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Spring 2011 Nepal – Day 5

If there’s ever a way to wake yourself up in the morning, jumping into Phakding’s freezing cold river would be one of them. Jesse and Rylan did just that; well, Jesse took it up a notch by throwing on the speedo.. enough said. Meanwhile, the rest of the team awoke to the first glimpse of a Himalayan Summit, followed, of course, by four or five cups of Chai. The trekker’s breakfast consisted of Yak butter with a side of porridge and eggs; a lighter version, I Can’t Believe It’s not Yak Butter, will soon find its way to American grocery stores, courtesy of Taylor. The team said their goodbyes and in no time, the longest day of trekking, the road to Namche, was underway. The trek in itself started out with subtle inclines, incredible scenery, and more than a handful of towering steel-rope bridges. Slanting rain pounded on the roof of the restaurant in Jorsale, the last town before we would reach the well known village of Namche. Luckily, Mike’s super ninja moves brought us good luck and the rain rolled past as soon as everyone ravenously devoured their fill of yak and curry (accompanied by a friendly cup of Chai) to make up for the energy spent thus far. However, no one was prepared for the rocky inclines ahead. Switchback after switchback, the team valiantly persevered through a Himalayan landscape that would make the Rockies look like Kansas. Who knew ascending some 2,000 feet in a matter of hours could be so fun; yes, that’s sarcasm – though plenty of welcoming Namaste’s from onlookers and locals kept us going. Finally, after a combined six hours of trekking, the glorious view of Namche Bazaar greeted us with, can you guess, Chai. As we reflect on today’s journey, a reoccurring theme begins to surface. The beauty of the Himalays is quick to blind, as our eyes begin to adjust a certain form of clarity begins to set in; amongst all the beauty there remains an underlining element. Is it simple poverty as tourists from America understand, or is there something yet to be identified with the lifestyle of the Khumbu? Perhaps we’ll find our answers soon enough. For now, we all sit laughing, smiling, relaxing as the clouds roll in – engulfing the town we’ll rest in for this night and the next. We are on top of the world.

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