Queenstown based adventurer Geoff Hunt writes about his hike tour around the Khumbu area in Nepal
Back in this thick air at 6,250 feet (we spent three weeks above 15,000 feet ) and were probably acclimatised to 22,000 or so – found it easy running up to 19,500 with Guy Cotter (Adventure Consultants boss) to look out across the Western Cwm (Guy went on to summit with his client a week later)
As I look out the window I am not sure where I am – the stone walls dividing track from paddock – paddocks that grow nothing – empty soil. A man urging a cow along a lane – heading home or to some remote pasture.
The cloud has settled low on the village – blue roofs, prayer flags, stone walls and little else – but wait in the distance some yaks in a paddock and kids playing – down jackets – North Face maybe – copies made in China or Nepal.
The wind seeps thru the window behind me – Brandi sleeps under the cover beside me, the socks and underwear on the line – not drying but waving / freeze drying in the dying breeze.
Out the window a lady in blue jacket and long black jacket urges 2 small calves towards their home paddock.
We have come today from Namche – off the main route with few fellow travellers – a group of Brazilians lead by a nomadic guide who claims no fixed abode until pressed – a yacht in Guatemala perhaps that may go to the Bay of Islands next year.. 30yrs a guide to Nepal – and other places – taking Brazilians to strange exotic places – high mostly, although 3700m (12,139ft) does not seem s high right now.
The track today is as flat as one could find in Nepal – descending slowly into the Bhote Koshi.Valley. Of course in the magic kingdom nothing is flat – on either side the mountains – mostly hidden by clouds rise to 6000meters.
We cross the river by ‘modern’ bridge at a great chasm and climb steeply to emerge in a upper side valley – the famous ‘ sherpa’ village of Thame.
We look for “da dome’s” lodge – not to be found but the Nepalese lady in front of Sunshine Lodge points us to the home of Dr Kami’s – its the Valley View Lodge.
“Yes a room is available” and the pleasant hostess leads us to a small corridor up half a level. I ask and tell her that some friends stayed here and she confirms she is the wife of the doctor – plaques on the wall confirm his 30yr contribution to the Hillary Foundation – one of two doctors at Kundi where he resides week in to return home by foot in the weekends.
We get upgraded to the corner room – windows on two sides – and after settling in share a plate of fried rice and veggies for lunch
The afternoon passes with a slow walk unto the Goma (monastery) perched high above town – no boots just flip flops. Belgium boys for company we climb into and through the Goma. As we leave the bell sounds for the end of lessons – the young monks (kids) run out of class up the stairs towards us
The youngest rather than clapping his hands together in prayer form grabs Brandi’s hand and shales it vigorously – so she is greeted by the young Lama incarnate and blessed at the same time.
Thame – surrounded by 6,000m peaks – the following day we walked up the valley to a high pass