The bus ride from hell is finally over – 9 hours to do 100km as the crow flies – up/down/up/down/around/around/around…….sheer drops 1000m; no guardrails, single lane but two lanes of traffic (truck/bus/donkey). Honking is the predominant mode of communciation, not lights or blinkers. The buses were packed with them standing 30 deep on the top. At one stop the door opened and so many people came out we thought it was a portal to a different place.
We had lunch at a local drive by – one item on the menu – dal bhat (see photo) – there is a lot of trust involved – but it was delicious.
We had rain on the way but the light stuff that actually cools you down so it really wasn’t a big problem. We did just shy of 3 hours to camp, arrived in the dark but camp was already set and the tea was hot. The children came out from the homes to meet us and talk. The path is packed dark earth with rocky bits here and there, up and down like the dreaded mountain goat.
The moon is out 3/4 full.
We met our Sirdar today – Sarki – he is the big boss in charge of all the Sherpa and porters. To become a Sirdar you need years and years of experience, as a Sherpa with lots of hiking and climbing. Sarki is 48.. We also met our lead Sherpa today. The term means from Khumbu region. A Sherpa has technical and climbing experience, we have 6 Sherpa. We also have one cook, 6 kitchen boys, 35 porters. All total approximately 1000 kg to go camp to camp.
The population of Nepal is approximately 28,000,000. The average life expectancy is 47 years, with leading causes of death being related to infectious diseases. As you pass by villages and see poverty mixed with such peace and serenity it is clear this is a special people.
Dale with his game face on
Charles at our lunch