Lukla and Zero visibility
The journey begins
The Canadians and the card game
Trek to Naamche
Everest for the first time
In the search of firewood pizza
Spot the Yak
Coining of the term Base 4
The morning walk
The First snow
Semifinals of the Dingboche derby
The longest day yet!
Everest Base Camp
The song of Ice and stones
Running out of water
The Chicken Saga
The Skin thing
The famous Cheese Toast
Back to Namche
Shower after 10 days
The pool table
Off to Lukla
The Dog again
The airplane alarm
The long wait
Being late is my thing, always has been always will be. This time, unlike other times, I had to reach the airport in time to catch a flight to Lukla. The flight was at 6:15 so I had to reach the airport pretty early. That early in the morning, I had no options but to take my bike and then drop it off somewhere and catch a taxi from there, because where I live, you only see a pack of jackals that early in the morning, no taxis no micro buses.
I woke up early, about 4:30 am in the morning, started packing my bags, but not sure what took me that long to actually get everything in place but by the time I was ready it was already 5:15. I still had to take a shower and then have my breakfast. I was kind of getting worried by then but I had to take a shower, because for the next 14 days I’d get nowhere near to the shower. After a quick shower, I rushed to the kitchen for the breakfast, too scared to look at my watch I hurriedly carried my bags, my keys and helmet and went outside. I knew that my bike would take at least some time to start as well. As I got on the bike and inserted the key, the digital screen on my bike lit up, the time was: 5:39. Shit! I’m screwed! I had to drop my bike off at Lainchaur, and it would at last take me about 10 minutes to reach there. Then I’d have to walk outside to get a taxi and then off to the airport which again would take at least 30 minutes. But my flight was at 6:15.
There was nothing I could do but hope that I’d reach the Airport in time. By the time I reached lainchaur it was already 6 am. After dropping off my bike, I hurriedly toward the main road in front of Ambassador hotel. By chance there were two taxis waiting right outside the hotel, without even discussing the terms and fare, I asked him to take me to the Airport. It was only after I entered the taxi that I realized that the driver was sleeping. Struggling from the sleep he nodded and took a bottle of water from somewhere on the side of his seat and washed his face from the window.
With one thrust of the key, the engine of the taxi roared. Off we go!
Right at the brink of that 6:15 mark, I reached the Airport. I ran into the domestic terminal, only to be stopped by the police guarding the entrance. Panting hard, I looked at him
Tickets? He said with a surprised look on his face.
I took the tickets out of my bag, handed him and grabbed by bag and threw it on the conveyer belt for the security check. Ran inside the lobby in front of the Tara air and stood in line, there were few people ahead of me.
I was going on the trek with a friend from Australia, he had reached airport already and he was on the line when I got there. We had to wait for at least 10 minutes before we got our boarding passes. Being late doesn’t matter eh? These are the kinds of things that makes me late, the infamous “Nepali Time” I thought it would be better at the airports, but turned out to be the same. Later during the trek I realized that, two Canadians and two Kiwis reach the airport at 4:30 even before the airport was open and waited till 6:40 for the planes to actually fly. If only, they had known about the Nepali time!
At last, I had some time to breathe properly, I hadn’t missed the flight! Let alone missing, we actually had to wait for another 15 minutes or so in the lobby before getting called out. Flying out to the so called “World’s most dangerous Airport” was kind of scary and exciting at the same time. I was looking forward to it as well as looking forward to the end of the flight.
‘All the passengers of the first flight to Lukla please report at gate 2”
The announcement finally came in, every single on in the lobby jumped up from their seats and ran to the gate 2. I could sense the excitement in every single one of them including me.
As I got out of the door, there were at least 6 7 buses outside, an employee of Tara air with the green bib asked me what flight I was on,
111! I replied, he pointed me toward a bus at the far end. It was only after I had entered the bus, that I realized that it was so damn cloudy outside. I’m not entirely sure what the term “Visibility Zero” in airports mean, but that looked like Visibility zero to me. I was waiting for someone to enter the bus and tell us that they flight will be canceled or delayed. But strangely, the buses engine roared and we were headed to the airstrip.
