Today was the first of two full days in Namche Bazaar, a large, vibrant village located in a steeply terraced u-shaped bowl. This thriving community of about 1000 inhabitants is the capital of the Sherpa people. It is also the commercial and transportation hub for the many trekkers, climbers, and expedition teams who are hiking or attempting to climb a wide variety of the local mountains.
For us, it was a relaxing day with a short hike to the Sherpa Museum that sits on an overlook above Namche Bazaar. On a clear day there is a spectacular view of Mt. Everest and Kongde Ri. We did get brief glimpse of Everest between the clouds, but not good enough for a clear picture. Our head guide, Kalden, said that Chomolungma (the Nepali name for Everest that means “Mother of the World), was shy today. We will have another opportunity to see the mountain tomorrow, so hopefully we will have clear skies. After our short excursion we returned to town for lunch and an afternoon of shopping.
Allow me a brief interlude to talk about our lodging and meals… as I may have mentioned in previous postings, we are lodged and fed in local tea houses in villages along the trek route. As we climb higher, the accommodations become more and more basic. Thus far we have been comfortable and well-fed, even though the rooms aren’t heated and mostly don’t have electricity. Depending on how adventurous you are for meals, there is usually a wide variety of menu items to choose from. We have been cautioned, though, to avoid meat and cheese in the villages above Namche Bazaar for the simple fact that they receive less frequent re-supplies.
All of the villages above Lukla, our start point, are solely supplied by porters carrying incredible loads supported by a strap around their forehead, and various yak or donkey trains. It is humbling to see these porters carrying tremendous loads, usually wearing sneakers or sandals, speed by you as you are climbing the same trails.