Welshman Walking Blog: Returns Part 8
Welshman Walking Blog : Returns
My Own Bucket List
When Bucket List was in its infancy, Co Founder Andy, created a blog called Welshman Walking. This was about his first journey to Nepal where he was heading to Mt Everest for the first time. The writing took him from the busy Airport at London Heathrow, all the way to the foot of the tallest mountain on earth, Mt Everest, and back to Kathmandu.
As with any journey his was so much more than just reaching the destination. The realisation of a lifetime ambition, the friends he made on the trails, the hospitality he enjoyed from the Nepalese people and the life experiences he went through all added to the story. I hope you enjoy reading about this journey as much as Andy enjoyed living it. We will be posting each blog throughout the next few weeks in the build up to some of our planned expeditions in spring & Autumn 2017! Keep a sharp eye on the horizon for more news.
I woke up to news that there had been an earthquake during the night. I had wondered what had woken me up during the night and apparently it was an aftershock of 4.5 on the Richter scale. Not huge by any means but the epicenter once again occurring in Gorkha where the massive quake had occurred earlier last year. The local village was all but destroyed last year so my guide told that in his home town, there would have been no buildings affected as none were yet rebuilt.
Although Nepal is relatively safe there is obviously no guarantee that a quake will not occur during a visit here as aftershocks are common for years after big earthquakes. However i also feel that if everyone avoided places that had earthquakes no one would visit New Zealand, USA, Japan or even some places in Europe. I feel that with Nepal being such an interesting and amazing country to visit, avoiding it because of the recent quakes would be a travesty.
As i ate my breakfast of scrambled eggs and potatoes i sat not just digesting my food but the news of the quake. However it was not something i could dwell on and had to crack on with the next part of my journey.
We again made out way past the cracked ‘Stupa’, a Buddhist statue with the Buddha eyes keeping an eye on things in Namche. This for some reason made me think of the George Orwell Book/Movie 1984. In no way are they the same of course as the Buddha eyes are a positive thing, but it did appear like big brother was watching.
We once more made our way to the top of Namche with the morning sun hitting our faces for the first time and provided some well needed warmth after the misty and cold weather during the night. It was once again a fantastic morning of views with the snow capped peaks of the surrounding mountains standing tall like giants in the morning breeze. Once again we came upon the top of Namche with Everest appearing on the Horizon once more. I will never get fed up of that view!
We had to descend once more to the river valley so another descent of 350 meters. I was surprised that my legs were feeling good after a tough couple of days but still took my time getting down this pretty steep part of the trail. After the first half hour we could hear the noise of someone approaching from behind us, over the ridge rode a local guy standing tall upon his trusty horse as he galloped towards us looking like a Nepalese version of a cowboy. He came so close to the edge of the trail which dropped 100’s of feet below and i was nervous just watching him but he held it together and rode into the distance. What an idea though, use a horse instead right?!
We reached the bottom of the trail taking in the views and grabbing a bite to eat before we attempted the 600 meter steep climb that lie ahead. I felt full of energy at this and told my guide and porter that i would crack on. I again got into my breathing and it felt alot easier than when we took the steep trail to Namche and this was higher altitude so my body was making some sort of progress with the height at least.
I bumped into a New Zealand guy who had been here a number of times before. He offered some invaluable advice about altitude and on how to stop my water pack from freezing at night. Blow into it before you go to sleep. Why hadn’t i thought of that before !I’ll be using that advice for sure as the days are only going to get colder the higher we ascend. After an hour or so of lung busting walking we reached the top and took a breather before heading to Tengboche Monastery.
It was off season so only a handful of Buddhist monks live here this time of year but it was a pretty cool location atop a mountain although the wind was biting in this exposed position. We soon moved on after a few pics and a walk around the place and bumped into a girl who seemed pretty concerned. Her partner was not doing so well and was at the bottom of the hill we were about to descend. Apparently one of the locals had gone down with a horse to pick him up and take him to the top. Stolen my idea i was thinking. On the way down i saw him getting carried up the hill atop the horse and he looked terrible and could hardly stay on the horse. His mate who was walking up behind mentioned that he had a bad spot of the Delhi belly with food poisoning and was really struggling. Poor bloke, this was however a reminder for me to steer clear of certain foods like the local meat. Just vegetable, rice and pasta for me until i reach Base camp at least.
We reached a village lying at 3800 meters as once again the bad weather came in and all crowded around the log fire in the lodge we were to stay at for the night. Once again it was time for an early night after some delicious vegetables and rice.
Lets hope for no more aftershocks tonight.