The bus stopped right next to the plane, a small Tara air aircraft. I was getting nervous by then, but there was no turning back. I wanted a window seat so I rushed inside the plane. There was literally no point in it considering all the clouds but still window seats are fun. While inside the plane, I nervously clipped my seatbelts on trying to tighten it as hard as I could. The airhostess gave us instruction on things that flew past my ear without making sense to me. The plane started moving with a gentle speed, for about few minutes it moved in the same way. Then it made a quick turn and looked right ahead into the airstrip. Within seconds, the engine roared like something had gone wrong, it was a loud noise that mostly sounds like the sound of things going wrong. I looked at the guy next to me and asked, is this normal? The sounds?
He laughed and reassured me that that’s how it’s supposed to be. Still that wasn’t reassuring! Before I could get more nervous, the plane was moving, this time extremely fast compared to few minutes ago. We were on the air, the airstrip and other planes were partly obscured in the clouds below, slowly the plane was gaining ground and the sound didn’t stop. Are planes really this loud? It was my second time on the plane and the first time, I was too nervous to remember how the flight was. But it just felt like something was wrong. But after a while I guess I got used to it or I just didn’t care, I stopped worrying and started looking outside.
I could see small patches of villages down below. Not sure where they were, I enjoyed the scene of village whenever I could. I did recognize Charikot, then the Tamakoshi river, then Jiri bazar. I was kind of enjoying the flight by then, and strangely there was not a single turbulence and it was as soomth as a flight could be. The clouds had disappeared as well, but still I was anxious and looking at the GPS looking thing on the cockpit. Hoping to understand where or how far we were. There was a small spot on the top end of the screen and a plane flying along a straight line. The plane was pretty close to the square spot, I thought that was where Lukla was, I monitored the screen for a long time hoping that we were close, but sadly as the plane reached that spot it took a turn and there was another spot at the far end of the screen.
Lukla and Zero visibility
I guess the guy sitting next to me read the tension in my face, he looked at me and said, we’re almost there brother! Just few more minutes!
Well that was reassuring! But as I looked outside the window, I felt like he was just trying to calm me down, because I could see nothing outside, just endless hills and not village till far away. Few more minutes? Are you sure? I thought to myself. Anxiously, as I was looking outside the window, slowly we entered a thick fog of clouds, right when we were about to land at the world’s most dangerous airport the visibility had gone. I could barely see anything outside. I turned my eyes to the cockpit and the windshield in front of the pilot, I’m not even sure if they’re called the windshield, but whatever they are called nothing was visible from there as well.
Right around that time, the plane slowed down considerably and it felt like it was changing its course, turning slightly toward the right hand side.
“We’re here” The guy next to me said with a smile on his face!
Here? Where? I can’t see anything! I thought to myself, but as the plane took another turn and made a full circle as there was another plane landing right at that moment, I saw a thick settlement on the hill with a long stretched black pitched airstrip, which wasn’t particularly long though.
We surely are here!
The plane slowly started to go down, the excitement was going up, adrenaline pumping up. I could see the houses pretty close and before too long, I could hear the tires screeching on the airstrip. The plane moved slightly to the left, almost as if it would tumble to the side. But it didn’t, I had survived my 2nd ever flight and first ever landing on the so called World’s most dangerous airport.
Back at the airport, amidst the confusion, I was searching for my bags on the floor where at least 20 bags were scattered. The airport staff was picking up the bags at random, my bag was nowhere near, I had to find it myself and request him to pick it up, but the problem was I couldn’t even see my bag.
There! That’s my bag! I pointed to a black bag on the floor! The airport staff picked it up and asked me for the baggage tag! Before I could give him the tag I realized that it wasn’t my bag! Sorry! That’s not my bag! I told him and scanned the room for my bag!
Whose bag is this? He yelled with a hoarse voice. May be because of all the yelling he has to do while in the airport.
Apparently my bag was below few of the huge trekking bags and once they were claimed by their rightful owners, I saw the bag!
