16 April: We arrived into Kathmandu yesterday after an uneventful flight, via KL. The weather here is beautifully warm and sunny at 24°C. We are staying at a very comfortable hotel called the Yak & Yeti, which is centrally located in town. Kathmandu is very similar in some ways to the cities in northern India. Of course there is a fair degree of commonality in the cultures with Buddhism and Hinduism being the dominant religions. Like India, the traffic is chaotic with the beeping of car horns the order of the day.
We spent yesterday afternoon settling in and we had a briefing on the coming move into Base Camp. We also paid homage to the “Keeper of the Mountain,” Ms. Elizabeth Hawley. Miss Hawley is a legend in these parts and has been keeping records of all the climbers who have attempted Everest since the 70’s— in fact, she has been living in the same flat and has been driving the same VW Beetle since 1960. With the volume of climbers now attempting Everest, she has 3 assistants to help her with the records. Miss Hawley is a sprightly 91 and a delightful lady, and we were very privileged to meet her. She was recently featured in a short film at the Banff Film Festival. You can view the trailer on her website here: http://miss-hawley.com/index.php.
Today we spent the morning seeing the sights of Kathmandu. We visited the Monkey Temple, the Tibetan Buddhist section of town and the part of the city where all the cremations take place. Despite the fact that there are 3 million people in Kathmandu pretty much living on top of each other, the city gives off a mellow air. In the last 10 years or so there have been some major political upheavals here, however Kathmandu seems to mask its recent travails well.
We are in fine health and pretty pumped to be on our way to Base camp tomorrow. Contact over the next week or so will be intermittent but I will do my best to keep you posted on our progress. Until then…
To view more about the Everest Expedition to raise money for charity visit our Everest page.