Market Day at Namche
Namche market trader selling spices and beans.
Location: Namche Baazar
Local Time: 25th March, 6pm
Weather: Fine, 23C
Hello everyone out there - it's Fiona here. We're having a very relaxing day here in Namche - our first rest (acclimatisation) day for the trip.
Thanks everyone for your messages. To Annie - in relation to your gear question, in hindsight we probably could have bought a lot more of our gear here - either in Kathmandu or even here in Namche. From our last trip here 10 years ago, we knew there were gear shops but didn't realise the huge range that would be here now and didn't want to be stuck without anything. Also, we would have needed much more time for shopping. But for any trekkers coming over, we'd definitely recommend purchasing any gear you need in Kathmandu.
So far, all doing well with the altitude
Getting to Naamche is one of the times when climbers and trekkers are susceptible to the effects of altitude as it's a relatively big jump. But so far, Chris, Bridget, Paul and I are all doing very well. You can certainly feel that the air is thinner when walking up the many stairs in town, but we all slept well, don't have headaches, and certainly have our appetites. A couple of people in our team felt a bit under the weather yesterday but seem to be much better today.
When we arrived yesterday, the clouds had come in by the time we got here so we didn't really get a good appreciation of our surrounds. We woke this morning to a beautiful clear sky, fresh air and amazing peaks surrounding the natural basin that Namche is built within. The whole town is terraced with stone walls dividing the small potato fields, homes, tea houses, and shops.
The height of the mountains around us seems incredible from here - they're just towering above us on all sides. But as the highest is around (only!) 6600 metres, it's quite daunting to think that Everest is more than 2 kilometres taller again. Oh well, I guess we'll just keep taking it one step at a time and focus on reaching basecamp in good shape.
We went for a walk around town and took in many of the local activities. Yaks carrying loads right through town (their jangling bells let everyone know they're coming), the clinking of probably 30 men chipping away at rocks to make bricks for new buildings, women tending to their fields and washing clothes outside, and lots of kids playing. Our team is camped in an area just above town, right near the police station. In the middle of our campground is a helicopter which crashed there around 4 months ago - very strange.
A busy agenda - market & bakeries
As we climbed up around 800 metres yesterday in altitude, today is a scheduled rest day. This morning we visited the Saturday market - this is the main trading place for the whole region and goods are brought in from many days walk away. (We may not have mentioned that there are no roads or vehicles here - everything is carted around either by porter or yak.) The market was very colourful - lots of vegetables, spices, pots and pans, fabrics, groceries, and even Nike shoes.
We then visted the Sherpa museum which included an original Sherpa home and a photo gallery of the local Sherpas, and of Everest climbs.
As I write this, we're sitting at a café having just finished another lunch of pizzas and with a plan to road test the remaining bakeries we didn't get to in the morning. If we feel very energetic, we may pull out the cards a bit later.
Better get back to the sunshine, tea and cards now.
Bye for now, Fiona
Posted by: Anne Munro on March 25, 2006 11:23 PM AEST
Hi Fiona and Paul,
I really look forward to reading about your trip every night. I would have loved to have been at the market, I love markets. I did my last shift tonight for the Commonwealth Games.
keep up the good work
Anne and Princess Panda
Posted by: Brad Bond on March 25, 2006 11:46 PM AEST
Hi Guys, surely if you ascended 800m yesterday we should expect you to summit within the next 10 days even allowing for rest days!!! Just kidding, I hope you are taking lots of photos.
Brad, Tracy, Madi and possibly Baby-x within 24-48 hours!
Posted by: Damien Adler on March 26, 2006 12:05 AM AEST
Be careful not to buy too many hot spices from the market. It doesn't look like you can get out of those down snow suits in your equipment list very quickly!! We love the updates. Have fun, love Dame and Beck
Posted by: Mary and Dad on March 26, 2006 12:14 AM AEST
Hi P,F, C & B
We have just arrived home from Livi's wedding.They were all so interested in your climb that they are going home tonight to check out your site.
We love your updates.....I can't wait to get going! Lots of love, Mary and Dad
Posted by: Emily and Marc on March 26, 2006 03:35 AM AEST
Hi Paul, Fi, Chris and Bridget,
Great to receive your updates - it sounds like you deserve a rest after climbing a further 800m!!
