Namche, or Namche Bazaar, serves as the location of our first acclimatization day. As the name indicates, Namche is full of shops and every Saturday morning there is a big market. Over the years, I’ve seen quite a number of changes in Namche as new cafes are constantly popping up, they now serve a craft beer called Sherpa (it’s a very light kolsch), and over the last 6 months they’ve built a new entrance into the village. The old entrance was at the center-most, lowest point in the village right next to a beautiful stupa that was lined by mani-wheels around its base. Unfortunately, the stupa received a good deal of damage from the earthquake, along with many of the buildings in the village, and supposedly the funds are not available to rebuild it yet. Nonetheless, Namche is a site to behold and during clear skies one has a wonderful view of Kongde Ri.
The saying goes “hike high, sleep low” for getting acclimated, so typically on past treks we’ve hiked up to Everest View Lodge. The hike is about an hour one-way and, as one may guess, has a beautiful view of Everest. My dad would likely call it a “blue blaze” as it’s a nice side-trail that helps one get acclimated. Unfortunately for us, today has been full of fog and clouds, so there’s not much to look at. Therefore, we ended up using our morning to visit the Sherpa Culture Museum and the Sagamartha National Park Museum. These two museums were a great treat stocked with a great deal of information of the culture, the land, and past expeditions. We spent ~2.5 hrs between the two museums, but there was plenty of content to stay much longer. One of the most fascinating displays/rooms was the documentary room, which was chalked full of articles and pictures of those who summited Everest and original newspaper articles documenting the expeditions back to the 50’s. Pretty cool stuff!
The afternoon was spent writing codes and doing research while I’m still connected to wifi. In the end, it was a quite productive day, but once again it’s barely 7:30 p.m. and I’m ready for a good night’s sleep. We haven’t seen the sun all day, but it has become completely dark. Hiker midnight as my dad would say. It’s been a good day, but looking forward to moving along tomorrow with hopefully some friendlier skies!