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Day 6

Today is another tough but rewarding day - we leave the comforts of Namche Bazaar and trek to Tengbouche at 3800mtrs. We first descend 200mtrs so it makes the climb a little harder. It's soooo worth it though, the views and scenery are awesome and the sun is shining the whole time we are trekking. So much so that we both got a little sunburned, as did a few other trekkers we met along the way. That's something about this trip that I just loved - meeting so many people from all over the world, all working towards the same goal, all encouraging each other and having a laugh along the way!

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Throughout today we meet lots of local children who ask us for balloons! We didn't think to bring balloons, but we did bring the next best thing - sweets!! We hand out chewy sweeties to as many kids as we can. They are so sweet!

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It's another long day trekking, but both Deryl and I feel strong and able. The downhills are challenging for us as it hurts the feet a little, but otherwise this is a good days trekking. You can certainly feel the temperature dropping as you arrive in Tengbouche.

We also have the most amazing view from our bedroom window......

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When we get to our hotel, Deryl and I have a gorgeous flask of hot chocolate - it was like nectar. We then head over to a Buddhist temple where we are privileged enough to witness the monks meditating. It's really something else and a total departure from our normal lives. This is why travelling is so amazing - you get to see and do things outside your everyday life!

When we get back to the hotel - we gather the gang together and play a few card games, have some lovely noodle soup for dinner and retire to bed. I'm really wanting a vodka and lemonade right about now but my guide Mohan, advises me against it due to the alititude - party pooper! The communal room is so toasty and warm thanks to the yak poo burning in the stoves - it's hard to leave and go to our cold little rooms!

Posted by DerylandJo 06:03 Archived in Nepal Tagged mountains snow hiking trekking everest fun camp base nepal kathmandu pack list 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)

We are going!!!!

So, it's been over 4 months since a massive earthquake devastated Nepal and Everest Base Camp. We've spent that time getting a new puppy (who is as big a challenge as Everest we think!) and trying to get travel insurance. This HAS NOT been easy given that the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office continues to advise against all but essential travel to specific regions in Nepal, one of which is base camp. Our current insurers, Debenhams, have been terrible. They didn't refund our trip at all, not the flights nor the trek due to it being an act of god. They also won't insure us with the current FCO guidance in place.

To be fair to them on the last point, 99% of UK insurers won't insure us and we've searched and searched for a company that will. We've come across two - The British Mountaineering Council and True Travellers - both of which will cover us with the current FCO guidance. The BMC offers a more comprehensive, albeit, more expensive insurance but that's the one we'll probably go for.

To be honest, we've been so convinced we won't get to go, that we haven't quite gotten our heads around it at all. Getting insurance has all come as a bit of a shock and we now have to start mentally preparing for the gruelling task ahead!

Anyhow, as I mentioned before, at least our packing list is done and we have everything bought so at least that but is done. I know the experience in Nepal will be different than it was to be in April. I know the devastation caused and the lasting effects it has had on its peoples. But I also know that we must visit Nepal, tourism must continue and if the country is to have any chance of rebuilding, we must keep our money in their economy. So....we're going!

Anyone else out there going to trek Everest Base Camp in 2015???

Posted by DerylandJo 03:57 Archived in Nepal Tagged mountains snow hiking trekking everest fun camp base nepal kathmandu pack list Comments (0)

Update

Namaste!

Just want to update this page. From our last post, we've been frantically trying to get flights refunded, get in touch with our tour operator out in Nepal and trying to figure out if we should cancel our trip completely or just re-arrange - will it be safe, will Kathmandu still be in devastation, will we be able to trek this year at all if there are still aftershocks and frankly are we wise!?!? We've also been getting used to the fact that we were back in work after only 1 day off, instead of having an amazing month off trekking in Nepal - boooooooo!

Anyhow, we've decided that we still want to tackle Everest Base Camp and we have rebooked our adventure for the start of October 2015. We've raised all this money for the Alzheimer's Society and we also have our minds set on taking on this challenge so we are going to go for it and hope we still enjoy the experience. We know Kathmandu is in a terrible state, but hopefully if people keep on visiting there and putting their money into the country, they can get back on their feet sooner rather than later!

The good news is we've all our buying, organising and packing lists done, so it's just a matter of bunging it all in our rucksacks and going!

So that's all folks, keep checking in on this blog over the summer months and we will blog a bit more before we go in October!

Posted by DerylandJo 03:03 Archived in Nepal Tagged mountains snow hiking trekking everest fun camp base nepal kathmandu pack list Comments (0)

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