Sunday, April 13, 2014

Crossing the Muslim~Buddhist Line

Mani stones on the trail.

    I'm no Heinrich Harrer, nor Brad Pitt for that matter, but after miraculously escaping Katmandu without getting sick, we ventured off on our own little walk around the Himalaya. We spent the first seven days walking from tea house to tea house, through small villages, past remote monasteries, finally catching our first glimpse of Mt. Everest on a corner of the trail in a collection of houses called Phurthang. In the end we will spend 34 days walking through the mountains.
Sherpa woman in Dagchu.

     Those of you who know me and my culinary tastes will understand how I've died and gone to heaven here in Nepal. Everyday starts with a big bowl of oat porridge with maybe a bit of yak milk and a cup of hot coffee. Lunch is Tibetan bread with peanut butter and supper dahl baht, better known as rice and lentils. Om Mani Padme Yummy! Now that we are camping, we've added cookies and increased our peanut butter intake to a jar every two days. Life is good.
View from our first Himalayan summit-Sumder Peak 16,300 ft.

     Yes, it's true - you can get anything you want in Namche Bazaar including chocolate cake and an espresso, which we indulged in after wolfing down a "vegetable" pizza. This is where most Everest expeditions begin after flying into Lukla airport and it's where the second part of our journey starts from as well. On a Namche side note, it is here that I've said good-bye to my trusty and loyal old orange puffy jacket which has travelled with me to the summits of Bolivian peaks, skied cold smoke powder in Kyrgyzstan and cozied up at home in Montana. Farewell, my duct tape covered friend. Happily, in true Buddahist style, my jacket has now been reborn to hopefully live an even better life on the shoulders of a now warm Sherpa in Namche.
My new jacket even works as a sleeping bag! Nap time @ 16,000 ft.

        We're slowly acclimitizing to the altitude, and as I type this we are hunkered down in sleeping bags on a clear chilly evening at around 15,900 ft a stones throw from the Tibetan border. Once the sun disappears behind the mountain, the temperature plummets so we'll spend the next 12 hours or so tent bound until hot coffee and porridge motivate us toward Sundar La (18,300 ft), Goyko and onwards toward Cho Oyu.


  1. I'm sitting here reading with a huge grin on my face! What a time! It all sounds wonderful from leaving behind your old orange duct taped puffy jacket and finally picking up a new one to hearing about the culinary delights which sound absolutely perfect for you, John! Hopefully, Deb is as happy to eat that delicious fare! Brings back memories of our wonderful bike trip! Enjoy!! Talk to you sometime soon!!
    Much love,