Indira, who owns the trekking company we are associated with, is hiking part of our trek with us for the first time. She will be going no further than Namche. In the morning (6:00) of day 2 in Namche she taught several of us yoga breathing exercises with some stretching moves as she explained it is very helpful in the mountains and healthy for life. After yoga it was time for tea (7:00) followed by breakfast (8:00). For breakfast this morning we had a hot rice pudding, omelets, and flat bread with jam. The meals vary, but are very accomodating given where we are at. It is usually a mix of some american type food and local food.

After breakfast we headed to a very interesting museum in Namche that illustrates the history of the mountains and culture. The museum sits atop a little hill, and when we reached it we saw our first glimpse of Mt. Everest! Lhotse was more prevelant as it sits in front of it from our vantage point, but still what a sight. You could see that characteristic peak with the jet stream whipping the snow off to one side. It was quite chilling.

Several of us followed up the trip to the museum with a short trek to the top of a ridge that overlooks Namche which also has a little basin used as an airport for helicopters and paragliders. The rest of the day will be used for more rest and a chance to explore some of the shops in Namche.

Tomorrow we are off to Tengpoche.



Suzanne said...

Chris - 3 Everest Team t-shirts showed up at my house yesterday. Do you need those? Is there a Fed Ex at Namche Bazaar? (The name of that place makes me want to go shopping!)

Love you - Your sis

Sandy said...

I am one of Wheels' Alabama teacher friend. Please take care of him since he doesn't really know about climbing and also tell him happy birthday on Monday. The students and teachers in the area are following the Mt. Everest adventure.