Namche is gearing up for the high season by building more guesthouses but right now it's quiet as we are still in the monsoon. It's quite the thriving place because basically and expedition or trek involves passing through it twice and almost everyone stops off for a day to rest.
So I wandered around for a bit and stumbled on something almost unbelievable. A konditorei. And it was open!
You know I got up those stairs with the swiftness. I managed to get a proper cup of coffee with milk made from powder (not from a bloody nak) and raisin bread. Shangri La indeed!
When I got back to my hotel, I'm having a quick smoke outside when who do I bump into but Guy and Emma from the computer room at the school in Lukla! I told them about the bakery and when they didn't believe me produced the bag with the other half of the loaf and invited them to have some. The poor things were in bliss having not had western bread in months. We quickly agreed to have dinner together and also to meet up at the bakery for a naughty cup of western coffee in the morning. I also passed them a few goodies - 3 snickers bars, some Tesco mixed nuts with raisins, Cadbury chocolate covered raisins and a packet of pork scratchings. They were astonished at my food preparedness with him dropping to his knees at sight of the pork scratchings.
Having had a ghastly dinner (I really detest all nak-related products now) my guide gave me the bad news. Although the next day was scheduled for rest, he was encouraging me to go on an acclimitisation hike - 5 hours and 500 metres altitude! ::faint:: To encourage me he pointed out that if the weather was nice I would be able to see Everest. I begrudgingly agreed "if the weather is nice" as my plans for a massage went out the window.
Well, don't you know today dawned with crystal clear skies.
Bloody unheard of during monsoon. ::grumble::
So right after breakfast I dashed to the shops to get a new backpack - one more suitable to trekking. The one from voltaic is fine for commuting but not at all appropriate to trekking. Then back to the hotel to pack the new backpack and grab my walking sticks.
I was still in so much pain from the previous days so didn't do the full 5 hour insanity, just to the top of the ridge (which still took me an hour in my condition). And it was worth it. I have now actually seen Everest with my naked eyes.
I just wish I'd gotten a decent shot of both me and the mountain. ::sigh:: Here's the best of a bad bunch.
And you see that valley behind me? I trekked that mother!
Then tottered down the hill, checked out a sherpa museum, then collapsed.