Namche Bazaar is the main town in Everest area. It is set in
a natural amphitheater over looking Kongde Ri.
Due to significant altitude gain, it is recommended that one stays for a
day in Namche Bazaar for acclimatization. We promptly followed the advice.
I had lost appetite and started hating food. Whether it was
due to altitude or bad quality of food, I was not clear. The food was not
impressive as hotels prepared them without salt and spice. Dal baat the only
food nearest to ‘our food’ was completely bland and so was the chapatti. I
started trying exotic (?) foods like Pasta, momos. It was a way to ensure that
I ate something. Why can’t people prepare idlis and dosas? I and Subbu agreed
that food at Annapurna circuit was better (and cheaper).
|View from our hotel|
Contrary to popular belief acclimatization is not a rest
day. A good way to acclimatize is to climb higher in the day and sleep at the
lower altitude. Like majority of
trekkers, we headed to Army camp 450 feet above our hotel in Namche Bazaar. As
we neared army camp, the view of Aba Dablam was clear. At 22,349 feet it looked un-climbable due to
its steep faces. But each year it is climbed by several people!!
|View of Ama Dablam|
Army camp also has a museum. In front of the museum was a
large open space where we got the first view of Mount Everest. It should have
been a happy moment but at that time we were not sure whether it was Mt.
Everest or not!! Our porter said that the Mt. Everest was not visible which was
also seconded by a guide from other group. I couldn’t believe that porter could
not identify Mt. Everest. He seemed to be very innocent who only concentrated
on his job!!
|The mountain at the center but rising behind Nuptse. Ama Dablam on the far right|
Once we know that we were looking at Mt. Everest our joy
knew no bounds!! It was an amazing sight though only the tip of Everest was
visible surrounded by Nuptse (25, 791 feet) and Lhotse (4th highest peak at
|The leftmost peak is Everest|
From the army camp we could see people climbing another
hill. It promised better views so we climbed though it was a steep climb of
about 1200 feet. That brought us to Everest view hotel. Clouds were already
hovering around Everest when we took a quick photo.
A marathon was organized on that day. Look at the route one
need to take from the banner below. It is one hell of a walk (or run!!).
When we returned to Namche we decided to have lunch at the
hotel we ate on previous day. Free Wi-Fi
and charging was irresistible!! But once I started seeing mails, I became busy
for next couple of hours.
|Trip meter that day. Click on the photo for better view|
I received a mail that a fraud was detected in my corporate
credit card. It does not have upper limit and I was worried. That problem was
that the credit card was in my Home and I did not remember the number!! I tried
to call Customer service but the first question they ask was the card number.
But no one was in Home at that time. I had to call my Home who then called up
my Mother and then she went to the Home and got the credit card. As signal was
weak, I asked my wife to contact customer service and close the matter. But
they did not agree for that.
|Valley we climbed on the previous day|
I had to call them up and then patiently answer all security
questions. Finally they said that I had to call from my registered phone
number!! With great patience I had to tell them that I was in “climbing
Everest!!” and with great difficulty I was calling them. They reluctantly
accepted my version and cancelled the card. Story ended well!!
|A waterfall seen from Namche Bazaar|
Back to main story. I observed a phenomenon when I was in
Namche Bazaar. For all 3 days (including one day while retuning) the day
started with clear skies. By noon the clouds covered the entire area. By
evening it was again a clear sky!!
|Evening view with multiple exposure|
Labels: Everest Base camp, Himalayas, Nepal, trek