That’s my bag for sure! I told the staff again
He didn’t even ask me for the baggage tag this time because I was the last person in that room and it had to be my bag!
I grabbed my bag with one hand and heard a small squeaking sound! I kept the bag down on the floor and analyzed carefully and realized that the strap of my bag was tearing apart! Shit! I was about to start a trek for about 14 days and the strap of my bag was giving in. I had no choice but to walk out of that room at that moment and hope that I’d find a needle and some threads along the way. As I was walking out of the baggage room, I got a phone call. I was from our guide. He was waiting right outside. I had previously talked to him on the phone and never seen him, when I did see him, I was expecting him to be a bit old. But this young guy was standing at the top of the stairs, gesturing towards me to let me know that he was our guide.
This guy looks like he’s 25, 26! I thought to myself, and later I found that he was even younger, just 20!
For a young guy, Bishwa, our guide has had quite an experience on that particular trail. He has never been trekking to any other trekking destinations in Nepal. But he knows A to Z when it comes to Everest region. He knows the name of every single mountains in the whole of Everest region, that too with their Elevations (+ – 10-15 meters). And he is quite a singer with amazing voice.
The Journey Beings
Let’s go to the hotel first, have our breakfast and then start our trek. Bishwa said with a smile on his face.
Sounds good to me, both of us agreed* (Both- Michael and me)
We headed up the stairs and then down to a small alley on the back of a huge building. After few turns, we reached this beautiful front yard of the hotel. The roof of the hotel read “Hotel Numbur”.
The inside of the hotel was quiet and peaceful, with well laid woods on the floor it looked pretty clean as well. The ground floor has rooms on each side of the front lobby, the dining hall and kitchen are on the second floor, and the dinning is quite specious and clean, overlooking the runway of Luka Airport.
It should be quite noisy during the peak flight hours? I thought to myself and later found out after 13 days on my way back. One doesn’t need an alarm to wake up early when you’re staying at Numbur. But the hotel is very good though! Apart from the noise from the plane, the hotel is pretty quiet and nice.
After a quick breakfast and a cup of tea, we started our trek. Walking along the gabion fence of the Lukla airport, I could see the airstrip right in front of me. The gradient of the airstrip as I had seen on videos and pictures was way to less than it actually is, it looks kind of steep from the bottom end to the top. After walking to the opposite side of the Numbur hotel we finally reached the main Lukla Bazar. Perfectly laid stones on the ground, well decorated equipment shops, fancy restaurants and lodges and an amazing ambience, the likes of which might not exist anywhere else. Strangely, I was expecting the shops to go on for a while but it was quite short lived. Right at the end of the houses, like the famous Pasang Lamhu gate, from where the Journey beings.
Everest Base Camp was days ahead of us, yet while getting down the stairs, I was excited about the prospect of seeing Mount Everest for the first time in my life. But deep down, I knew that the actual moment would have to wait. The trail to Phakding was quite fun, and a perfect trail to pump up your legs. It’s usually the first day of your trek that’s difficult and after that you slowly build up the momentum. Getting down from Lukla to Phakding was the best way to do it. Following a small trails occasionally passing through small villages we finally reached Phakding.
The Canadians and the Card Game
The first day of the trek ended at the village of Phakding, we had reached Phakding before noon, had nothing to do so took a short nap. Even after that nap, when I woke up it was only 2:30 pm, I had a whole day to waste and literally nothing to do. I took a book with me and went down to the dining hall. The book I had with me was The Fight for Everest: 1924 by Edward F. Norton. Long before Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary had climbed the world’s highest mountain George Mallory and Andrew Irvine had attempted Everest in 1924. No one knows if the Mallory made it to the top of the Everest or not, but his body was found few hundred meters below the summit of Everest. I had read the book previously, it’s one of my favorite books on Everest so I took it with me because I was heading to Everest!
Seating at one corner of the almost perfect square room, I was reading the book. A dramatic south Indian movie was on, on the television at the far end of the room. A typical, south Indian movie, I had glanced once after a strange noise from the movie caught my attention, which was the start of the fight, which couldn’t have been more dramatic and exaggerated. Too much to handle, I got back to my book. The start of the book is quite interesting as it outlines the struggle they faced while managing the logistic and travelling all the way to Rongbuk.
