I know that this blog is probably at its most interesting when everything on the ground is going to shit. Sorry to disappoint my readers, but today went very smoothly. We have arrived at the famous Sherpa trading post of Namche Bazaar without any misery or mishap.
For me, it started last night with a pretty good night’s sleep, in spite of an annoying barking dog. The weather was cloudy but with not much wind and cool but not cold temperature that was perfect for hiking. The first half of the hike was gradually climbing. We stopped for lunch about 11:00 am then continued up the switchbacks for an additional 600 m of elevation gain to Namche. I am not sure why, but it seemed easier for me this year, which doesn’t really make sense because I am not nearly as physically conditioned as last year and I’m carrying a significant beer paunch. Perhaps the fact that I am using my asthma inhaler this year is making a difference. The proof will come tonight we see how well I sleep. In my last attempt, I slept very little at Namche, with symptoms similar to sleep apnea. The lack of sleep and resulting exhaustion forced me last year to spend an extra night here.
Tomorrow, we will day hike up towards the Everest View hotel for our first views of the Everest peaks. We will spend an additional night here in Namche for acclimatization.
A word about our guide, Dip. He has been way better than my guide last year. He speaks English much better, takes great care of our every need, but gives us plenty of breathing room – much better than my hovering guide from last year. Tom general hikes a bit slower than do I, so Dip tends to hang back with him while I hike ahead. Dip must have told one of our porters, Bashu, to keep a close eye on me, which would have been fine if he wasn’t listening to tinny Nepali music from his phone spear all the way up the trail. We arrived in Namche just as I was about to grab his phone and fling it into the abyss.