May 19th – Phakding and Namche

Since that landing in Lukla on the Yeti Airlines Twin Otter we have had three of the fullest, marvelous, challenging and most rewarding days one could imagine. Our time here seems much longer that the number of days would indicate. Partly because of missing home perhaps, but at least as much because of some many new and rich experiences with people of the Khumbu, Sherpa life and the sights for the Nepal Himal all around us.

On the 16th we walked down from Lukla to the banks of the Dhud Kosi River at Phakding. We slept well with the sound of the rushing river water nearby. On the 17th we walked along the Dud Kosi, entering Sagamartha National Park at Jorsale. Then we ascend the notorious Namche Hill. The Khumbe is warmer this week than I have ever known it to be. Peter and Lloyd were showing the signs that they were adapting to the altitude with their breathing as we neared the top of the hill and entered Namche.

BAI camp at PhakdingPeter was sweating profusely and decided that a shorter haircut would be more practical. He visited a barber here in Namche yesterday and I have complimented him on his new hair style. He no longer wears "80's hair" Lloyd, who claims to have sported a huge afro in the 80's wears his hair much as I do, not exactly shaven but short enough to be practical on the trail.

Namche, as always has been a stimulating and fascinating time... shopping, visiting with other trekkers - from Khazakhstan, Singapore and all over the world. We are staying as we normally do at the Panoroma Lodge, and Sherpa Jonbu Sherpa, the owner and my old dear friend enjoyed knowing that we would be in Tangboche on May 29 for the festivities celebrating the jubilee anniversary of the first ascent of Everest, and that we would also be in San Francisco, California, together only a short time later, on June 10, for the American Himalayan foundation dinner honoring the same event.

BAI dining tent PhakdingThis month is full of history and of fellowship with Everest climbers and mountaineers from all around the world. Today our group will trek to the sherpa village of Khunde at 12,500 only a short distance from Namche. Ang Temba, Peter, Min, Lloyd and the sherpa porter who goes everywhere with him, Danu will begin trekking soon. By the way, Lloyd, the oldest member of our party and Danu, who is our oldest sherpa have paired up and we called them OM 1 (for "old man 1") and OM 2. They are quite the pair.

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