Dan Mazur's Kangchenjunga Spring 2002

7 April dispatch: We loaded the bus in front of our hotel starting at 1:00 am this morning. We finished loading at 3:30 am. We counted 140 loads, and we still have to buy kerosene. We had a quick tea, then all of us boarded the bus and headed out of Kathmandu. 1 hour later, Felix realized that he forgot the medical bag. We pulled over the bus at one of the many army check posts and Felix and Kaji grabbed a cab and returned to the hotel to get the medical bag, while the rest of us drank tea at a roadside campfire - lit tea stall in the pre dawn light. Already trucks were roaring past around us. They returned with the bag, and we re boarded the bus. We ground down through the mountains, using all the gears in our heavy bus. In the middle of the day, we got caught in a huge traffic jam, at an army check post on the busy highway, where the soldiers were intensively searching all the vehicles. It was utter chaos, but when the soldiers finally got to our bus and saw us, they laughed away our "Namaste's" and waived us on, with a cursory look under one seat. Finally, around 20:00 pm, we made it into Birtamod, and could go no further, due to a road curfew. It was boiling hot down hear in the Terai of the east, and we found a guest house, that was not too mosquito infested. We were surprised to find a restaurant out back, and they made a pretty decent dal bat and we were incredulous when a stage lit up at the end of the long restaurant room, and some ancient Michael Jackson tape scratched to life playing: " I'm Dangerous", then, colored lights started flashing, and a 16 year old boy dressed in gloves and jeans and denim jacket came out and did an entire break dancing routine that brought down the house. Even our Sherpas were cheering. We asked when the women were coming out to dance for us, and our husts suddenly turned glum and seriously said "NO POSSIBLE", and went back to serving us more dal bat and warm Pepsi. We collapsed into bed in our hotel rooms at about 23:00 pm.

8 April dispatch: We awoke at 4:30 in the morning and boarded our bus and started driving into the mountains. We slowly ground our way into the hills and lurched our away up and own passes, and across raging torrents on rickety bridges in the boiling heat of the sun, and finally, around 1700 pm, we came to the town of Phidim. The locals told us there was a 1900 pm curfew, and we wouldn't be allowed out on the roads after that, apparently, the Army had been told to shoot at anything that moved after that time. We believed what we heard, as we saw a totally burned out truck in the middle of the road just before reaching Phidim. We found a comfortably rough little guest house, and parked our massive bus in front, and relaxed drinking Pepsis and eating Dal Bhat in front of the amazed locals. They told us we had to be quiet and locked us into the guesthouse with them at 19:00. We were not even allowed to shine our torches out the windows, and we had to be quiet and not laugh and talk. It was completely dark as someone had blown up the local power station a few days before. It was hard not to feel a sense of foreboading, as we climbed into our bunks for much needed sleep at 21:00 pm.

Thank you very much. Cheers for now. Yours
Sincerely, Daniel Mazur from http://www.SummitClimb.com

Please join us in watching the "live-update" status of 2002 climbing expeditions to Nepal and Tibet on: http://www.everestnews.com/kang2002.htm

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