Wednesday, May 7, 2014
On this trip I had a great time doing everything that we did. Right now we are going home but I am still thinking about everything that we did.
First we started out by hanging out in Hong Kong. Then we moved to Kathmandu and finally we flew to Lukla. We started out hiking then we kept walking for day after day. From Lukla to Monjo. Then from Monjo to Tangbouche. The hiking was tough but I was glad for a warm bed after every long day. After 6 days of vigorous hiking we arrived at Everest base camp. We had reached our goal but we had to get back! After lunch and a quick walk around at base camp, we set a new goal - make it back alive. We had to hike for 4 days to get to Lukla to catch our flight to Kathmandu.
Once we got back to Kathmandu we could say that we made it to base camp and back again. We had achieved our goal. I felt great!
We had done what we had to do.
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Well, the last 24 hours have been interesting. Due to significant cloud cover very few flights were able to land in Lukla and consequently very few flights were going to leave Lukla and return to Kathmandu. We had a decision to make. It was possible that we may miss our connecting flights departing the country. So we did what any sane person in Kathmandu would do - we contracted a large Russian helicopter to transport us off the mountain. We were all packed in there- with luggage in the aisles. It was actually quite funny. We had to wear ear plugs because the noise was so loud. But we made it! Another wonderful adventure.
We are now safely in Kathmandu and are departing tomorrow. We will fly for almost 24 hours (not including stop overs) to get home.
So the grand total:
- We hiked 152 km
- Our average pace was 3 km / hour
- Just counting the times we went up, our elevation gain over the trip was 38, 574 feet!
Quite an accomplishment! Both Aadam and I had a great time.
Sunday, May 4, 2014
So was it worth it. Absolutely! Both Aadam and I had an incredible time. We spent lots to time together, made many new friends, and we challenged ourselves. Nepal offers incredible trekking but the infrastructure is very basic. Simple lodging with no heating (the rooms were incredibly cold) and toilets that required some getting used to. But we certainly fell in love with the people. The Sherpa are an incredible group of individual. Their hard work, resourcefulness, and constant positive attitude are certainly something to emulate.
We are excited to come home but we will miss Nepal. Tomorrow we hike to Lukla, where we spend the night, and then catch a flight to Kathmandu the following morning.
During these two weeks we have
- explored the geology of Everest.
- collected rock samples
- collected physiological data on ourselves
- learned about Sherpa culture and interviewed many Sherpa
- attempted to capture the spirit of the trip through video and pictures
- pushed our fitness limits
- spoke French with one of our Sherpa that is fluent in French (he trained at Alliance in Kathmandu)
- listened to the sounds of Kathmandu
- recorded our feelings in a journal and this blog
- and become much closer to one another.
We are in Kathmandu for our final dinner, a tour of the Canadian Hospital in Kathmandu, and some last minute shopping. Then off to Hong kong, Vancouver, and finally Calgary.
It is time to return to our normal lives in Calgary and our routines. We are looking forward to this. We miss our family dearly.
See you all soon.
For the last 12 days, we have been woken up at 6:00 am by the Sherpas, knocking on our doors and presenting tea. Moments later they arrive with a small basin of warm water. In this water we have to wash up, brush our teeth, and possibly shave. That is all we get. The facilities are very basic. The toilets may either be squat toilets (holes in the ground) or western toilets with no flush. We have to pour in water from a large bucket to flush the waste down. We cannot drink or use the tap water to brush with. Consequently we are using lots of hand sanitizers. Showers are very hard to come by. Sometimes we can buy a hot shower, but it may either be outside or a bucket of hot water that we use to shower with. Overall though, we did well with the basic facilities. Finally today we had an in-roon shower. It felt incredible after 12 days!
We are clean and happy. We just had dinner and we are learning about knots and carrying techniques for injured people in the backcountry.
Excited to come home.
PS the picture above presents our Sherpa.