Made it to Kathmandu!

We arrived here a few hours ago and after doing some much needed hand-washing I went looking for an internet place straight away!

The trip since Shigatse:

So, after a morning visit to the Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse (home of the Panchen Lama or 2nd Lama) we did the 3 hour drive to Sakya where, upon arrival, we visited our last monastery of the trip. I decided to relax for the rest of the afternoon, to get a bit better acclimatized, and enjoyed a nice bath.

On Thu Sep 20 we had an early start: 6am breakfast to get away at 7am for the drive to Rombuk. Went over some spectacular passes and got our first look at Qomolangma (the Tibetan name for Everest) around 10am – we were all in awe!!!! What an amazing sight to actually see Everest with my own eyes!!!!!

And yes, we also got good views of Cho Oyu, Stephen’s mountain. Some of us waved!!

We arrived at Rombuk guesthouse (very basic but good fun) at 5050m – quite a bit higher than that morning – around 2pm. Had lunch and set off for a 5km walk to Everest Base Camp at 5200m. I am proud to say that I walked there (but took a donkey cart back, to try and beat some nasty weather back to the guesthouse).

I actually took the altitude quite well: was a bit short of breath but slept well.

The next morning we woke up to see that it had snowed overnight.

Yesterday we drove from Rombuk to Zhang Mu, on the Chinese side of the border with Nepal. The scenery was spectacular but the drive at some times hair-curling! But all went well and we arrived around 8.30pm.

And then this morning (Sat Sep 22), we crossed the border into Nepal and drove to Kathmandu.

Do I need to say it: again spectacular scenery and beautiful weather. And a less hair-curling drive!

Tonight we have our last group dinner…

… and then tomorrow the second part of my trip starts.

Tomorrow morning I fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara to start my trek on the 24th.

I expect to have email tomorrow in the guesthouse where I’m staying.

Naturally I will not have email access during the trek – I get back to the guesthouse on Oct 5; I will email again that day or on the 6th!

I am looking forward to my trek and if the weather will be anything like it has been on this first part… well let’s say that things just can’t go wrong then!!!!!

Signing off from Kathmandu,