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All Things Everest
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"In the wildest dreams of Kew are the facts of Kathmandu." This is an old quote from Rudyard Kipling that I've loved for years. I'll have to admit, I don't know who Kew was. This really describes our day here. After all this time, that was Rudyard Kipling's impression a long time ago. These wonders of Kathmandu are still best described in that manner. It's just when you think something so fanciful or surreal that it would be bizarre anywhere, you realize that it's just the facts of daily life in Kathmandu. It's still a wonderful place.
All 15 members of this next Everest Base Camp trek are together here with me now and we had a great day around the valley. We went on quite a lengthy tour. We ignored our jet lag and our anticipation about trekking and apprehensions about it and we had a wonderful guide. Best guide I've ever had in Kathmandu. A fella name Krishna Dhakal. And he is retired now but was from the very early days in tourism, in this valley, was involved with education of other guides and worked a lot for the government and some of the bigger agencies.
He was kind enough to come with us today and show us, Pashupatineth the Hindu temple; Swamayabhu. And today we went to Bodnath, which we didn't get to do on our last trip and we saw that one huge stupa that is so special to all the Sherpas when they get to make a trip to Kathmandu.
And we even went out to Bhaktapur which is a great place because it's one of the three big cities of the valley along with Kathmandu and Patan. And Bhaktapur is the place where vehicles still don't go. You can drive to the edge of the city but then you wander through these wonderful narrow streets and you look at these old buildings that date from between 600 and 700-years old and in some cases even 1200-years old and you look at the Newari wood carvings on these buildings and it's a step back in time to say the least. We had a fantastic day on this tour.
Now we're back at the Yak & Yeti and we're getting ready for that flight to Lukla tomorrow. I will let you know how that flight goes. Next time you hear from me all we'll be all 16 of us along with Tseten, our Sirdar, who came back to Kathmandu with me, will be on the ground in Lukla; we'll be with the staff that's been waiting for us or in some cases they got to walk a few days trek back to their villages and they've returned to Lukla. And we're going to be on our way to Everest Base Camp again. It's going to be great to get some exercise and start moving and I'll let you know how we feel when we get to Lukla tomorrow.
Wally Berg, Alpine Ascents Guide and MountainZone.com Correspondent