Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

From Tok Tok to Namche Bazaar

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I enjoyed a great sleep for the first half of the night and then was in and out of sleep until morning. They provide pretty plush accommodations when it comes to sleeping in a tent on the ground. There are 2 pads, a thin closed-cell foam and then a soft 2″ cloth-covered foam on top of that, two down sleeping bags, one tucked inside the other, and a cozy fleece blanket liner that I use folded up under my head as a pillow. The Sherpas come to our tents in the morning, first with an offer of tea, and then later to offer a pan of hot washing water, and lastly, to announce breakfast is served. This routine is usually repeated again in the evening as we have tea when we arrive to camp, then rest in our tents for a bit where they will provide hot washing water and then eventually stop by to report that soup is ready.

Breakfast always starts with an oatmeal porridge, but is followed by a different main course each day. This day it’s fried eggs and toast. The table is set with a couple varieties of biscuit crackers and a jar of peanut butter, some honey, and jam. There is always a pot of hot milk, a thermos of hot water, bags of tea, and powders for hot chocolate, orange or lemon drink. We’re going to need all the sustenance we can consume this day, because it is a day of big time trekking. We make the largest gain in elevation of the trek between Tok Tok and Namche Bazaar. We cross a couple of seriously dramatic bridges, one notable for its length, one for its height above the river. We pause by the Dudh Koshi River for our lunch. The Sherpas have spread out a tarp and set it up just like our regular meal table. The meat served: Spam.

After lunch we undertake the largest percentage of the day’s climb. The trail is very crowded and we find ourselves in a kind of leap-frog game with a particular bunch of porters and their big loads. They climb faster than us, but must rest often and our pace has us passing them as they rest. The work takes its toll on all of us, but some appear to feel worse than others. The Sherpas bring our afternoon tea to us on the trail instead of waiting for us to arrive at the evening camp site. I get the impression we are taking a long time to get there, but can’t imagine a pace any faster than what we’ve done.

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When we finally get to Namche Bazaar, we still have to climb a long way to get up to our camp site. The tents are perched on a thin strip of terrace, with no buildings above us and full view of the village below. The snow and ice covered mountains across from us are truly something to behold. We barely drag ourselves to the tents and collapse. Gary doesn’t feel well and chooses to stay in his tent during dinner. It starts to rain, but otherwise the weather has been great. It felt like 70-80° in the sun with a 60° wind on occasion. Maybe due to exhaustion, my journal entry seems abbreviated and offers no detail of dinner or our usual silly antics post-meal in the dining tent. I am off to sleep by about 8:45 p.m.

 Tomorrow is a day for rest and acclimatization.

For that I am extremely grateful.

Written by johnwhays

April 30, 2009 at 6:39 am

Posted in Himalayan Trek

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One Response

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  1. Excellent description of your trip so far, John! It’s as if I’m walking right there with you. Now I’m off to check out your photo gallery. Keep it up! See you on the Jaunt with Jim in six more weeks!

    Rich G

    May 1, 2009 at 12:11 am


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