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  Everest 2006: ANDALUCIA EVEREST EXPEDITION THE EXPEDITION STARTS TREKKING OVER SHERPA TERRITORY


They flew to Luckla to enter the Sherpa region.

Phakding, March 29, 2006

The members of the Andalucía Everest Expedition started the journey in the disorganized airport of domestic flights in Katmandu, where they boarded a Twin Otter DHC-6 plane of Yeti Airlines towards the Himalayas, with capacity for two pilots, fifteen passengers and a flight attendant.  In a 40 minutes flight they have been able to see some of the emblematic peaks of Nepal on one side and woody mounts and paths with scattered houses on the other.

With eight backpacks and other three packages of audiovisual material that have required an overweight fee, the expedition has flown East of Katmandu to Luckla, a town located at 2,845m of altitude with an airport located between the mountains, with a nerve wrecking landing strip of only 500 meters uphill.  The complex is surrounded by an exaggerated military presence.  In this town they saw the first yaks and the majestic tones of white, gray and ocher of the greatest mountain system of the planet.  The greens in the vegetation and the purple and yellow flowers add the rest.

There are some parts of the route with a worn pavement, granite houses chiseled by hand with wooden window frames and tin roofs painted in blue surrounded by little orchards in the available spaces of the hills.  Craved or painted stones with Nepalese characters and drawings, and religious Buddhist flags are especially interesting along the path.  There are also abundant shops, bars and tourist lodges in the zone.

They have entered the Sherpa region - the natural park of Sagarmantha - with some porters, going through stony paths that slither along the Dudh-kosi river valley.  There are cascades, moraines, peculiar drawings on the stones of this paradise for geologists, hanging bridges.  In summary, a trek of some four hours until they got to a lodge in Phakding.

They will leave to Namche Bazaar (3,450m) at daybreak, in the heart of the Sherpa territory.  On the way they will be greeted by rhododendrons, huge firs and ups and downs.  A breathtaking landscape that will repeat for the next seven days when they get to Island Peak's base camp.

CONTACT WITH SHERPAS

Nuru is the chief of the Sherpas in our trekking.  He is 30 years old, two children - the mean in this ethnic.  He has been to the summit of Island Peak.  He is a professional on mountain matters from March to October.  Kancha looks like the one in charge of the four porters that are helping us.  The younger one is Nima, 26, and today he has worked with enthusiasm helping cameraman Dani Bueno on his complex task over here, with the worst yet to come.  The Sherpas are kind, ready for service and with nice manners.  They carry the loads in baskets that support with they front.  They dress half traditionally, half western.  They are very happy with their work and they have learned to live of the attractiveness of their especial geographic situation.  They have opened shops and businesses like lodges and diners.  Men and women carry beer, drive yaks, work the soil and take care of their little ones with captivating eyes.  There is a lot to learn from them in the next days.  

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

Dispatches

 

 

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