Day 3: Namche Bazaar

Here’s the third installment of the Courageous Girls trek to basecamp Everest. All is going phenomenally well so far. Today is a “rest” day for the group. Check back tomorrow for another part of their incredible adventure.

IMG_5535Today was technically our rest day. Although in climbing, a rest day is not sitting idle but instead keeping the body moving and maybe doing a short trek to adjust to the changes. Of course a short trek in Nepali might be equal to a loooooong hike for some of us. Our goal for the day was to make it up to 3,880 meters to the Hotel Everest View which offers some gorgeous panoramas of the Himalayas. We left early, as our goal was to make it there for breakfast. While the temperature was quite chilly (about 27 degrees Fahrenheit), we all were quite cozy, wrapped up in our warmest gear. But once on the trail, the sun had us removing layers on our first break.

Seeing the town of Namche Bazaar from up the mountain was quite stunning, IMG_5518and coming across a fury animal was always a gentle reminder of who has the right of way.

We had a long steep incline and multiple spots for appreciating the paradise kept appearing for us. The higher we climbed the more gorgeous the views felt – including the stunning views of the Kongde Ri mountain. 

As we kept gaining altitude, the sight of Ama Dablan became more prominent. Watching the lusciousness of the Khumbu Valley we had just left behind gave us an appreciation for how far and high we had trekked – and we are not even half way there. Taking breaks and hydrating were key in battling the lingering headaches almost all of us experienced due to the altitude change. As we reached the summit of this hill on our way to the hotel, we were rewarded with another magnificent view of the Himalayas. Completely stunning! 

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After a long curving walk to the hotel, we reached our destination around 11:00am; and that breakfast was becoming brunch. 

Maya, one of our fiercest leaders, made sure we had delicious fried potatoes ready to devour. It took no time for us to finish 8 orders of these yummy appetizers. Large containers of Lemon tea and coffee were in order, while we ordered our lunch. We were all quite exhausted due to the altitude and welcomed the chance to eat, hydrate and rest. But tired or not, the energy in this group is so special that laughter is a constant and group photos took off on this day. 

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Right before our descent, we went to a special place outside the hotel and had a beautiful and powerful circle with the Himalayas as our witness. Petra (our iRest trainer) held an incredibly courageous iRest session full of love. It’s almost too hard to describe all the amazing feelings that we all expressed, and as we had mentioned from the beginning, what happens in the mountains stays in the mountains. Surely the Himalayas witnessed a powerful opening and this was such a joy to experience. It was hard for me not to look at Everest (even though we are only 1/3rd of the way there) and feeling humbled by the beautiful journey. I can only hope that the mountains keep guiding us with the same love and openness we have been fortunate in encountering so far. 

As we descended, the conversations were filled with lots of excitement and awe with the incredibly surroundings we have embraced. As we hiked down, spirits were high and some of us spent time wondering around Namche and its various stores. 

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It was sweet for me to bump into a store and seeing the SOLD book (a key book that inspired me into this journey) in addition to some of my favorite Everest and mountaineering reading.

As we gathered for dinner, we all sat by the cozy fire and discussed our journey for tomorrow. We’ll be climbing all the way into Thyangboche at 12,664ft (3860 meters), site of the highest monastery in the world. We all shared our experiences being surrounded by the Himalayas and the openness and uniqueness so special that we finished the dinner holding hands as a group and embracing each other as our journey together continues.