A Travellerspoint blog

Day 4

Day 4 begins with a 7.30am start.

We wake up to a lovely breakfast of apple and cinnamon porridge, get all our gear together and set off for Namche Bazaar - this village is a main thoroughfare for all trekkers in the region. Those going to Everest, Ama Dablam , Gokyo, etc, all come through Namche - it's full of shops, tea houses, bars and you can buy any type of trekking equipment here you may not already have sorted.

Today, we go from 2,600mtrs to 3,400mtrs and it is a brutal day of trekking. Today is one of the most difficult and long days of the entire trip, it's relentless and tiring - but the views are utterly amazing, breath-taking and worth every difficult step. The terrain is dusty, forest-like and very very steep. It's slow progress and at this point, you wonder what the heck you are doing half way around the world, away from all your creature comforts. We stop in a little café for some lunch and rest the then pick up where we left off.

Throughout the day, we cross five of the famous rope bridges. Starting from the smallest, and finishing with the highest. I am pretty height-averse, I go a bit weak at the knees and I am very pleased with myself, that I manage to get across all five without so much as a whimper. Once you hit the 5th and highest bridge, you are well accustomed to them and I don't bat an eyelid. In fact, I'm rather disappointed that there aren't any higher ones left!

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We also see the famous Yaks, every step of the way. We see horses, donkeys and men carrying loads that seem impossible to you and I. They are transporting goods, food, drinks and supplies to the trekkers higher up the mountain. These people are hardy, strong and resilient. I'm in awe of them.

After 6-7 hours trekking, we see Namche in the distance - it is like a beacon from heaven - we've made it!

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I am so pleased and delighted and Namche is everything I thought it would be. The tea house we are staying in is somewhat modern for the mountains, with an actual hot shower, decent toilets and BEER - lots of lovely beer!! When we get into our tea house, we take our hiking boots off and the relief in my feet is glorious. We settle down to a beer, get a shower and change of clothes and then have some traditional Sherpa stew (veggie option), also known as Dal Bhat. This is the meal all the porters and guides eat and I was keen to try some local foods. I was allowed to eat it, but on one condition - I eat like the locals, with my hands. Never one to turn down a challenge, I use some anti-bac gel on my paws, roll up my sleeves and shove the Dal Bhat into my mouth like I hadn't eaten in a week. It was delicious.

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We threatened to go to one of the Namche discos, but we're too tired and mosey on to bed at a decent time to prepare for tomorrow's acclimatisation day.

JOEY IS TIRED!

Posted by DerylandJo 07:31 Archived in Nepal Tagged mountains snow wedding hiking trekking everest fun camp base nepal kathmandu Comments (0)

day 3

Day 3

The big day! We are finally heading to the Himalayas, after months and months of planning. I wish I could say I am looking forward to it, but my mind focuses on the flight to Lukla which we are taking at 8am.

The flight to Lukla is well regarded as one of the most dangerous in the world, landing on one of the shortest runways in the world, carved into the middle of a mountain, on an uphill runway!!!! And I can tell you, it lives up to its name!! I’m not the best of flyers to begin with, but when I see all the size of the plane, I really start to get nervous! When we board, I am three seats away from the pilot, I can see out the front window of the plane as there is no barrier between us and the crew and our pilot is wearing fingerless, leather driving gloves – I figure he knows what he’s doing. I am accompanied on the flight by a few real characters - Lucky Lewis from Vegas, a lovely family from South Africa, our travel companions Elise and Angus and our guides. Even they seem a little nervous, which both comforts and terrifies me in equal measure.

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The 16-seater propeller plane takes off from Kathmandu for a 25 min flight which takes you right into the middle of the Himalayas. You are unbelievably close to the mountains around you – sitting on the left ensures you set the most amazing views of the mountains. The plane flies like a car skidding on ice and my knuckles were white. But in a sick way, I was really enjoying it all!! There is a massive right turn and I look out the window, to see the little itty bitty runway in the distance....i think, no surely not, surely THAT’S not the runway......but the wheels come down, and so do we. The talented pilots lined the plane up with the runway, the wheels come down, we slam onto the runway and the full brakes are applied. Thank goodness we stop before the runway ends!!! We’re down and we’re ready to go!!!

We hit Lukla with a spring in our step and a renewed respect for life!! Lukla is a nice town with shops, restaurants, a Hard Rock Cafe, Starbucks and lots of bars! We walk through and make our way to Phadking. It’s a long day trekking, up and downhill, taking us from 2800 meters to 2600 meters. We all struggle with the pace and steep hills.

Phadking is another lovely village and the rest at the tea house is very welcome after our first long trek. I’m glad to get my boots off and chill for a while! We had lovely veg curry for dinner and I sampled some of the local milk tea , which is lovely, like hot, sweet milk? sounds terrible, but it was lovely. We were asleep for 9pm – rock and roll!!

