The Thin Air and Blue Sky
I stayed a day in Namche Baazar which is slightly higher than 3400m to acclimatized and took a good rest before going higher into the thinner air. The small town in the mountain is still covered with thick clouds, visibility is probably less than 200 meters the whole day when I was there. But when I woke up the next morning and looked at morning sky from horizon to horizon… I couldnt find any clouds. It was a clear blue sky and I finally managed to see the beautiful surrounding peaks which probably more than 5000m standing proud, clearly visible from the hotel I was staying in Namche Baazar. They look so grand and huge and fierce making the man made buildings in Namche Baazar look very small, weak, humble and unimportant.
Looking at the same view for an hour waiting for the sunrise, a thought came to my mind thinking deep about the comparison between us humans and the mysterious world we are living in. Since generations, we are trying to figure out our existence yet the more we discover the more we dont know. We are trying to understand the universe but sadly, the universe is too big to fit inside our brain, only our brain fits inside the universe. Enjoying the view of Namche Baazar and the surrounding peaks for an hour while filming the timelapse, I also got to see the comparison between human made architecture and real nature architectural plan of the master of the universe. The four elements of earth, water, fire and air… how they are connected in different ways in the dimension of space… and how all these are connected with the other dimension of time. My mind couldnt stop moving from one topic to another, while my body is sitting in one spot while filming the timelapse. This is one reason why I enjoy watching both the sunrise and sunset, my mind would usually fly to some mysterious realm just by looking at the magic in the sky.
Since I left Namche Baazar, the trail is filled with trekkers who usually started trekking from Lukla. Its never quiet hiking here compared to the mountains of Central Asia. Its fun when other trekkers thought that Im a Sherpa. My look isn’t so much different than them and even the Sherpas thought that Im one of them. Hiking on the trail with Pema, my guide while speaking in fluent Malay, making it confusing for other foreigners to guess which one is the tourist and which one is the Sherpa… and they thought that Im speaking Nepali with Pema. Whenever we are in the hostel, it makes it easy for me to blend with other Sherpas.
The walk started to get very interesting since I left Namche Baazar. The surrounding totally changed since I walked out of that village. The landscape easily tells that Im now walking in the higher altitude, the trees are slowly becoming smaller here before it finally change into a high tundra. The weather was extremely nice, the sun was shining almost the whole day making it really warm walking under the sun but cold under the shade. The first day of my walk out of Namche Baazar put me in a small village of Deboche which sits at over 3800m altitude. This was the last village for me to sleep under 4000m before going higher the next day. From here, I could already see rescue helicopter landed right in front of me to rescue a hiker who suffered from the altitude sickness.
The next day I walked 600m higher in altitude which put me at Dingboche which sits over 4400m altitude. This is where I got slower especially when ascending. My body started to realize that there were not enough oxygen at this altitude. So I walked slower while taking more time to enjoy the beautiful scenery while walking nearer and nearer towards the Everest. The walk here is filled with snowcapped mountains which all sits above 6000m. One of the most prominent peak that catches my eyes the most is Ama Dablam, a beautiful mountain with two sharp peaks where the higher peak reaches 6856m. Ama Dablam stands too proud and high and it is clearly visible for the whole two days of walk from Namche Baazar to Dingboche village. Besides those high snowcapped mountains, there are many Buddhist stupas and prayerflags along the way. This isnt much different than Bhutan or Tibet or even Mongolia. Once in a while, the traffic became tense when trekkers have to give ways to the yaks coming from the opposite direction. The clouds usually came to cover everything in sight not long before the sunset. Once the sun left the Himalayas, it becomes really cold here… everything freezes and there is nothing better to do in the dark except spending time inside the thick and warm sleeping bag.