Wow….what a day. The hike was only just over three miles…maybe three and a half, but the total elevation gain was 2000 feet. There was some scary downhill – slippery slopes and such (very thankful for the poles), but the end was a mile and a half straight uphill. We took it slow, but it still kicked my butt….whether it was the altitude or the sick, I’m not sure.
The hike ended at Namche Bazaar, the “city” of the Khumbu region. It’s a really cool town cut into the side of a mountain, with stairs everywhere. Once we got here, I thought we were done with the climbing, but then had to climb up to the lodge where we’re camping, snow lodge, I believe. We’re camping on the terraces behind the lodge (because nothing in Namche is flat). Brian and I are on the upper terrace, maybe ten feet up, with no railing and some steps that I’m sure will be crazy in the dark. Here’s to hoping I don’t fall if I make a bathroom run in the middle of the night.
We walked around the village for a little while before dinner – found a couple of places to get a yak bell on our way back through and a coffee shop with free wifi. I had my first coke in I dont know how long, usually it has way too much sugar, but I must have needed that today. I also found a pharmacy and asked the woman working there what I should take for a cold during the day and night, and got a decent supply of medicine for $8. Hopefully Nepalese cold medicine works well (and I can guess the dosage since there arent any directions).
So far the most interesting thing I’ve seen is cell phone usage. We’re in a very remote area – no roads, no cars, and everything here was trekked in from somewhere else. But, cellphones are everywhere, and everyone (even the kids) seems to have one.
The things I miss the most – pizza and showers…and probably clean clothes, but I dont think I’ve had to wear anything twice yet and we might be able to do laundry tomorrow. The food has been amazing, but I can’t tell you how badly I wanted pizza when we got here today. And of course there’s a pizza restaurant down the street, but we cant eat it because we’ll get sick from food we arent used to. The lodge has a solar shower, but the guide warned us not to use it if we werent feeling well because of the heat loss between being done and getting dressed. The temp also varies – one of our group members got a shock of cold water and had to have someone come fix it. However, it may become too hard to resist before we leave.
Other than that, its been great getting to know our group. After only a few days, it’s like we’ve been friends forever.