Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Namche Bazaar

[Written October 8]

We are now 3 days into our 24 day trek. However, today was really quite sad. The same flight we came in on to Lukla on Monday crashed this morning killing all aboard—17. Apparently it was cloudy and the pilot came in too low and ran straight into the mountain. There were 2 Nepalese guides and everyone else was on a German tour. The news spread quickly up and down the mountains as several military men were headed down from Namche to help. There is also intermittent cell phone service available. There hasn't been a fatal crash at that airport in many, many years so all the Nepalese were quite shocked.

When we get back to Kathmandu Mark will post picture of the airport if not before.

We have actually done quite well with the hiking. We divided the normal first day into two to help with the acclimatizing. We were quite worried about today because it is supposed to be the hardest of the trek with a 2300 ft climb and no way to break it up. However, I have been on harder hikes in the West and in the Alps—we went very slowly but were here at 1:00. The altitude is now 11,304 ft so everyone spends two nights here—even those going on to climb Everest. The chance of altitude sickness is just too great—even among the young and super-fit.

This is our third guest house. They are all very much alike. The standard charge is $3 a night for a double room. For that you get two smallish twin beds that go wall to wall with just enough room between them for a door to open. The toilet, shower and sink are down the hall and shared by about 25 people. Last night it was not even a Western toilet—not my favorite type. Of course no linens (everyone brings a sleeping bag), no heat, and 1 bare bulb in the ceiling for light.

You are expected to eat breakfast and supper at your guest house. That is how they make enough money to survive. We have been spending about $25 a day on food so it is inexpensive. The choices are about the same. Today for breakfast Mark had a omelet and toast and I had French toast. Last night for dinner I had eggs and French fries and Mark had dahl bat, which is the national dish. Down low there is lots of rice, later on mostly just potatoes. The only meat on the menu has been noodles or rice with tuna. I've got to be able to lose weight here! Vicki

No comments: