Namaste from Namche

The little village of Namche is perched high on the steep side of a mountain. It is in layers or rings from top to bottom. The base of the village is the town entrance or gate where the steep trail is the only way in or out of the town from the bottom, another trail on the top ring leads out and higher up into the valley. We will take that trail tomorrow. Small paths of dirt and stone ring around the village leading to various homes and businesses. Both animals and people traverse these paths all day. The village really has only three sides the fourth is open to the huge mountains above and cliffs below, almost like the letter ‘U’. My tea house sits about half way up the sides of this large bowl almost in the middle of the U. From my cot next to the window I can see the mutli colored tin roofs in blue, green and rusty red. All the buildings are made of granite bricks hand cut and hand placed, the windows are trimmed in wood often intricately carved and painted either green or blue. There is a window plate of thin glass. The ground is dirt and mostly barren but despite this the view is stunningly gorgeous as these enormous snow covered mountains crown the view. The colors, sights and sounds make Namche a very special place.

I awaken to the first light although it is still very quiet outside. There is no heat in this small modest room. Two wooden beds with a thin mattress, a chair and a primitive table. It is very cold and I can see my breath. The prospect of crawling out of my warm sleeping bag is most unappealing. This I must get used to and force myself to do as this is how it will be every morning for the next two months. Because Namche is considered a metropolis by valley standards we actually have an attached bathroom and running water although it is frigid. I am assured it will get hot if I let it run awhile but the idea of getting wet has no appeal this early morning.

We assemble in the common room where we take our meals together as a team and socialize or play cards in the evening. This room has only one heat source a small cylindrical metal stove which is only lit in the late afternoon. Dried Yak dung is the fuel source. Judging by what I have seen on the trail there is an endless supply.
I am up early because we all seem to sleep a lot. Because it is so cold in the evenings everyone goes to bed early, a down sleeping bag rated to zero or less is our only heat source. So getting ten hours of sleep has becoome the norm. At dawn I quickly dress and those who want an early workout meet for a quick cup of milk tea or cofee in the common room. From there we hike up several hundred feetinto a military compund and at sunrise gain the most spectacular view of Everest, Llohste and Nupste. A really great way to start the day.

After breakfast we went on an acclimatization hike to a village about a thousand feet above Namche. It was difficult to get into the breathing pattern but once I was warmed up I had a great day high in the Himalayas. So now I am back in this funky little internet cafe, clean from a shower although I have so few clothes I am saving clean ones for later when I am really nasty. I can hear great tunes jazz, blues and yak bells and a million distractions of sights and smells. Namche Bazar, although so very primitive by what we are accustom to, has come so far even in the time I have been away. High speed internet has arrived and even here everyone is connected! I’m enjoying it while I can but tomorrow we leave Namache and head even higher.
Signing off for now.

Climb On!
Wendy

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1 Response to “Namaste from Namche”


  1. 1 Jonna April 1, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Unless a man undertakes more than he possibly can do, he will never do all that he can.
    -Henry Drummond

    Hey Wendy, I have been enjoying the blog entries. You are such an inspiration to me. I also got a good laugh with your mule encounter.

    To the top of the world, F.R.O.G.

    With Love, Jonna


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About Wendy Booker

In June of 1998, this 55 year old mother of three was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS after experiencing balance problems, blurred vision and numbness on her left side. When first diagnosed, Wendy was devastated. But it took very little time for her to transform anguish into inspiration. She immediately turned her hobby of casual running into a continuous pursuit and has now completed nine marathons.

Mountain climbing became the next conquest. Wendy learned about a team of mountain climbers with Multiple Sclerosis who were attempting to climb Mt. McKinley (Denali) in Alaska. With no previous climbing experience, she dedicated a year to hard training and set off with them in 2002. Although weather conditions prohibited the team from completing, Wendy attempted the summit again in 2004 on her own and she succeeded!

The feeling of accomplishment she experienced propelled her next aspiration: to climb the highest mountain on each continent. Just five years later, Wendy Booker has successfully reached the top of six of The Seven Summits – Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. McKinley, Mt. Elbrus, Mt. Aconcagua, Mt. Vinson Massif and Mt. Kosciuszko. Mt. Everest, the highest mountain on earth, still awaits for 2010.


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