The Journey Begins
Hello from Kathmandu! It’s really beautiful. The weather is sunny and clear. The monsoon, which happens during the summer time has recently come to an end and the rains have left everything with a sparkling clarity. Our wonderful group of trekkers, from Women for Women Inernational, are now gathered and we’re raring to go! Today everyone is doing a bit of last minute shopping in the many climbing shops here in the area of Thamel. There is of course also time for some relaxing by the swimming pool and making the most of the luxury of the lovely hotel we are staying in, as tomorrow we get up at dawn for an early flight up into the mountains. We are so excited!
I will be writing a blog as often as we have internet access. So the next update will probably be in 2 days time. Tomorrow we catch a sunrise plane at 6.30 a.m. and arrive in Lukla in time for breakfast. If the weather is really clear when we fly, we will have the most amazing view of the whole of the Himalayan chain of mountains, including Everest, which is truly breathtaking. When we get off the plane we have a lovely short walk of about 10 minutes (breaking ourselves in gently…) to Paradise Lodge where we will have breakfast. This is also the lodge where we spend our last night on the return journey, before we fly back to Kathamndu. It is owned by a wonderful Sherpa woman called Dawa Pherte, and who was also a great friend of Sir Edmund Hillary, the first person, together with his Sherpa (Tenzing), to climb Mount Everest. And in fact, it was thanks to Edmund Hillary, that the airstrip at Lukla was first built.
After our breakfast the trek starts in earnest. So we will shoulder our rucksacks – having given our main kit bags to our porters – and start walking….! We will walk for about 3 hours and then have lunch, and then another few hours after that we will arrive at the village of Monjo, where we will spend the night. The next day, Friday, we will walk on to Namche Bazaar, which is the Sherpa capital – the main town in the whole of the Khumbu valley. The word ‘town’ makes it sound like somewhere quite major, but we have to remember here that there are no roads…. If we didn’t fly to Lukla it would take us several weeks to walk to Namche Bazaar from the roadhead…. So everything is relative…. There are no roads where we are going. Everything is carried – either on someone’s back, or by a yak. Life up in the high Himalaya is not as we know it….but that makes the experience even more wonderful, enlightening, and yes, life-changing for all who visit these high lands, who breathe this rarified air – it is in that place where we are going, amongst the world’s highest mouuntains, that you truly find yourself and start to realize who you really are. We are glad you can join us on this journey and can share our experience through the words that we will write.
In the meantime, love to all of you from all of us. We haven’t forgotten why we’re here and the women we are walking for are also walking with us in our hearts. The words of love and peace, which are on the prayer flags we have with us, will be spreading their message along the way as we carry them up to the foot of the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest – or Chomolongma Mother Goddess of Earth as she is known to the Sherpas. So perfectly fitting don’t you think.
We’ll see you in Namche Bazaar in a few days time…