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Author Topic: April 1st: Bruce Matthews: Five days in Namche Bazar  (Read 3197 times)

bruce matthews

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This has been a whirlwind 5 days of trekking and acclimatization!

I arrived in Lukla on what appears to be the shortest runway in the World...530 meters uphill which ends in a retaining wall with the Himalaya Lodge perched atop!

I met my my porter,guide and now good friend, Dorje Tamang, a 23 year old Nepalese.We struck out at pace to our destination for the day, Monjo. We did good time and arrived there mid afternoon, 13 kilometers from Lukla. We had lunched at Phakding, 7 kilometers from Lukla. Lunch consisted of garlic soup and dal bhat, a rice and curry veg meal that is a fairly typical sherpa meal.

Our lodge at Monjo was clean and comfortable and the food good. Dal bhat again!

Next morning, after breakfast of cheese omelette and milk tea, we headed off to do the approximately 5 kilometers to Namche.We had our first glimpse of Everest at a view site about 2 kilometers form Namche Bazar.This was a welcome respite from the huge climb up from the Dudh Koshi river.

We arrived at Namche around 11:00 so there was time to do more in term of altitude gain. The gain between Monjo and Namche was 600 meters which we followed with a 440 meter gain in walking up to the Everest View Hotel for afternoon tea.Total gain for Tuesday was 1060 meters.

Namche Bazar is a very beautiful village nestled into the side of the hill.It is colourful, has shops with everything for the trekker or climber, bakeries with superb pastries and divine coffee! There are roughly 40 lodges in NB and many Internet Cafe's giving access to the outside world via satelite phone. our lodge, The Kangri, has satelite TV, so watching World Cup Cricket was a bonus. Hard to believe that all this is available in such a remote part of the Himalayas.

Theer is only pedestrian and Yak traffic in the lanes of NB. Gone are the days of less clean lodges and unhygienic food preparation leading to illness. The population of locals is about 1000 that grows to 3500 transitory numbers during the season.

It is rumoured that there are 23 climbing expeditions heading to Everest through Namche Bazar this year and a further 40 groups trekking to Base Camp! Many climbers attempting Everest from the Tibetan side come to NB and trek in this region to acclimatize...much as I have.

The Hotel Kangri is owned and run by Dorje Lama Sherpa and his lovely wife Nima. Dorje is a college graduate who studied commerce. He is involved with WWF with special ineterst in conservation, tourism and pollution control. He was part of a group that produced a documentary on pollution control directed at the porters and shown thoughout he Kumbe region. I cannot recommend the Kangri Lodge more highly and Dorje and his wife with their good grasp of english are a great help with the locals. A room in Kangri costs 100 Nepal Rupees (NZ$ 2 or US$ 1.40) A typical meal of soup, folowed by a main and a desert with tea, will cost 500NR or NZ$ 10.

On Wednesday we tramped out through Thamo, part of the Everest Marathon route, and onto Thame and the monastery situated above Thame at 4000 meters. On Thursday I accompanied my new friend and trekking partner of three day, up to Mong-La. Gensuzuki was heading to Base Camp via Gokyo.

On Friday we left Namch Bazar for the trek back to Lukla at 0815 and arrived at 2:15. With my passion of measuring all my runs, and using my GPS, taking out rest stops for lunch etc, we covered the 18 kilometers in 4:30!

It's quite a difficult walk out from NB - the track is not congested but there are scores of trampers, Yak trains and porters carrying huge loads for expeditions.

I have come away from Namche Bazar at a time when the serious are preparing fo their expeditions. Now it is only the early flight off the mountain and back to the bedlam that is Kathmandu that awaits!

Our expedition into Tibet leaves Kathmandu on Tuesday and I am hoping to report  as often as is possible with pictures of that region and ultimately of the North Face from North Col!

Namaskar!
« Last Edit: Apr 1 2007, 16:35 by 7summits »

m.c. reinhardt

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Re: Five days in Namche Bazar
« Reply #1 on: Apr 1 2007, 13:54 »

Great report, Bruce. It sounds like you are acclimatizing well and truly enjoying yourself. Wonderful descriptions of the villages and the kind people you are meeting. Continued success!

MC  :)
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Re: April 1st: Bruce Matthews: Five days in Namche Bazar
« Reply #2 on: Apr 2 2007, 22:03 »

Thanks for the stories Bruce, I wish I could join you!

Attached are some pictures Bruce sent today, thanks :)
"He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary." -- Friedrich Nietzsche
 

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