Hi all - Fiona here again,
We've been enjoying another
acclimatisation day here in Namche - but instead of the rigorous bakery tour
schedule of yesterday, we actually did a bit of walking and exploring.
Views of Everest
We started the day with a hearty breakfast (porridge, Sherpa tea, and omelette)
and then the four of us took a short walk up a hill near our campsite where we
got our first sighting of Mt Everest. From this far away, it's difficult to
tell that it's taller than some of the closer mountains. However, the huge
cloud plume coming off the top gave it's size away. It was kind of strange to
actually see it in the flesh. From here it looks massive, but with relatively
gentle slopes when compared to some of the smaller mountains that have
extremely steep sides. Everest almost looks peaceful - but with that cloud
plume indicating high winds, I know that it would be anything but peaceful up
After taking in the view, we
continued onwards on a walk aimed at assisting our acclimatisation. The first
hour or so was steeply uphill until we reached the ridge above Namche. We
continued on a little further until we got to the famous Everest View Hotel.
Here guests fly in on helicopter, are quickly given oxygen masks and taken by
yak to the hotel where they are put inside a pressurised room. Without this,
guests would soon be feeling very ill from the altitude as they would not have
had time to acclimatise. But for us and the other trekkers, we were able to
sit outside comfortably and ordered cold drinks and real coffee. Chris and I
(to a lesser extent) had been thinking about this coffee for quite a while.
The views from here were absolutely amazing - like we were sitting inside a
postcard. Not only could we see Everest (now with an even bigger cloud plume
pouring off the top), but we could also see Lhotse, Ama Dablam and lots more.
The weather has been extremely kind to us so far - giving us beautiful clear
days. Hopefully this will continue further up.
Khumjung and Khunde townships
After sitting for quite a while at the Everest View Hotel, we got going again
and walked through the townships of Khumjung and Khunde. We visited the local
school (the one Edmund Hilary founded), the hospital, and the monastery.
Inside the monastery we viewed the supposed Yetti skull - very hairy but not
especially convincing! The monastery itself was very brightly decorated with
lots of buddist images and coloured fabrics. There was a group of monks
chatting casually out the front.
It was interesting wandering
through these towns, which were clearly a lot less tourist oriented than
Namche. We saw lots more people at work in the fields, building works going
on, but lots of people seemed pretty relaxed - playing card games, chatting in
the streets, and gathering in shops.
The real highlight - hot
After our walk, we returned to the teahouse where Chris and Bridget are
staying and all enjoyed a hot shower. After only 4 days of grubbiness, this
Tomorrow, our plan is to get
moving again and head up to Deboche.
Bye for now,
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