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5/16 Mike in Nepal … A Journey Begins


 “Mountains are not Stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion. I go to them as humans go to worship. From their lofty summits I view my past, dream of the future and, with an unusual acuity, am allowed to experience the present moment… my vision cleared, my strength renewed. In the mountains I celebrate creation. On each journey I am reborn.” Anatoli Boukreev   –   And with that  Michael Restivo is off on his journey …  Mount Everest awaits:

5/16   Namaste everybody!  By guest contributor for MiamiRealEstateCafe –  Michael Restivo

Well, after the constant back and forth, the will I/won’t I go for Everest. It’s the day before my trek and I think I owed it to have a proper post now that everything in Kathmandu has returned to relatively normal.

I’ve had a fantastic week here in Kathmandu, I’ve been basically living here at Or2K, an Israeli run restaurant popular with trekkers and volunteers, with fantastic food and wifi. We sit barefoot and cross legged at low tables on padded seats. The food is all vegetarian so I’ve been munching on falafels, pizza’s, and possibly the most divine pancake I’ve ever had. I’ve spent the week doing a few souvenir shopping, loving the city by myself and just walking around and getting lost. It still feels like my first day here, there’s been so much more to explore. I connected with Josh, who had been in my group from the beginning and just completed the Annapurna Circuit, Everest Base camp, and climbed Lobuche East. I followed him to the all boys orphanage where he worked and hung out the day there talking and playing with some of the kids.

My journey to Everest begins tomorrow, I have a 6:15 AM flight to Lukla, a small airstrip situated on the edge of a 3,000 ft cliff (you can’t make this stuff up) Lukla is unique because the runway runs UPHILL. So the planes must make a quick stop and then taxi uphill the runway at full power. From here the plan is to trek through Sherpa country to the main town of Namache Bazaar, the largest Sherpa town in the Khumbu (the region in which Everest is situated) We will be trekking slowly, only 3 or 4 hours a day so that we can acclimatize properly and staying in small lodges or Teahouses along the way. We will trek from Namache Bazaar to Tengboche Monastery, a Buddhist school at the foot of the Himalayas where every trekker and climber stops to be blessed. After a ceremony we will hike to Gorakshep and from Gorakshep will make the day trek to Everest Base Camp. I am not staying at the actual Base Camp, the climbers already competing for space at the Base Camp frown upon the trekkers taking up space there. We will also be climbing a small peak called Kala Patthar (Sherpa to English translation: Black Rock Mountain) a modest 5,545 meters (18,192 feet). From Kala Pattar we will retrace our steps, and end up back at Lukla and I will be back in Kathmandu on Sunday May 31st, and ready for the best part of my trip…the trip home.

Namaste Everybody!

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