This morning stared off at a lovely 7:00am with breakfast at our lodge in Phakding. We all slept ok, but there is still space for improvement. One night on this trip I will sleep through the night – I am hoping that night is tonight.
We started trekking at 8:00am. The first three hours were a nice “easy” up and down. We finally made it to lunch. Lunch was a lovely vegetable curry with rice and fantastic potatoes and greens that tasted like spicy horta. It was the best meal I have had while hiking so far. Alex and Tom got some fried noodle thing that they raved about. It was interesting. The highlight of our lunch was the friend we mate. He was a 3 year old little boy who just hammed it up for everyone at lunch. I think he and George should be pen pals.
So after lunch things got real. We had to climb 700m up to Namche. Our guide quoted 2.5 hours. Tom and Alex could have totally made it in that time (they ran up a horrible section of steps, just for fun). I completed the 700m in a nice 4 hours (and that may be optimistic). My poor lungs and heart. Altitude is kicking in for sure. We have reached over 12,000 feet. I am hoping tonight’s sleep will help with some acclimation and I will sleep through the night. (While typing that last sentence, I learned that both Tom and Alex don’t regularly sleep through the night. Another example of Tom never being sleep trained. Alex agrees.)
After many many many steps, steep inclines, and crossing the highest bridge in Nepal we arrived in Namche. Namche is a beautiful village in the mountains with some of the most breathtaking views. The village is one of the largest in the area and is a center point for the Sherpa community. They boys explored for a bit and visited a market. Tomorrow we are going on an acclimation hike from here and will explore the village after.
Other highlights of today:
1. A little old lady walking two cows down the trail making a point to stop, point to Alex, and tell him how much she like his hat with the biggest smile. I am so sad I was not quick enough to snap a photo.
2. Yaks crossing the tallest bridge in Nepal almost push Tom and Alex off the mountain. Again, sad I was unable to snap a photo
3. We have standardized the naming of the facilities: western standard (sitting toilet), eastern standard (squatting porcelain toilet), and eastern classic (pit latrine). We have been very lucky to not experience an eastern classic yet, but Tom found a western standard at our guest house in Phakding and Alex and I were very jealous. Oh well its good for the thighs.
4. Tom found his statistics book from college on tonight’s hotel’s “take-one, leave-one” shelf. Yes it is a hardback. I feel bad for the kid who hiked up with that.
So I feel like this blog post is just a rambling of thoughts of today. I will attribute it to altitude and physical exhaustion. Off to sleep!
Red Panda Sighting: 0
Coleman Wipes Used: 30
Coleman Wipes Unused: 690