March 2010

We arrived to Nepal from India by train, and took a 8h bus to Kathmandu from across the border.

The bus broke and was slow, resulting in 14h trip, in the dark on cliff-edge roads without barriers, arriving to Kathmandu in the middle of the night with electricity off (Kathmandu electricity goes on and off during the day with planned intervals).

After a day, we took a flight to Lukla (elevation 2700m), the closest airstrip to Everest. Lukla is not accessible by road, so you either fly or walk for two weeks from the nearest road.

We hiked the Everest trail with a local Sherpa guide, who offered his services right after our arrival. It is easy to find a way without, but it was fun to have him.

In 4-5 days climbing up and down river valleys we reached Tengboche monastery at 4200m, the last populated place before the Everest base camp. It was amazing to attend the 5am prayers of the Buddhist monks, drinking tea with them, realizing that the only way to get there is by hiking for many days.

On the trail, food and water prices increase exponentially with height, so water purifier is a must. We spent two nights at the monastery climbing nearby peaks, then mountain sickness of one of us forced us back to Lukla only to find that flights were delayed. The Sherpa guide turned out to be alcoholic and was showing us "Sherpa beers" and "Sherpa whiskeys" made of fermented rice in every village.

Back in Kathmandu, we enjoyed cheap food again, excellent clothes, great stupas and temples.

Planes to Lukla from Kathmandu seem to crash from time to time. The one that we took by Agni Air crashed after two weeks. The flight is indeed seems to be difficult, navigating between the World's highest mountains.

Nepalise immigration Lumbini - where Buddha was born Our bus broke 14h bus ride Busy Nepalese street View from the hotel in Kathmandu, we arrived late in the night, in complete darkness Electricity is scarce in Kathmandu - only turned on for several hours during the day for domestic use In 2010 they knew the earthquake was coming Ascending to Swayambhunath stupa Kathmandu from Swayambhunath Buddha is watching you Approaching Durbar square Kathmandu domestic airport has asian-style toilets A plane to Lukla, one of these crashes in the mountains every year or something Resting on the Everest trail The first glimpse of Everest Arriving to Namche Bazaar Farming in Himalayas at 3500m Evening in Namche Bazaar Sherpas playing on the streets of Namche Bazaaar Namche Bazaar in the moon light Stars moving over Namche Bazaar Yak crossing Parked Yak Namche Bazaar from above With Everest himself Navigating on the Everest trail is easy Yaks make climbing look too easy Sherpa temple decorations Tengboche monastery, 4200m Difficult journey is obvious from the face 6am in Tengboche Praying hall of Tengboche 6am morning prayer with hot tea Sun energy is used for water boiling Tengboche monatery - the only way to reach it is to walk for 5 days Tengboche down below Summit of Everest Everest is hiding behind the clouds Looking down from top of the world Himalayan jungle Tengboche monks