Tuesday 08 April 2014
Monjo is a small town located on the hillside above the river just below the National Park entrance gate. All along the way there have been check points to check our trekking permits and expedition permits with the Nepal Army and the Nepal Police. The reasoning is that this is for our safety. The police want to know about the cameras, phones and computers you are carrying so that if you lose anything on route you can file a claim? The army is just tracking movement so that if you go missing they have a last known location?The National Park collects an Entrance Fee of 3,000 NC or about US$30/person. We are all paid and signed in so we can now travel in Sagarmatha National Park.
After a short but steep downhill and a few bridge crossings back and forth across the river we can see the new bridge that will put us on the ?Namche Hill?. This is a steep climb up to Namche Bazaar. The new bridge is about 300 feet above the old bridge and seems well constructed. It cuts off the first few switchbacks of the old trail. The shorter climb is welcomed by all. After a hour or so of climbing we reach the point where for the first time you can see Mt Everest through the trees. It was a clear day with a great view of the ?Mother Goddess of the Earth?. We all had fresh oranges before starting the final push to Namche. This is a beautiful walk through a pine forest.
The approach to town can be from above or from below. We all walked in from the bottom of the village. We all circumambulated the stupa and spun the prayer wheels and then headed up towards town. The construction has begun on the new ?Namche City Park? or local laundry mat. The final push takes us all the way to the Panorama Lodge high on the hill overlooking Namche.
The Panorama Lodge is our home away from home for the next few days. Sherap and Lhakpa will be our gracious hosts as well as taking care of each and every member as though they were their own children. The rooms are comfortable, clean and quiet. Electric lights, hot and cold running water and beds with electric blankets await us all.
This was the first of many uphill walks. Everyone made it without any problems although for some this was the hardest day so far.
I am happy to report that the walk suited my ankle well. After yesterday?s rough trail the steady uphill was easier than expected. We will rest here for the next 3 nights before moving up to Pangboche. This will give everyone a chance to acclimatize to the high altitude.
Now a great lunch, a rest and a hot shower!!!
Written by: JMW
Individual Expedition Blogs:
Shane Jones: http://hearthealthyeverestclimb2014.blogspot.com/
Steve Slaughter: http://wetumpka2everest.blogspot.com
Jeff Witt: http://www.highpeakadventures.com/High_Peak_Adventures/Web_Log/Web_Log.html
1st view of Mt Everest on the way to Namche