The team are heading towards the Advanced Base Camp on Everest. Doing well so far, they have been able to update their blog. Read their latest exert below! Love the restaurant review!
With the excitement of Lhasa over, the team was now ready to focus on the three day drive to base camp. The total distance was 700 kilometres and with a 1500 meter height gain, although progress was slightly frustrated by the plethora of police speed traps and check points, which seemingly undid any benefit of laying down their new asphalt road. Despite the frustrations of driving at 40kph on a straight and empty road, we arrived at our first stop Shigatse in time to visit the monastery, and were treated to witnessing the chanting local monks. They say that if anything, Tibet is remembered for its spirituality and admittedly, it was impossible not to be transported somewhere unique, calming and peaceful when walking through the rows of ruby red monks swaying and chanting in unison. That evening we went for another team meal at a Tibet family restaurant, recommended by our faithful guide, the Lonely Planet. The food was nice enough, but the Trip Advisor ‘atmosphere’ scores were surprised somewhat due to the family of rats that were running past our eye line on the shelves, up the wooden joists to the ceiling and across the felt ceiling cover above our heads. When we pointed them out to the waitresses, they simply stood in front of them and giggled. Then proceeded 10 minutes of banter about ordering some ratatouille and other topical gags about Welsh airports – don’t ask.
The second day of travel was similar, and the third, after a shorter drive and a stop at a local hot spring for a wash and a natural sauna, saw us arrive at the Everest Base Camp. A sprawling mass of yellow tents on the Tibetan plateau at 5200m in the shadow of Sagarmatha, (the Goddess Mother of the Earth no-less) is a magnificent sight. We were met by our Sherpa team and our guide Ted, who was wearing an interesting looking fur jacket. On enquiring on where he got the jacket from, we were told the story of how he made it, after picking up the material from a charity supply boat when he was working on a Naval vessel following an earthquake in the Antarctic. Such stories are common place with the sorts of people of this expedition and I love it.
Following a confidence boosting briefing from Ted we were shown to our tents. All were delighted by the standard of hospitality, the tent light and solar charge station, the toilet tent (with seat) and shower tent. Most agreed it was more comfortable in the previous night's hotel.
So after a couple of nights sleep here, despite some sickness and headache which is expected at this stage, the whole team is in good spirits and looking forward to making our first steps on the path up to ABC. We are all missing our friends and family, although have been lucky enough to get access to some Chinese phone network which allows for FaceTime and sending emails. We shall make the most of this before we set off up the mountain. Thank you all for your messages of support and good luck. And thanks again to our sponsors for making this trip possible.
Read more at: www.everestdinner.com
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