Ignoring the time, I had been concentrating on the book for a while, it was only later on during the evening that I realized that I had been reading for quite some time now. When I kept my book down on the table to take my eyes of the book for some time, I saw to people sitting at the far end of the table, playing cards. At that moment I wish I had bought my UNO cards, but then UNO isn’t fun with 2 guys, so wouldn’t have mattered anyways. I looked around the room, the guides were having conversation of their own with the owner, who sat behind the front desk with a tooth pick of his mouth, trying to get something out of his teeth. The south Indian movie was still on, a minister was pissed as someone for doing something. Michael was busy on his phone. The room was pretty silent, apart from the south Indian movie, nothing much was going on at that time. It stayed like that for a long time. After few hours, seeing the two people at the far end of the table, Mike asked them if we could join them for hand of cards. They agreed, and we joined in. These are the kind of things people bond over during a trek. The Canadians (Collen and Andres) were playing a game, which they called “Below four”, I had never played the game neither had Mike, so we were up for a tutorial before we started the game. That is where it all began. The game turned out to be one of the most fun and memorable part of the whole trip which will come up in later chapters in more detail.
The Trek to Namche
The trek from Lukla to Phakding wasn’t much and though walking past the Pasang Lhamu Bridge made me feel like I was already close to Everest, in reality we were very far. The trek up to Namche gave me the same hope as well. I was longing to see Namche Bazar for a long time and I was pretty excited that day.
We woke up pretty late and had our breakfast, by the time we were starting our breakfast, the Canadians were already packed up and ready to leave. We had spent the previous night having tons of fun with the card game. But, starting today they’d be off to somewhere and we’d be off somewhere, at least the Hotels would be different even if we follow the same trails. I went up to my room to get packed, brushed my teeth, bought a toilet paper and remembered to cut down my nails before we headed off. Walking up the hill with long nails on your toes can be fine, but walking downhill can be pure torture. I managed to find a nail cutter and cut it off before we left, because the last time I was on Annapurna Base Camp, I was unable to find the cutter and hence had to walk downhill with a long nail that hurt my fingers like crazy! But one mistake is the learning platform for the next time so this time around I made sure that I will cut it before we leave.
Following the paved trails we slowly walked up a hill, passing few foreigners on the way, getting ready to leave Phakding just like we were doing. The first half an hour or so of the trail was just walk along the relatively flat trail, crossing a suspension bridge right after the end of Phakding village. The first of many suspension bridges to cross until you reach Everest Base Camp, and at least 4 of those before you reach Namche Bazar.
I was loving every single twist and turn of the trail. The trail of Everest Base Camp trek looks livelier than the trails of Annapurna Base Camp, Annapurna Circuit is fun and thrilling but the trails to Base Camp is quite boring! At least for me! The pine trees on the other side of the Dudh koshi river gave that rugged hill the “Alpine” scenery, the likes of which you’d get around Pisang. It would take at least 4 5 days to reach a place with similar vegetation in Annapurna, yet here I was walking on just the 2nd day of my trek and I was already there. I was few seconds later that I realized that I actually flew upto 2600 meters above sea level and that 3000+ meters vegetation wasn’t that far away. The landscapes were quite similar, no matter where you go, there almost the same. But the feeling is different, the smell of the trail is different. The smell of mud with the mixture of horses’, mules’ and Yaks’ is the smell of trekking in Nepal. The similar kind of smell hits your nose everywhere you go. There’s another smell, the smell of freshly beaten pine needles on the ground, the freshness with a gentle wind hits your nose, it’s quite refreshing, I can’t quite explain the feeling here but that feeling is one of the enjoyable part of trekking.
