Saturday, 21 April 2018

Himalaya day #2 - Namche Bazaar

Today was mainly warm sunshine and the array of suspension bridges flanked by prayer flags. I felt good today and still blown away to be here in the Himalaya. A dream come true. In the morning I was also beside myself with anticipation to see Namche for the first time. I’ve looked forward to this more than seeing Everest.

The most iconic mountain of the day was the Kasum Kang Karu (the white 3 sisters) as we slalomed up the Khumbu Valley. I will remember the pine forests as well as the high number of Tea Houses. Given it’s the only way up and the original Hillary route there are many with all the locals trying to get in on the Tourism bug.

We stopped at all of the prayer wheels which are required to be turned clockwise in order to provide good luck.  It’s not just for you personally but for all people of the world. This sums up the people of Nepal! 

I will also remember the double suspension bridge higher up the valley where the newer bridge sits above the old one. It’s dramatic in the sense that the new one is approximately 150ms up and when windy it swings from side to side. There was also the Norwegian family with their 3 young children, the 2 younger ones in the kiddy carrier back packs (one carried by a porter). I asked the lady how old the eldest was who was walking. ‘11’ she said giving me food for thought.

I will also remember the porters. Sheilesh has dubbed them the ‘mountain lorries’ with some carrying up to 100kg.  Three quarters of the way up I asked one of the porters who was resting how heavy his load was. He thought around 85kg but he was tiny and would have only weighed 60kg himself. Doing this at altitude and on steep inclines is nothing short of heroic. They go all day too. I caught the grimace on his face on my Cannon when he set off in front of us.

Next up was the first Everest look-out but with the clouds swelling that quickly became academic. Then it was all about the walk into Namche. I held back purposely from the group as I wanted to take it all in. It’s the biggest settlement in the Khumbu Valley with the medina perched on a steep incline in a horse shoe fashion. I’ve read so much about this place. 

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