Saturday, 31 March 2012

Postcard from Namche Bazaar

We’re on our way down. Arrived at Namche Bazaar mid-afternoon and able to post an email to guys back home from the local internet café.

The lower altitude means our bodies are alive with the 'extra' oxygen - an exhilarating feeling. But this has been a challenging journey for us normally office-bound mortals.

There have been times of great beauty and times of intense physical effort. We have gazed upon golden eagles from above as they swoop and soar below.

There has been a helicopter evacuation of our youngest member after he fell seriously ill with altitude sickness.

And we have experienced extreme cold and biting winds when it seemed almost impossible to keep warm.

Now we are on our way home. It has been a life-changing experience, a test of stamina and willpower, and all in the presence of the world's mightiest mountains.

Unforgiving and at the same time alluring in their pristine and rugged beauty. To see snow billowing from the mountain tops in the early morning jet-stream set against the clearest and deepest blue you could imagine is a sight to behold.

To trudge through a glacier that has created a landscape so alien it seems like no place on earth was both exciting and scary at the same time.

And always we have been supported by our able team of Sherpas, porters and cooks, whose cheery demeanour and willingness to serve is a lesson to us all.

They have guided and met our every need. Sometimes cajoling us along a particularly awkward path or offering to carry a rucksack when the altitude bites at our lungs and demands more than we are seemingly able to give.

We have climbed to more than 5,000 metres, and experienced emotions high and low in the process. But now we are on our way home. The place we have been dreaming of on the long, cold dark nights.