Saturday, 21 April 2018

Himalaya day #4 - Hillary school and museum

A civilised start this morning setting off at 8am from the Green Tara hotel, our home for the last 2 nights. I enjoyed Namche tremendously. It has the sense of a lost world.

The walk today was an initial 300m vertical slog until we eventually hit our first view point of Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam et al. With brilliant clear blue skys we had perfect views and was glad to get out of all the traffic that was leaving Namche.

From that viewpoint you could clearly see the mountain path that I ran along yesterday. On that, whilst the legs feel good the 2 hours running at over 3,500 have made me feel very jaded and potentially even a mild form of AMS. Who knows.

The Hotel Everest View followed with more sightings of the world’s heighest peaks. I have to say Ama Dablam is by far and away my favourite. It always has been. Using the 300mm Canon lense the snow overhangs (seracs) were clearly visible. It looks like a monster to climb albeit only 6,800m and reminds me of the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps.

Every day I try and take advantage of all the opportunities to speak with our 3 sherpa guides. Today I asked Sheilesh about the mythical snow leapord who roam the Sagarmartha National Park. The last sighting was 6 months ago where they tend to stay around the 4,500m mark.

Late morning we descended down to the Khumjung Valley floor to visit both the Sir Hillary school and hospital which he founded. Both were impressive and have brought much needed amenities to the local people. I asked one of the doctors on sight about the foundation and it came to pass that it’s lacking in funds and I wonder whether the death of Hillary in 2008 has impacted the momentum
of the charity.

As always, I enjoyed taking photos of all the locals’ fascinating faces. They are beautiful people and shared a joke with one of the old ladies outside the hospital. The deal was that she would allow me to have my photo taken with her on the condition I buy something from her stall. I duly obliged buying a traditional necklace and wrist band.

After a short visit to the Samten Choling monastery we descended further to our next tea house the ‘Ama Dablam Lodge’ in Kyangjuma. Tonight’s altitude is 3,600m but tomorrow we are upping it again to 4,000. I remember sleeping at that height for the Mont Blanc ascent staying at the Gouter hut and it was a nightmare. 

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