Monday, 14 December 2009

Island Peak Mountaineering Expedition Memoirs II

Monday 20th October – Phakding (2,650m) to Monjo (2,815m)

I’m still feeling crap and it has now spread to the chest – blerg! After a huge sleep and lazy start I walk up the valley following the thunderous Dudh Kosi River with incredible views of the towering Thamserku. I arrive at “Doma Lodge” in Monjo around midday and kick back reading in the blazing sun before an afternoon siesta to replenish the energy levels. A nice comfortable room and hot shower then time for Dahl Bhaat and good Apple Pie – mmmnnnnn the pleasures of comfort food!

Tuesday 21st October – Monjo (2,815m) to Namche Bazaar (3,440m)

A big day a head – the steep climb up to Namche Bazaar! I get an early start with big brekkie of 2 X boiled eggs, Tibetan bread and honey porridge. I slowly slog to Namche Bazaar, taking 2.5 hours arriving earlier than predicted and I’m feeling ok, I’ve gained this key acclimatization point and can now chill out for the next couple of days. It’s nice to be up here with the hustle and bustle of the market bazaar. I score a cheap place and from the surrounding evidence of Yak Dung it seems to be some kind of Yak drivers stop! It’s very homely which is rare for the busy Bazaar and will do the trick for some well needed recovery before I head up further. It’s perched on the eastern side and has great views over the sunny Namche Bowl. Nice family but a small pesky dog starts yapping at me, oh well can’t have it all! I seem to be the only “gora” (foreigner) staying here with the yak herders and yaks - well it’s about the experience we’re all searching for I think to myself! I head down to the legendary Everest Bakery and score a great seat in the sun, chomping on my Yak Sizzler with yummy mushroom sauce. It’s quite rich and gamey, and can be a little tough sometimes, not this bad boy, it’s juicy and tender. I head back for a siesta and a nice dinner (tuna, vege and rice) before settling in for an early night to break this cold. Some scratchy sounds in the walls, only rats I think to myself as long as they leave me alone to sleep, which they do!

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