The moment I stepped off the plan in Kathmandu last week, I set my internal clock for Sherpa time, bistari, bistari—which mean ‘slowly, slowly‘ in Nepali. This morning as I awoke in Lukla, the gateway to the Khumbu, I smiled and turned over in my small bed in the Khumjung Lodge.
I went down for breakfast to be greeted by the strong odor of smoking incense being spread by the owner of the Lodge. Dressed in her traditional clothing, she gave me a warm smile as she swung the copper kettle containing the sweet spices. She said it was to send blessing of happiness to everyone, inside her lodge and out. She wished everyone health, and a pleasant life. Blessed Be.
Still recovering from jet lag, last night’s sleep was welcome until the 1:00 am dog barking contest. I’m still not sure who won, but I’m positive that every dog in the village participated. Then precisely at 5:00 am the village rooster decided enough was enough and it was time for everyone to get up. He is a dedicated public employee, and might a treat for someone’s dinner plate as well!
Next up in the morning symphony performed at the 9,000-foot Himalayan village was the parade of helicopters and planes ferrying trekkers, climbers, goods and local from Kathmandu. The first chopper landed at 6:15, and it’s been a steady stream since. The monsoons have been reluctant to let go this 2018 autumn so the flights have backed up forcing team after team to make the daily pilgrimage to the airport only to return to their hotel, filled with an equal amount of disappointment and hope.
I choose to take advance of an unexpected helicopter opportunity forgoing my seat on a 9:00 am fixed wing flight, thinking I was being clever to use the more reliable helicopter to get to Lukla. Well, best laid plans … the airplane left on time at 9, we left on the helicopter at 11 and my bags are still nowhere to be found! However, I’m told they will arrive on the “first helicopter into Lukla”.
Given I was blessed this morning, I’m confident to begin the trek towards Namache, perhaps with an overnight in Monjo at the entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park. Update: Bags will be on 9 am helicopter. They left Kathmandu already!
I cannot express the internal peacefulness and joy I feel being here.
Cure Alzheimer’s Fund – 100% for Research and $ for$ Donation Match!!!
Please remember that this is not only about me getting back on the climbing horse after breaking my leg last year but also to honor Ida, my four aunts and the millions across the globe impacted by Alzheimer’s. As I previously noted, I’m very excited to announce that through the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Jim and Carol Beers will match every donation from my followers during this expedition up to $10,000, and perhaps even more. You can make a donation at our Crowd Rise fundraising site and also form a team to see who can help us reach the goal of $20,000 (I would love to see $25k!)
Memories are Everything