Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Krazy Kathmandu!

Mount Everest. Nepal.

Yesterday we visited the Swayambhunath Temple set high on a hill to the west of Kathmandu. Prayer flags fluttered in the breeze, pilgrims and tourists alike crawled up the steep stone steps to the shrines, and the resident population of monkeys terrorised innocent picnickers; stealing any unattended goodies and, working in perfect harmony to distract them, they even stole items that were closely guarded! Dave laughed out loud on a couple of occasions as he watched them stalking potential victims before pouncing with rapier like speed to plunder their bounty.

Wilco snapped happily away with his camera, taking pictures of anything that caught his eye. He has an eye for the interesting; it turns out.

And me? I just wandered; I like to wander.

Kathmandu is typically Asian. Manic, dusty, heavily polluted. But it has all the charm of Buddhist Asia. The people are as warm as they are enterprising. Every Asian city I have visited seems to have an angle; a trade that the underprivileged embrace. In Hanoi, for example, ladies walk the city streets calling out “Pineapple-Banana”; In Bangkok it always seems to be “Tuk-tuk sir? Ping-Pong?” referring to the ubiquitous transport and the seedy shows! Saigon was all cigarettes in large folding cases or cheap copies of well known travel books. Here in Kathmandu it seems that everyone is selling Tiger Balm, small musical instruments specially made for the tourist market, or prayer wheels in one form or another. And of course every shady looking fella sidles up and whispers “Hashish Sir?”

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Namaste from Namche!

Hi folks. Just a quick update.
We have arrived back in Namche after our successful visit to Gorak Shep and Everest Base Camp. We had a few mishaps and a lot of fun along the way but we made it. It has been unbelievably tough walking all the way in on the Expedition Route from Jiri but it has been worth it. We all acclimatised extremely well but I can tell you that 5000m above sea level is no place for normal human beings! It's nice to be back at a more moderate 3500m! We also trekked back from Gorak Shep to Namche in 9 1/2 hours! That's faster than The Millennium Falcon  does the Kessle run! Hahaha.On the way back I narrowly avoided an actual Yak Attack and when we arrived in Namche Dave was so hungry he ate Yak steak and chips twice!
Lots of stunning and silly images to be uploaded as soon as we get to Kathmandu (hopefully in a couple of days; fingers crossed!) and a bit more detail about our experiences. Be warned though; the main topic of conversation over the past few weeks has been about our toilet experiences! Hahahaha.
Thanks to you all for being patient and for continuing to support us.
Much love to all our families, we miss you all so much xxx