Time was flowing as fast as the Dhud Koshi river down into the past, as we were walking in the opposite direction to instantaneous future. After crossing yet another bridge, we ended up in a place called Jorsalle (Couple Pines), not the exact translation but that’s what the theme was. I didn’t realize why the place was called Jorsalle, I didn’t even break it down as meaning Jor Salla trees, It was only during the trek back to Lukla from Namche on the 2nd last day that I realized that most of the Pine trees in that were coupled, not sure what the Botanical term for that is, but there was two trunks in a single tree bifurcating after the roots- Hence Jorsalle. We had our lunch break at Jorsalle.
We continued our trek up to Namche after the lunch, crossing yet another suspension bridge. Heading more and more into the alpine region. Far into the distance, I saw the prayer flags fluttering in winds, as I climbed up a small rock, I could see yet another line of prayer flags fluttering below that line. That could be only one thing, well two thing to be precise, but what I thought of was the famous Hillary bridge, or the Twin bridge, I’m not sure where I got that name in my head but I just thought of it and called it the Twin bridge on the way as well. Two bridges connecting two rugged hills, one above another. I had seen tons of Vlogs on Everest Base Camp trek and seen that bridge many times as well, not a single person on those Vlogs didn’t stop at that place to take a shot.
After a small but steep climb up the hill I could see the prayer flags right around the corner, excitedly I rushed in to climb a stone step, as soon as I made the turn the bridge was right in front of me, but it wasn’t the bridge that got me super excited, it was the person coming from the bridge towards me. It was Appa Sherpa, the legend of Everest, who has summited the world’s highest peak for 21 times. 21 times!! I had a quick chat with him, asked him about his Everest experience and then took a quick wefie and he was off. To be honest, I was star struck there for a moment. For someone like me, with a dream to climb Everest one day, getting to interact with someone like him was a great. He ran down the stairs, and faded into the distance relatively fast.
Back at the bridge, I was now staring at the long suspension bridge with hundreds of colorful fluttering prayer flags, it was quite windy and people were almost swaying in the bridge. As I walked towards the bridge, I could see that it was pretty high, not like most of the bridges you pass through. It was so windy that you could barely hear, if someone was speaking behind you! The roar of the river below was as loud as the sound of the wind. I took a moment to stop at the middle of the bridge, I looked over the huge canyon, it was almost as if there’s no end to it, which is a bit over exaggerated considering the fact that I could clearly see the river down below, but at least 150 meters below I assume. Bishow passed me ahead, I looked at him and said, this should be a fun place to do Bungee Jumping! Not sure if he heard me but he gave me his trademark smile and nodded. It was really too loud to hear anyone talking. I stayed there to take few photos and then started walking across the bridge to the other end. Right at the end, towards the left side there’s this big stone, I recognized the place from the videos I had watched, every single one of those people in the video stood there and took a photo/video. I stood atop the rock and looked down the gorge, it was kind of scary with the wind and its depth. But the view was absolutely stunning. Down at the bottom of the other side of the hill, I saw two small dots moving at a good speed, one of them had a red sweater and an orange raincoat on the bag, Appa Sherpa! He had descended down quite quickly. Of course he did, he’s done Everest 21 times.
Back at the bridge, well at the end of the bridge for most of the part, I was waiting for the gang. At Jorsalle, the place where we had our dinner, we ran into Collen and Andres, the same Canadians who taught us the card game the day before. From there we were walking together to Namche. I saw Andres hurrying off the bridge with a different look on his face, he didn’t enjoy the height that much. Collen and Mike were still at the middle of the bridge taking photos. After gathering up, and a quick rest, we started the trek up to Namche, the trail after that bridge was supposed to be the hard part of the day. The long ascend up to Namche, it wasn’t as steep as I thought it would be but it was for sure torturing that too with the sun shining down on us.
Half way through the uphill, there was a small resting place. It was pretty crowded, almost as if half of the people on the trail were resting there. It was only later, when Bishow met up with me, that I realized that that particular place is the first place on the trails to see Everest. Oh that’s why!! Sadly, at that particular the view was obscured by the clouds. I could have seen Everest for the first time in my life, but now I had to wait!!
