Nepal November 2009

To all of those keen time wasters, enviable travellers and lovers of the good life, yes, I am at it again! This time to the highest mountain in the world – Everest! Well not all the way to the top, but close: Everest Base Camp.

I am yet to stuff all of my [monthly] worldy possessions into my pack and I already cringe at the thought of hauling it 5364m above the world. I envisage it will be too heavy – lucky we have a porter. I may be vague on the odd ocassion but I am not stupid. At US$25 per day I am not only helping this man earn a living I am assisting the environment but not taking a methane producing yak! Although this does appeal to me.

Nepal is located between the Tibetan Plateau and the plains of the subcontinent – the modern-day giants of China and India with history dating back to 60 million BC when The Himalaya rise as the Indo-Australian tectonic plate crashes into the Eurasian plate. Though it has ancient roots, the modern state of Nepal emerged only in the 18th century.

The diversity of its 60 or more ethnic or caste groups make it a cultural melting pot with Buddhism and Hinduism being the main religious followings. In c 563 BC the Buddha is born into royalty and lives as both prince and ascetic in Nepal.

The dominant Nepali cultural concepts are those of caste and status, both of which contribute to a strictly defined system of hierarchy and deference. Caste determines not only a person’s status, but also their career and marriage partner, how that person interacts with other Nepali’s and how others react back. In such a modern world I guess that is why Brett and I know so many Nepalese people living in Oz! Without sounding flippant, it feels a little out-dated in a traditional sense but kind of comforting that your support network is so strong.

I can’t wait!

Everest Base Camp Trekking Itinerary

No GPS tracker this time but so you can keep a track of where I might be (weather and altitude sickness dependant) here is the proposed itinerary and extras…

DAY TO DAY ITINERARY – STARTING 28 NOVEMBER 2009:
Travel Day. Sydney > Singapore > Kathmandu – Singapore Airlines.
Day 01. Kathmandu- 1340M (Arrival day and Transfer to hotel) – Hotel
Day 02. Full Day sightseeing of KTM Durbar Square, Swoyambhunath, Boudhanath & Pasupatinath – Hotel (B/B)
Day 03. Fly to Lukla (2840M) & Trek to Phakding (2800M) – Approx.4 hrs- Lodge (B/L/D)
Day 04. Trek to Namche Bazzar (3440M) – Approx- 6 hrs- Lodge (B/L/D)
Day 05. Trek to Syangboche, Rest/Acclimatization and Back to Namche Bazzar- approx 3 hrs- Lodge (B/L/D)
Day 06. Trek to Portse Tanga (3790M) – Approx 4/5 hrs- Lodge (B/L/D)
Day 07. Trek to Dole (4200M) – Approx 3 hrs- Lodge (B/L/D)
Day 08. Trek to MachherMo (4470M) – Approx 4 hrs- Lodge (B/L/D)
Day 09. Trek to Gokyo- RI (4750M) – Approx 4 hrs- Lodge (B/L/D)
Day 10. Trek to Gokyo Peak (5463M) and Back to Gokyo Ri- approx. 4 hrs- Lodge (B/L/D)
Day 11. Trek to Dragnak- Approx 3 hrs- Lodge (B/L/D)
Day 12. Trek to Cho-la Pass (5368M) & Trek to Dzongla (4860M) – approx 7/8 hrs- Lodge (B/L/D)
Day 13. Trek to Labuche (5018M) – Approx 4 hrs- Lodge (B/L/D)
Day 14. Trek to Gorakshep (5170M) – Approx 3 hrs- Lodge (B/L/D)
Day 15. Trek to Everest base camp (5364M) – Gorakshep (5170M) – approx 6 hrs- Lodge (B/L/D)
Day 16. Trek to Kalapattar (5545M) & Trek back down to Pheriche (4280M) – approx 6/7 hrs- Lodge (B/L/D)
Day 17. Trek to Tengboche (3860M) – Approx.4/5 hrs- Lodge (B/L/D)
Day 18. Trek to Manju (2800M) – Approx 6 hrs- Lodge (B/L/D)
Day 19. Trek to Lukla- 5 hrs- Lodge (B/L/D)
Day 20. Fly to Kathmandu & Transfer to hotel, relax day after Long Trip- Hotel (B/B)
Day 21. Reserve day (Incase flight cancelled due to Bad weather). Or tour of Patan & Bhaktap

With having three extra days in Nepal bungi and parahawking are definitely on the agenda after a five hour hell ride on a bus to Pokhara: www.parahawking.com

Followed by four days in Singapore nursing muscles I probably thought I didn’t have, reminiscing about new memories I want to relive and indulging in the western ways of eating. I am so having ice cream!

Gear List

Preparation is everything! And whilst I have a tonne of stuff I can only imagine that when up high, especially at night, I will be wearing most of it!

My gear consists of:

- Passport and passport photos for entry visa into Nepal.
- One dirty blue 70L hiking pack.
- One minus twelve 700 loft down sleeping bag and silk liner.
- Two sets of merino thermals and two sets of synthetic ones.
- Two pairs of soft shell wind-stopper pants and a pair of 3/4 pants for low altitude and hot days.
- A wind-stopper jacket and vest.
- A Goretex jacket.
- One fleece jumper (The North Face of course).
- Four shirts (to wear over thermals and at low altitude). Can’t look like a thermal dork forever!
- Six pairs of trekking socks. (warning may need to mortgage the house after this purchase)
- Nine undies – yes – the nanna kind for less arse-riding. I am walking up a mountain you know.
- Hiking boots for obvious reasons and runners for low altitude.
- A pillow which compresses itself down into the size of a chip packet.
- Two drink bottles, iodine tablets and small packets of cordial powder (again for obvious reasons – have you ever voluntarily drunk pool water?).
- A dozen items of drug paraphenalia (the legal kind – cause when your are up there you are on your own).
- An enviable supply of shrunken toilettries (but fewer than you would imagine a girl to be carrying – can’t travel looking like a wookie!).
- And a kilo of chocolate (pure energy source I swear!)

If I don’t have it; I forgot it!

Wish me good gear, good health and good hearts!