We can actually see the mountains across the lake today - it was a clear and sunny 16 degrees en Suisse (finally!). Although the mountains are not as high as the ones you are seeing or going to venture up!
Stay well and be safe,
Love Em and Marc
Posted by: Mary Clare on March 26, 2006 05:51 AM AEST
Hello to all
Wonderful update, Fiona. Your descriptions are excellant...it is easy to envision your surroundings; the majestic mountains, the people, the markets and of course the yaks (fully loaded). How beautiful this environment must be.
I think you have it right regarding the trekking..."just keep taking it one step at a time".
Wishing you continued success.
Posted by: Glenda Mickleburgh on March 26, 2006 08:36 AM AEST
Hi to you all
I'm thoroughly enjoying your colourful descriptions of your journey.They've become a must-read every morning....in place of the newspapers...and much more interesting!
Have fun and take care,
Posted by: Jordan Griffiths on March 26, 2006 08:37 AM AEST
It sounds like you are having an amazing time - aclimatising to the altitude, food, scenery and walking. The descriptions of the food and colourful market stalls make me want to take a holiday and come to Nepal too... back here, yesterday I went for the normal ride down beach road.. but this time by myself, as you're all walking up some big mountains!! Not quite the same, but I was able to draft from group to group and even a spirit - which of course I won (but it is pretty easy when riding alone). Today in melbourne it is going to about 30degrees and the last day of the commonwealth games which involves the road cycling competition. The women start in about an hour and the men at 1pm - should be a great day! I'll keep you posted of the result - but I'm sure that it will be more aussie gold.
stay well and safe
Jordan & Eliza
Posted by: Jac on March 26, 2006 10:41 AM AEST
Did they have any cheese at the market Paul? I wanted to ask why Fi & Paul are camping and Bridget and Chris are lodging? Can you post some pics of your accommodation? Jac
Posted by: Dad H on March 26, 2006 10:44 AM AEST
Hi Fiona & Paul, Bridget & Chris,
Your updates are really great. Glad to hear you've had no ill effects from altitude. I know fitness is not supposed to be any help with altitude, but maybe it doesn't do any harm either! Enjoy the relaxation and food but not too many spices!?!
Posted by: Jan Laing on March 26, 2006 01:57 PM AEST
Fiona, is that you in the front of the photo? You really have acclimatised quickly haven't you!
All the best for a safe and successful climb.
Posted by: Carissa O"Gara on March 26, 2006 02:46 PM AEST
Dear Fiona and Paul, Thank you for making it possible for us to be part of your trek! It has been great to get to know you and learn about all the preparation you put in this trip. Soon, you will meet our dear friends-Jim Gagne and Michelle Piro(Jim is climbing Everest with the IMG team-they are both climbing Island Peak). Please give them a big hug from all their friends in New Hampshire. Sending positive energy to all of you!
Posted by: Juan on March 26, 2006 02:50 PM AEST
Just to wish you the very best luck. I really enjoy reading your posts. Have fun and take care!!
Posted by: Michael Cormick on March 26, 2006 03:47 PM AEST
I'm really enjoying the descriptions of your daily adventures, certainly sets the travel bugs alight. Enjoy the bakeries as I would be if it were me! FYI...I'm an old colleague of Mary from Hughesdale PS.
Posted by: Beck Adler on March 26, 2006 07:48 PM AEST
Hi guys, I am loving the daily updates, and have even especially gotten up earlier this weekend to read them before heading off! The puppies are doing great and say hello. Beck
Posted by: Amelia and Danny on March 26, 2006 08:42 PM AEST
Hi Paul, Fiona, Chris and Bridget,
We haven't had a computer for the last week so have only just caught up on your latest adventures. We have been thinking about you and it was great to hear how it is going. I have to say that i'm a bit jealous - the sights and sounds, the people, the views - all sounds amazing. Enjoy it all - with love, meals and danny
Posted by: Daryl on March 27, 2006 07:17 AM AEST
You guys are going to be super-strong on the bike when you get back. And your Epo levels will be elevated +++ (naturally) - thanks for the updates
Posted by: Katrina Cuskelly on March 27, 2006 08:11 AM AEST
Hi Guys, We being the Cuskelly's are all following your climb and really enjoying the updates. It's great to see you both looking so happy in the photos - Enjoy!! and travel safely, Katrina