A Small Adventure
December 17, 2013 - Boudha, Nepal
I woke up to alarm at 5am, spent 10 minutes finalizing packing, then left the house to catch a bus to the old bus station. A cab waited at my door. Ok, this will be faster. I took the cab to the old bus park, fifteen minutes away. I had a ticket that I bought yesterday for the Express bus to Shivalaya, near Jiri, the start of the route. 5-8 hours away. I asked around the 1000 square foot dirt bus parking lot. I found the bus with a bit of help. As I entered the bus, I smashed my head on the door frame and all the Nepalis on the bus laughed. I had a 60 liter back (light though, I don't have a tent or food, this is a "tea house" trek) and a small backpack with the essentials for the bus trip (camera, food, water, Chapstick, etc). The big bag went in the cargo bay, the small one on my lap.
At 2pm I arrived in Jiri, my planned destination, and was told there was a bus to Bhandar, a few towns away down the trail. I hopped on after a few minutes of linguistic confusion regarding the destination (this was a common issue). I stood for a few hours during the ride, then as people left I packed into the back seats. The road was rough, rocky, and muddy. The bus was stuck twice and I helped move stones and push. I ate a package of rice cakes and two energy bars on the road. I arrived in Bhandar at 8pm.
In Bhandar, I went to a guest house, paid 200 for a room, ate Tibetan bread and egg chowmein. The walking begins tomorrow.
December 16, 2013 - Boudha, Kathmandu, Nepal
I decided last week to go on a vacation to the sunny beaches of the Solukhumbu region of Nepal. Why Solukhumbu? Solukhumbu has Sherpas and Rai, rural trails, and yaks. Solukhumbu has Everest; Sagarmatha, the mother goddess of the world, the highest mountain on earth.
December is the off-season for trekking and expeditions. It will be cold and lonely. I have two weeks before my next engagement, so i have time to be trek in along the Tenzing-Hilary Trail, the route of the two climbers that first summited Everest. The journey starts with a eight hour bus from Kathmandu to Jiri, then takes some weeks of walking to reach Everest Base Camp (EBC). (Lonely Planet recommends three weeks for the there-and-back trip) There are also flights to Lukla, a mountain town closer to Everest, but I want to feel the place as I make my way in.
To prepare, I bought a sleeping bag, cold weather gear, trail food, maps, trekker and national park registrations, baby wipes, and other exciting items. Because the trail goes from village to village, I don't need a tent or cooking gear. I leave tomorrow. Here we go.