We continued our walk up to Namche, the trail was getting quite easier, just a normal ascend. We’re very close Bishow reassured the team. After about half an hour I finally saw the roof of a house far into the distance, at the top of the hill. Is that where we going? I asked Bishow
No, it’s just below that hill, that’s the way to Renjo La. He replied.
Namche Bazar- the famous hub of tourists in the heart of Khumbu valley. I had seen tons of photos of the area, but it looked more beautiful in real. I saw a small part of the Western end of the village from distance
Looks smaller than I’ve seen on photos! I told Bishow
Wait till we get there! He replied
Ascending up the small hill, overlooking a deep gorge on the left side, I climbed up few stone steps and there it was, the C shaped thick settlement of Namche Bazar, almost as if the C section of a Japanese ramen bowl. Beautiful houses with mostly blue steel roof top. It was then that I realized that the houses in Everest region was peculiar compared Annapurna region. It was so easily distinguishable from the houses in other regions. Now, the whole bazar was visible, it was the same village, the big dense houses on that C section. Finding that particular hotel would have been hard if not for Bishow. Which is what happened with Collen and Andres, they were supposed to stay at a different hotel and we were supposed to stay at a different one. But the prospect of looking for that particular hotel had already been tiresome for their guide. Plus, we insisted that it would be fun for them to stay at the same hotel as us, since for the most of the part our Itinerary was same as theirs. And, so it was, for the rest of our trips, we ended up staying at the same place.
We followed Bishow through the narrow alley from the backyard of a big building, which I supposed was our hotel. We entered the hotel from the backside, through a quite lobby with hardwood floor into the dining hall. The dining hall was big and well decorated and clean. The stamping of our dirty trekking boots was the only sound inside the dining hall. Few people walked into the room from a door situated at the far end of the room. The owners, had seen us walk into the room and came in to greet us. The inside of the hotel was quite beautiful compared to the outside from where we just walked in. I kept my bags on the table and sad down on the chair opposite to it. The walking part of the day was over.
Do you want a cup of tea? Bishow asked from somewhere in the room.
I couldn’t actually see him but I could hear him loud and clear, my assumption was that he was inside the kitchen, but apparently he was just few feet behind me, he was blocked by the heater at the center of the room.
Sure, I’d love a cup of tea! The best part of a trekking for me, after the mountains is the part where we walk into the hotel, throw away our bags and then drink the warm cup of tea. Within few seconds, Bishow came out of the kitchen with a cup of tea in his hand! A cup of black tea! I took my phone out of the camera bag, pressed the home button and the screen lit up, 3:17 Pm!
It’s just 3 pm! What the hell am I supposed to do now?
The part that I hate the most about trekking is reaching any destination early on and then having to waste the time till we fall asleep, which usually is around 8 pm to 8:30 pm. Here I was, at Namche bazar at 3 pm and I still had almost 4 5 hours before I could sleep. After the cup of tea, I carried my back and headed off to my room, the key to which Bishow had just given to me. I climbed up a staircase with neat look and went to my room. Kept my bags, changed my clothes and came down to the dining with a book. By the time I was done with few chapters, the guys had made it to the room as well. Rather than staying at the hotel, we decided to head down to the Bazar and then find something to eat.
It was only around 6 pm that we were back to the hotel. We played hands after hands of the game that we had learned the day before. It was a fun game and no one actually knew the name of the game. At around 8:30 we went to bed. We had yet another day to spend at Namche, there wasn’t much to do the next day as well.
Everest for the first time
The next morning, I woke up to a stunning view of Kongde mountain from window. It was late morning already, the sky was crystal clear, the snow-capped white mountains rose forward against the blue sky above the village of Namche. The whole half bowl shaped Namche bazar was just below me, right below me as if I was standing on top of a glass room right above the village. Michael was still asleep, I wanted to take some photos, so I slowly walked out of the room, down to the dining hall and out of the hotel. It was chilling cold, the breeze got to me quickly, I regretted not taking the gloves with me, taking a photo turned out to be quite a challenged in no time. After few shots, I had to go inside, for those people who know me pretty well, there’s nothing more that I love than getting a warm cup of tea anytime of the day! Ha! I went inside, asked for a cup of tea and stayed on the window looking at the view outside.
