||The weather was
beautiful and sunny all day today. With the airport at Lukla
re-opened after a day of rain, Jon, Andy and Ian flew out this
morning. They'll be trekking to Everest Basecamp before meeting us
on the 7th at Ama Dablam Basecamp.
As for the rest of us - Dan, Rex and
Jay - we enjoyed a morning of having Murari Sharma from Parivar
Trekking as our personal guide on a tour of the Pashupatinath
temple. This one is a sacred Hindu temple with westerners not
allowed inside the one part, the Temple of the Bull. Westerners are
free to roam throughout the entire temple complex and extensive
grounds, on both sides of the Baghmathi River, however.
temple covers an amazingly large area, and is where cremations take
place on the riverbanks - it is also the home of the Milk Baba(a
religous man who lives on no other food but milk), and the Baba who
demonstrates his beliefs by lifting huge stones tied to his penis!
Yesterdays temple was full of monkeys, today it was cows! After our
walk, we were graciously entertained at breakfast at Murari's
comfortable home, by his wife and sister in law, who prepared a
climbing Sherpa crew's gear was thoroughly checked through today.
It's important for our Sherpas to be outfitted properly and we
encourage Expedition Members to bring along any spare climbing
equipment they may have. Too many Sherpas are injured, killed or
made sick by not having and using correct gear. By the way, they
really on equipment donated by visiting climbers. Our climbing
Sherpas are named:
1. Jangbu Sherpa
2. Tek Bahadur
3. Lakpa Sherpa
4. Mindu Sherpa
5. Galu Sherpa
6. Ang Shera Sherpa
We have climbed with all of them
before. These are some of the strongest and most famous climbing
Sherpas in all Nepal, many with multiple peak experience, including
Everest, and we are very lucky to have them as part of our team.
Dan went to the US Embassy for a
meeting with the very kind consular official there, in order to
discuss how to smooth the way for getting visas for our Nepalese
colleagues who wish to spend a few weeks visiting the states and
learning about how we do things at home, without having to call his
US Senators, etcetera. The hard working embassy staff looked quite
swamped with visa applicants, during Dan's meeting, but they
carefully explained the application process, to the letter of the
Dan spoke with the Consular
official at the British embassy regarding how to obtain British
Visas for our Nepalese staff who are undergoing computer training in
Britain. The hard-working consular official made an appointment for
a further meeting, and alerted Dan to a new regulation in Nepal that
may prevent helicopter rescues taking place in remote areas.
Later in the day, Dan was in a
meeting with Vijay Shrestha, the well-spoken Managing Director of
Yeti Airlines. Yeti Airlines flies light planes, known as
"Twin-Otters", they do not fly helicopters. This powerful man, a
friendly person, is doing an excellent job organizing all of our
small airplane flights and cargo shipping to Lukla, where our trek
to Ama Dablam basecamp begins. Mr. Shrestha confirmed that indeed,
since a helicopter fire and kidnapping two weeks ago near Lamidanda,
a remote area of Nepal, it is likely that no helicopter rescues will
be allowed from remote areas. The Everest region will, however,
still be flyable by private helicopters. We are all awaiting, with
baited breath, to see what the government final decision will be.
Will Nepal become like Tibet, where no helicopter rescues are now,
nor ever have been allowed?
Our day finally concluded with the
last packing and organizing of the kitchen equipment, and then we
topped it off with a visit to Fire and Ice Pizza, and a delicious
Italian meal provided by our gracious host: Mme Anna-Maria di Napoli!
That's it for today. We're taking
our Sherpas climbing tomorrow - that should be fun! Stay tuned.
Thank you very much, from All of us