Putting in the hard yards.
Okay people. I've just received a Sat-phone call from Al and the team ......
The team rose early and headed up the Zatra La which has a couple of false summits at 4580m. I don’t mind these as I've always used such landmarks to help stage each step, like in the Tour De France. Breaking it down into little stages helps with the mental side of things.
They continued traversing around the mountain along an undulating trail and reached the true crossing of Zatra La pass at 4610m.
At the top, with an absolute relief, they were welcomed by multitudes of prayer flags; a symbol of spirituality but also a finishing line.
From this prospect one can see the Kongde and a number mountains that tower above Namche. After celebrating our first pass, they made a steep 400m descent to Thuli Kharka for lunch. Camp is further downhill located near the valley floor at a beautiful site amongst rhododendron trees.
Jeff, Mark, Karen and Sue are the perfect team of people to come on this journey as they are all passionate, strong and driven to keep going forwards.
My kinda guys!!
It's the Himalayas, so, where there is an up, there is always a down. Hence they dropped another 400m before reaching Tok Tok 3600m. I love Tok Tok as it is a truly magical village, reminds me a bit of scenes from Avatar or Lord of the Rings. Since our first visit in 2005 it has always remained in my memory as a place with a breathtaking outlook of the mountains coupled with the sounds of rushing water from glacial melt and masses of amazing green vegetation making you feel like you are in a tropical jungle.
A good night of rest was had, this apparently after a lot of laughter and the eating of awesome food by our cooks (I might change that to 'Chef’s' as they are so skilled in creating wholesome tasty food that can cater to any requirements). As I am Coeliac the boys always know how to cook food for me and understand everyone is different. This is why we have been with these amazing men for over 10 years now.
Anyway back to the super crew. They woke up early and after a few yoga stretches from everyone (only joking); probably just realigning their bodies after a big day on the Zatra La, they headed off to Kote. The trail to Kote is through a temperate forest in the Hinku valley. Lots of traversing ridges before descending steeply to the valley floor arriving at Tashing Ongma on the edge of the Inkhu khola river. Camp is only a short distance ahead at Kote, which they reach by following the river to the junction with the Sanu khola river.
Everyone is now in Kote at 3550m, safe and well and by the sounds of things extremely happy.
The better, more amazing version of you can’t happen if you stay where you are. – Wendy Mak