Around Namche Bazar, Nepal
Friday 6th January 2006
Trek Day 4: Namche Bazar
After breakfast we went for a three hour walk along the edge of the valley to another stupa. Except for the climb out of the area around Namche this walk did not include much climbing. Along the way we passed through extensive rhododendron forests but they were not in flower, being the middle of winter.
Himalayan Monal – Nepal’s National Bird
We also had stunning views of the national bird of Nepal, the Himalayan Monal (also called Danpheâ€™s Pheasant). These turkey sized birds feed on the ground using their beaks to search for their food in the leaves under trees. they also nest on the ground. I saw several gliding away below me, their iridescent feathers glowing in the sunlight, their coppery coloured wings stunningly beautiful. (For detailed information click here.) We also saw a group of Himalayan Thar, a large goat native to the area.
After lunch we went for yet another walk up the pass, this time to the Sherpa Museum. The photographic display of Everest attempts was very interesting. After our return to the lodge I sorted out my clothes after receiving my laundry bag back. Except for what I am wearing, everything is now clean. At Rs200 ($4) it was worth it. I then went and had a shower which was most welcome, especially being able to wash my hair. Again, at a cost of Rs150 ($3) it was worth it. The system for hot showers her in the lodge is complicated. One has to book ahead for the water to be heated. It is then poured into the tank above the shower and so you need to move quickly before either the water gets too cold or you run out of hot water. I managed not to run out of water.
My suffering feet
My blisters on my toes and feet have been quite reasonable today. The one on my left heel has given me beans all day and I renewed the patch on it after my shower. Several of my little toes are quite bruised under the nail. They get bruised when walking downhill because they take the brunt of the pressure as the foot slides forward.
Highway to Tibet
Upstream from where we were this morning is a hydro-electric power system. This supplies Namche and a few other nearby villages. The track we walked on is the â€œhighwayâ€ to Tibet. Over the centuries this has been a major trade route between Nepal and Tibet as well as China. From here it is a seven day walk to the next big town in Tibet.