Our day started early for a day off. Breakfast at 7:30 and then a steep acclimatization hike to the Everest View Hotel. The skies were clear this morning and views were amazing of mountains surrounding Namche Bazar. As we climbed higher, Ama Dablam came into view, followed by a peek at Mount Everest. Our Sherpas; Mingmar Dorji Sherpa, Mingma Tsering Sherpa and Pemba Rita Sherpa, all kept a watchful eye on us as they shepherded us up the trail to the hotel.
The hotel, which was featured in the movie ‘The Bucket List,’ reminded us of Frank Lloyd Wright’s style. A wide veranda with a breathtaking view of Ama Dablam, Lhotse and, ‘peaking’ out from behind Nuptse, the black pyramid of Everest. The hot chocolate we sipped at 3880 meters (12,726 feet) taking in this view was surreal.
On the way back we visited the Sherpa Museum where Mingmar was our tour guide. He led us through the exhibition describing the making of butter tea and traditional life and pointing out features standard to Sherpa homes. In the Everest museum we enjoyed seeing our Sherpa’s photos as well as Wongchu Sherpa’s photo, featured beside Tenzing Norgay, Sir Edmund Hillary, Eric Shipton, and Apa Sherpa: the renouned climber with a record 21 summits on Everest.
Back at the lodge we are enjoying a 180 degree vista of the valley below Namche after a hearty meal of Yak steak with milk tea and rice pudding, vegetable momos (steamed dumplings), Tukpa (like Sherpa stew with more noodles), French onion soup, club sandwich and French fries with a Kumbu Glacier Melt (deep fried Mars bar), a Chicken Sizzler with fruit salad and Lemon Tea…..none of us are moving very quickly, but we are well fed and happy. And yes, food is becoming a main topic of conversation.
The Indian team of 12 from Pune arrived today after staying last night at Phakding. We have the rest of the day off to rest and acclimatize after climbing high and planning on sleeping low tonight……Tomorrow we head off to Thame.
Namaste. Mark Schwab