Wednesday, 9 April 2014
Today was the first of two rest days in Namche Bazaar. The village sits in a steep, U-shaped basin. Lodges and houses line the sides of the bowl, along with many walled dirt plots. The plots are being tilled readied for the growing season. The will be soon planted in potatoes.
A note on potatoes: Until the introduction of potatoes, a product of South America, to the region by the British, the Sherpa people had to import rice and other food grains from lower regions. Afterwards, they became net exporters of food and it changed the local economy.
Namche has been a traditional trading center for more than two hundred years. Sherpas originally called this place Nak-che for the dark forest that filled the basin. Now, the village is a center of commerce, with all manner of shops and stores lining the winding, narrow streets. Although the original forest was cut down, large areas of long-leaf pine are now growing in reforested areas on the upper hillside.
We are staying at the Panorama Hotel (11,200 ft). It is aptly named because it looks out over the village and some towering peaks across the valley. The Panorama has a long history with mountaineering expeditions. Its owners, Sherap and Lhakpa Dolma, greeted us warmly on our arrival. Jim first started staying here in 1972. Our rooms are luxurious by Khumbu standards - beds, blankets, full bathrooms - but no heat.
Most of us made our way down into town today, shopping and searching for a WiFi signal. (The Internet was down for most of the day at the Panorama, hence a flood of posts now.) Shane and Barbara found a place to get massages, returning to the lodge with relaxed, happy faces.
We are all experiencing better living through pharmaceuticals. Lauren is wrestling with a persistent respiratory infection. Although she had it when she arrived in Kathmandu, two days of walking through the powdery dust to Namche aggravated her condition. She seems to be on the mend now, thanks to a course of antibiotics and steroids from a well-stocked local pharmacy. Scott is getting over a minor bout of GI muck, which thankfully yielded to antibiotics. Many of us are now on Diamox, a drug which helps the body adapt to higher altitudes. All of which is par for the course of being in the region.
Tomorrow is another rest day, before we move up to Pangboche on Friday.
Lots of love to our family and friends.
Posted by: Scott Williams
Blogs by other members of the expedition
Shane ? http://HeartHealthyEverestClimb2014.blogspot.com
Steve ? http://Wetumpka2Everest.blogspot.com
Jeff - http://www.highpeakadventures.com/high_peak_adventures/web_log/web_log.html