The mountains look so close, yet they are miles away from where I was, at one point I was wondering what it would be like to be on top of one of them and look below. I wasn’t that deep into my thoughts and it was briefly interrupted by the hotel owner, who came with a black tea on a tray.
“How did you sleep?”
It was good, I replied.
It was good, to be honest, I didn’t wake up at all, slept like a log. Though I could have slept till 10, since we were going to spend yet another day at Namche, I happened to wake up early, which meant I had a long day ahead of me. I went back to my room to get my book, by this time Michael was awake. I grabbed my book and walked back to the dining and started to run through the pages. I forgot to keep the bookmark and realized that I had lost track of where I was. I pretty much remembered that they were on their way to the Rongbuk glacier but then I started few pages ahead of where I thought I was lost and managed to catch up to the book.
Before too long people were pouring out into the dinning hall, a group of Korean tourists, were in the same hotel as well and apparently they started a trek early in the morning, way early in the morning and had returned back to the hotel by the time we were up for breakfast. If you haven’t been trekking on any routes of Nepal, you’d not know how much the Koreans can drink, but they drink a lot. The hotel owners would have to stack up on liquors if they’re having Korean tourists. And I swear that group drank a lot last night as well but still there were already back form hiking early in the morning and looked super fresh, way more fresh than anyone of us were. Collen and Andres joined us at the table for the breakfast as well. I had the mashed potato with Cheese, well because Cheese.
Not that we were eavesdropping but we over heard this group of people talk about how they saw Everest from a hill above the hotel. As soon as we were done with out breakfast, we headed out to that hill, the clouds were up already and we had no hopes of seeing Everest, but we didn’t have anything to do either. So we headed up this hill right outside the hotel, it was a short walk and then you’d read the apparent top of the hill overlooking the dense houses of Namche village.
Excited over nothing, I was heading over to a wrong direction, but Bishwo was there for the rescue.
It’s this way, he pointed towards another hill, to the left.
I rushed up ahead, again, in the hopes of seeing some mountains. There was a small forest of dwarf pines along the stone steps. I saw a house ahead of me, that must be the museum those people were talking about, I thought to myself.
I saw an open valley to the left of me and I knew what was supposed to be above that valley, I swear my heart was beating fast at that moment, just like it does every time I see a mountain. I can’t explain the feeling but its almost like when you’re super hungry and then you finally get to eat the best momos ever, or whatever food that you love the most x 10000. I just love mountains! Far into the distance, I saw one of my favorite mountains, it has to be the most iconic mountain of the Khumbu valley, nothing can beat that mountain, when it comes to the shape, not even Everest can beat it. Well its mother of all mountains when it comes to iconic shape and it has been named properly the “Amadablam”. I got chills through my body and I could feel the hair on the back of my neck standing right up, when I saw it for the first time. To the left of it, I saw the towering Lhotse, and a small peak right next to it. I could recognize that shape and the yellow band of that mountain from anywhere in the world. It didn’t look that big, but it stood above all the mountains surrounding it, there was something about it that would roar in the chills of the cold breeze, something intimidating. There was a voice coming from it, I felt like Sam and Frodo walking across the mount doom and the great eye staring them from distance, I was more intimidated by it that, Frodo and Sam ever were. The eye, the dark yellow band and the summit that stood above all other mountains gave a look of its dominance over not just other mountains but on the whole landscape. I stood there, as if the time froze and the moment was still, the leaves that were fluttering in harmony with the melody of wind stopped, the voices behind me, of Mike, Andres and Collen talking to each other, dozed off into the vastness of the valley, echoing slowly among the white giants. I stood there as I saw the Goddesses of the sky for the first time. My heart was pounding, I just stayed there staring into the magnificent, that Everest is. I swear, my eyes were a little teary, which usually doesn’t happen, but the moment called for it. The mighty mountain had that effect as I saw it for the first time. And, I thought to myself, someday, I will be atop the mountain gazing down at this landscape, for now I’d only have to wonder how it would feel to be on the highest place on earth.