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The little adventures of Jo! Travel with me on my overdue gap year around the world :)

Pheriche

NEPAL | Tuesday, 15 October 2013 | Views [570]

Altitude: 4270m.

This is the highest I've ever been! And I'm only going to continue climbing!

We treaded through some snow (and slush) to get here. Thankfully, even with the recent weather and the conditions it's caused, it's been an alright day. I have to say this though. Nepal IS the most challenging place I've ever been to.

Facing such harsh conditions like intense snow and very low temperatures, it's interesting to note that the Sherpas haven't done much to their environment to help them cope. Lodges and houses have no insulation from the cold, usually being made with just quick plywood. There is no form of efficient heating as well. The bokhara (furnace/chimney) in the living area and kitchen stove is all they have in terms of heating, and they're not always in use. In fact, the bokhara in our lodge today (Khumbu lodge) has smoke leaking out of the chimney, making the whole room smoky. What do they do to fix it? Open the windows to the freezing cold and stick some chapati dough over the culprit hole.

It seems that the coping strategy they have here, is just to get tougher. It's unbelievable how "strong" these people are. They've already wowed us constantly on the trek with the incredibly heavy loads (I have heard up to 80kg) they carry up and down, sometimes, if not usually, faster in their flip flops and sandals than trekkers, fully dressed for the outdoors in hiking boots, carrying nothing. What is it that fuels them? Music, chit chat and dal bhat*? Along with a sense of determination to get to where they need to go. But there must be some gene that makes us them much stronger than the rest of us. Today in the midst of struggling to walk on snow, I bumped into two Nepali porters, carrying goods for sale, who cheerfully greeted me and tried to have a friendly conversation with me in Nepali. I couldn't believe what they were wearing walking through knee-deep snow. Shorts and sandals.

On a different note, the scenery also continues to astound me. I've never seen any place more stunningly beautiful. Strangely enough it reminds me of a place I used to visit during my childhood days in Japan for road trips in the autumn and snow fun in the winter.

*Dal bhat is the classic Nepali meal, consisting of lentil soup or dal, vegetable curry, optional pickles and a whole bucket of rice.

 

Tags: everest base camp, friendly strangers, nature, nepal, outdoors, sherpa, snow, trekking

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