Namaste everyone! This is Joe Butler, guide for the Mountain Trip Island Peak trip. We are all enjoying our last night in Kathmandu before we fly into Lukla tomorrow morning. Today we had a great day seeing some of the World Heritage sites in Kathmandu. We started the day with a trip to Pashupatinath, Nepal’s most important Hindu temple. This temple is on the Bagmati river and is where many Nepalis choose to be cremated. Our next stop was Bodhnath stupa. This was the team’s favorite stop of the day. This is Asia’s largest stupa which is centered around a huge dome with the watchful eyes of Buddha emblazoned on its enormous walls. We circumnavigated the stupa and enjoyed the gentle breeze that flowed through and blew the many prayer flags sending good karma out into the world around us. I kid you not,the temperature inside the compound was a welcomed ten degrees cooler than anywhere else in Kathmandu. We rounded out our sightseeing with a trip to Swayambunath or the “Monkey Temple”.This is another area dedicated to the Buddha. Here we threw coins into the good luck pond and wandered up to an overlook of Kathmandu. Here we found some wonderful artists and other trinket dealers. In true Himalaya climber style we spent the evening in the backpacker district of Thamel. We perused the shops selling everything from spices to clothing and everything in between and finished out the evening with pizza and beer at the famous Roadhouse cafe.
Here’s the team: Tom Henson, Ben Henson, Stuart Grave, Jim Paulson, and guide Joe Butler.
Tomorrow we head to the Kathmandu airport to take a short flight to Lukla to begin our trek. Our dream itinerary is as follows: (as with any trip to the mountains plans can change, so we will remain flexible and take it day by day)
4/19 Fly to Lukla and hike to Phakding
4/20 Hike to Namche Bazaar
4/21 Rest in Namche and hike to Thame for day trip
4/22 hike to Tengboche via Khumjung
4/23 rest in Tengboche
4/24 hike to Dingboche
4/25 rest in Dingboche visit Pheriche and the Himalayan rescue Assoc.
4/26 hike to Lobuche
4/27 hike to Gorak Shep and climb Kalapathar
4/28 hike to Everest Base Camp and return to Lobuche
4/29 hike to Chhukung via Kongma La pass
4/30 rest in Chhukung
5/1 hike to Island Peak BC
5/2 Rest or summit
5/3 Contingency day
5/4 Contingency day
5/5 Hike to Dingboche
5/6 Hike to Namche Bazaar
5/7 hike to Lukla
5/10 Flights home
Again this is a dream itinerary and plans always evolve. We will provide daily podcast updates and periodic web updates when Internet services dictate it. These updates will include highlights of the day,our plan for the following day and any changes to our itinerary.
We are all very excited to get into the Khumbu and feel the amazing power the Himalaya mountains have.
The team would like to thank all our friends and family, the amazing people at Mountain Trip, and our local friends at Expedition Himalaya. We couldn’t do this without all of your support. We love you all.