Posted by DerylandJo 07:07 Archived in Nepal Tagged mountains snow wedding hiking trekking everest fun camp base nepal kathmandu Comments (0)

Day 2

Day 2

After being asked to attend an orientation talk by outfitters Nepal tour company in the morning at 8.30am, we arrived in the lobby of our hotel to meet another Raj, who seemed to be a senior person in the company. We also had the pleasure of meeting Angus and Elise, our travel companions from Australia, who were part of our tour group. Lovely couple! Raj told us about what to expect from the trek, what each day would bring, how we would feel, how hard it would be, and of course, how much we would enjoy it!!

We then embarked on a guided tour of Kathmandu’s main tourist spots with Rajesh – who also happens to be an Everest tour guide. We saw Rajesh throughout our entire trip and he was just lovely. It was an interesting and fun-filled day. We visited many Buddhist and Hindu temples which were full of colour and intrigue.

First stop was Durbar Square, which was wonderful. It’s full of temples, idols, market stalls, people and the Kumari – living goddess, whom we were lucky enough to see. There were a number of indications of the devastation caused by the recent earthquake six months ago – a number of buildings were cordoned off and you could clearly see the temples that collapsed. A few had massive stress cracks up the side of the building and were being held together with wooden scaffolding. It was quite scary to be there, thinking of the chaos that unfolded only a few months earlier.

We visited the Monkey Temple where there was lots of sacred monkeys roaming around, a few shops where you can buy trinkets and the most fabulous views of Kathmandu Valley – it’s so large and vast looking from this vista point, it’s worth the drive up there just to see the view. There are also spectacular temples and stupas, the pictures I got from up there were brilliant.

The big surprise of the day was a visit to Pashupatinath Temple, where you can witness open air, public cremations on the side of the river. Thick smoke fills the air and you realise it is in fact, the bodies burning on concrete plinths. It’s a very strange experience. On one side of the river, grieving families mourn their loved one. On the other side, tourists stand to witness the ceremonies, taking photos and trying not to breathe in the air. It’s important to understand their culture, and I feel blessed to have seen this part of their culture and religion. Not one for the fainthearted, but not one to be missed.

We then stopped off for a rooftop lunch beside the Buddhist stupa of Boudhanath, which is one of the largest stupas in the world, and in a World Heritage site. Unfortunately, it was also badly damaged by the earthquake and we could see men working to repair the top section. I have a bottle of lovely Everest beer and enjoyed the midday sun!

Deryl and I went back to our hotel, met our lovely guide Mohan and received our down jackets and sleeping bags from outfitters. After a long, hot day, we headed out for dinner in Thamel and then to bed. All packed and ready to go the next morning to the mountains! Exciting!!

Posted by DerylandJo 06:34 Archived in Nepal Tagged mountains snow hiking trekking everest fun camp base nepal kathmandu pack list Comments (0)

Day one!

Day 1!

We’ve left our lovely home in Northern Ireland and ventured towards the unknown – in every sense of the word. We’ve no idea what this trip will be like – what will Kathmandu be like, will the trek be too hard, will we be airlifted off, will we enjoy it?!?! It was a long and tiring journey from home to Dublin airport, 7 hour stopover in Abu Dhabi and then our final flight into Kathmandu airport.

The airport in Nepal’s capital is very very basic and when we arrived there was an issue with the baggage handlers. This meant that we waited at the baggage carousel for 1 ½ hours before getting our backpacks. Not ideal, but not the end of the world.

When we walk outside into the hot night air, it's chaos; there are tour companies everywhere, all holding up names of arriving passengers. There are cars, buses, taxis, bikes, motorbikes, noise, horns, babies, dogs, cats, MONKEYS....you name it, it was there!!

Thankfully we met Raj, from outfitters Nepal tour company who took our bags and escorted us to the van. The car park was crazy and the drive to our hotel was an experience in itself!

After checking into a basic room in the Hotel Moonlight in Thamel, we settled to sleep for the fun of tomorrow!

Here is our hotel lobby!!

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Posted by DerylandJo 06:24 Archived in Nepal Tagged mountains snow hiking trekking everest fun camp base nepal kathmandu pack list Comments (0)

Today's the day

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So today's the day we leave for the adventure of a lifetime. This is going to be the most challenging and hopefully, rewarding trip we've ever done. I was going to say, the most rewarding trip we will ever do, but I hope there are plenty more adventures to come our way so I'm not going to set the bar just yet!

We are ready to get our asses whooped by the mighty Everest. I've no doubt there will be blood, sweat and tears, but I'm also sure there will be laughs, fun, new friendships and most importantly, new memories. If we do this......if we make it, it will be an amazing thing. We'll be able to take on anything after this!

Wish us luck and if you can, check in with us when we're away using this blog or my instagram channel where I hope to upload some pics....leave some comments here or on instagram https://instagram.com/joanneeland81/ and we should get them when we have wifi. We'll also be on whatsapp too.

See you on the other side!!

Posted by DerylandJo 05:50 Tagged mountains snow wedding hiking trekking everest fun camp base nepal kathmandu Comments (0)

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