The climb to Namche Bazaar
Trip Start Sep 30, 2006
149Trip End Dec 24, 2008
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Phakding (2652m) to Namche Bazaar(3420m)
Today is a day of climbing with a 1000m ascent to tackle. It was a beautiful trail that followed the Dudh Kosi river. Along the river it all looked a little french with fir trees and more rhododendrons until you reach an old weathered Sherpa house and it looks more like the Dark ages.
We were stuck in a rush hour traffic jam for twenty minutes, 7 yaks, 3 mules, 5 porters and 10 trekkers attempted to out maneuver each. other. The Yaks are very shy, timid and lazy. They do move out of the way for you when you face them, which is good because their horns are large, sharp and pointy. They walk like dominoes. The yak at the back takes a beating from the herder. He will then shuffle forward nudging the next one on and so forth. They all take about five paces, notice some interesting leaf and stop.
We enter Sargarmatha national park. Sargarmatha is the Nepalese name for Everest. Everest comes from the British explorer Sir George Everest. The Tibetans call the mountain Chomolungma.
On a board behind the park officials desk are the figures for the numbers of trekkers each month since 1998. If you care nothing for figures them skip this paragraph. If you are thinking of coming here then you should read this: In 2007 the most popular month was October, way ahead of the other months with 7750 trekkers. Joint second in popularity is November and April with 4240 trekkers. In third place is March with 3029trekkers. After this there are two periods: quiet and almost empty.
Quiet is May, September and December with around 1300 trekkers. May is the month we visited and it was great. No crowds, good weather and always space on the trail and in hostels. Between two and ten people in a hostel each night was sociable but no party. And almost empty is the harsh winter months of January and February and the monsoon months of June, July and August with around 200 trekkers in each month.
We meet tom and Emma for lunch, they fill us in on English news. I learn't the worst possible candidate ever, Boris Johnson is now London mayor! London, what have you done? And the price of petrol is now around 1.20p
I talk to Tom & Emma's porter and pick up the bag he carries to see what it weighs. I'm no walking set of scales but it was easily 30kg, if not more. The lad had the bag wrapped in rope and he looped the rope over the top of his head, Nepalese porter style. I wanted to find out the pain he experiences each day so I asked him if I can try it. I crouched down and fitted the band over my forehead and tried to stand. Have you ever put 30kg on your head, don't. I wobbled up and my neck muscles tensed then started to bend over as I walked up a few paces and back again. I put the bag down and marveled at how skinny the lad was.
We carried on for a couple more hours before arriving at Namche Bazaar, the largest town in this region. The stone buildings swirled around the bowl shaped valley, hotel after hotel. We picked the Everest hotel which was built from thick, chiseled slabs of white stone and served good pizza.
Love Dan & Kat
Where I stayed