Civilization (sort of)

April 18th, 2008

This morning we found out the truth about the dogs - they were definitely not the same one. Apparently every dog in this region looks the same - black with a white spot on the chest, and the same size, we must have sen at least a dozen. My theory is that at least a bunch of them come from the same litter.
Tengboche monastery was interesting, but pretty small. Like all the Buddhist holy places, you can visit them as a tourist as long as you take your shoes off, don’t interfere with any ceremonies going on, and dress and act decent (seriously, one sign said “no kissing”). The monastery was established only a hundred years ago, but has since been destroyed in an earthquake, and burned down, so this third iteration is only twenty years old.
We got back to Namche today, where hot showers, Internet, and shops are readily available. Although the elevation is almost the same as last night, because this is Nepal, we had to descend about 600m first, so we can climb them again later.
Apparently there was a potential incident at the Base Camp (some Tibetans are actually in the Indian military climbing expedition), so Nepal now has soldiers in the camp preventing anyone from even entering the icefall (apart from Sherpas carrying gear up to camp II).
They also started searching trekkers’ gear at the national park entrance, I guess in order to confiscate any “free Tibet” shirts or flages. That’s too bad because you can buy them within the park in Tibetan owned stores.
Speaking of the national park, a couple of us picked up surveys in order to help with feedback about our visit. The surprising fact was that the entrance fee is only $15 and most of us would be willing to spend more. According to our guide, that won’t help, because the Nepali government harvests the money and doesn’t put nearly as much into this region or park services, as they advertise.
My main gripe (my group had similar thoughts) is tons of trash everywhere - by the trail, and in rivers and streams. Even when they “dispose” of the trash properly, like out trekking company does, it consists of burning anything that will burn, including used plastic kerosene containers, which can’t be that good.
Over the last two weeks we learned some basic Nepali words and phrases, but the one that gets the most usage in bad jokes is “dudh” or milk. So you can have “a little hot dudh” in the morning, or get “some chocolate dudh in you before bedtime”…

Entry Filed under: nepal trip

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