If your trip will include Asia, be sure to browse through all the Asia articles below. We at The Cheap Route have already done a lot of first hand research about Asia, we've been there done that when it comes to Asia, continue reading to gain first hand insight. Our goal is to to provide the hard to find information and photos about Asia.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Crossing a river which flooded and overtook the trail during the monsoon rains of day 10
When we woke up it was still raining heavily. There's nothing to do in Pangboche so the idea of staying there sounded worse than walking in the rain. Once we got confirmation from Boo that we could move our flight back up, it was worth pushing through to get to Namche today. Out into the rain we went, shortly before 11 AM. The rain meant that small streams were now gushing rivers, and there were massive waterfalls everywhere. Rivers were overflowing to the point that rocks that you used to be able to walk across were completely underwater. Jit was picking up rocks and carrying them across the rivers to make paths for us. It was crazy.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Panoramic views from the top of Kala Patthar
We woke up at 4:30 AM to try to get a glimpse of Everest at sunrise and set out at 5 AM in the dark. Dan led the pack up the hill, and he and I waited every few minutes to see the rest of the group's headlamps come into view while it was still dark. Once it got lighter we realized no one else was planning to go too far so we headed up with Jit. As the sun started to come up we saw incredible views of mountains in all directions. Massive peaks that shot up into the sky all around us. We even managed to get a few quick sightings of the pyramid peak of Everest before the clouds moved in right at sunrise and covered everything.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Colorful tents at the new Everest Base Camp
My stomach hurt all night, but I’m feeling ok this morning. Sam was sick again last night, but he feels up for the climb. Andrew seems better and wants to climb as well. Mike still hadn’t fully recovered but was in good shape to go up. I’m glad we don’t have to send anyone down to Pheriche. The rain we walked in yesterday turned to snow during the night. The landscape looks pretty with the dusting of white, but also very, very cold.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Yak along the river on the Everest trail, just outside Dughla
I slept well last night for the first time in quite a few days. I woke up at 6:30 AM, well before breakfast. Andrew was not too happy with me for being up so early, but it was an incredibly beautiful morning and I wanted to take it all in. This morning had the clearest skies we'd seen yet, and the mountains are simply stunning. Sam isn't doing so well. He was sick all night and didn't sleep much. He says he's feeling ok to climb. Andrew isn't feeling great either. He was accidentally taking malaria pills instead of the altitude pills.
Friday, October 21, 2011
The clouds just barely above the river near Dingboche
Today was our second rest day. Feeling a little homesick today. After our short acclimatization hike of roughly 2 hours, I got a little girly and did anything I could to feel less gross and cleaner, other than bucket shower again because I was worried about getting too cold. I brushed and re-braided my hair, brushed and flossed my teeth, washed my face, put on lotion, and even tweezed my eyebrows. It helped a little. I woke up in the middle of the night with a stomachache again. Altitude sickness is no fun at all. We have "eastern" toilets in our room (no actual toilet seat), and they smell nasty. At least they're inside. 2 or 3 more nights before we get to head back down. The altitude is also making me forget and lose things. Yesterday I thought I lost the GPS and finally found it in my daypack. Today I couldn't find the map notating the photos we took in Namche. I was convinced I dropped it somewhere, but I had given it to Sam. I have no recollection of this.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Stopping for a breather with great views of Ama Dablam in the background
I woke up feeling pretty good. We took hot showers from a bucket. I didn't think it was as amazing as the boys claimed. For most of the morning we had clear skies and sun. Finally! From Pangboche we could see the peak of Ama Dablam, which we were told is supposed to look like a mother and baby, and Lhotse, which is nearly as high as Everest. If the clouds had ever fully broken we could have seen Everest, but not today. We left around 8:45 AM and hiked for about 2 1/2 hours and were done for the day. Gradual uphill the whole way but not too bad.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Arriving at the town of Pangboche, our stop for the night
I was feeling much better when I woke up, and I washed my hair in the sink which made me feel considerably less disgusting. Toast for breakfast. I'm only eating bland things and Clif bars until my stomach settles. We left around 8 and walked for around 3 hours then stopped for tea. It was a pretty easy walk, mostly traversing the mountain ridges. After tea was a 1 1/2 climb, "up up up" according to Boo, all on switchbacks. We stopped in Tengboche for lunch which is where many people stop for the night. The town is on a peak so it's very cold. After lunch Dan and Sam photographed the monastery with the fisheye lens. Amazing place. I don't know if the monks were more interested in the blonde girl or the photography.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
A clear view looking over the town of Namche Bazaar at 3440m
We woke up a little before 7 and started hiking shortly after 8. Fortunately the rain, which had started yesterday afternoon and lasted through most of the night, had stopped. It was pretty cloudy though. We hiked for a little over 2 hours then stopped at the park checkpoint for the TIMS card, which is the permit that allows you to hike in the National Park. We hiked for another half hour until lunch. Some of the uphills were strenuous, but nothing too tough. It got a lot harder after lunch. Lots of very steep uphills that took us about 2 1/2 hours, stopping every 15-20 minutes. We got to Namche Bazaar a little after 2.
Monday, October 17, 2011
The start of the Everest Base Camp Trail in Lukla
Sam and I arrived late last night into Kathmandu where we met up with Dan, Andrew, and Mike. We had a 4:30 AM wake up call so that we could make our 6 AM flight to Lukla and start our trek! The flight had gorgeous views but was decidedly one of the sketchiest flights we had ever been on. We got situated in Lukla then started off. We hiked for about 4 1/2 hours with stops for photos and a long lunch. Today was the easy day. Only about 3 hours of actual hiking and a lot of downhill. Our guide is named Bhuwan, and he agreed to let us call him Boo. We also have 3 porters - Jit, Case, and Milar.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
One of the famous cave paintings at Sigirya
One of the coolest places in Sri Lanka has to be the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. It doesn't look like much from afar, and even from a lot of photos you see online, but when you get there and get to walking around you see why UNESCO has declared Sigiriya as the 8th Wonder of the World. Monastery turned King's Fortress, turned back to Monastery, Sigiriya has had quite a dynamic past.