Namche Bazar for a day with no hiking. We were spending a rest day before going any higher to help with acclimatization. This is the only non-hiking day we have on the trek. This meant a luxurious 9:00 Am breakfast time. After breakfast Silva, Jeff, John, Paul, and Jim walked about 20 minutes to the Tenzing Norgay memorial at a park on the top of the city. The memorial is a statue of Tenzing posing with his ice ax. It is a sculptural representation of the picture you have seen a thousand times of him summiting Everest.
My favorite part of the statue was the “No climbing” sign place un-ironically on its base.
The park is at the high point of the city and gives a great view of the high peaks of the Himalayas. This is where I saw Everest for the first time, right along side the statue of the first man to ascend the mountain. It was a moving experience to finally see it after planning and preparing for this trip for the last 14 months.
After the memorial we went down into the shops of Namche Bazar. All of us were pretty concerned by how cold it was the night before and wanted to buy additional clothes. I bought some warm socks for the tea house ($3.50), a warmer hat ($3.50), and some down gloves ($9). Then we went for Pizza at the Namche Bazar Bakery and Pizza (number 1 bakery on TripAdvisor). After lunch we went to a North Face store and were shocked by the North Face prices. It’s amazing how fast you get used to counterfeit prices.
Then I went to the Liquid Bar to see the movie Everest. A few of the bars in town show free movies at 3:00. All the movies are climbing movies. They know their audience. It was about the 1996 Everest disaster that Krakauer wrote about in Into Thin Air. The movie had some great shots of the climbers going to basecamp including Kathmandu International Airport, the double bridge, and the entrance to Namche Bazar. It was wild seeing the places I just visited in the last few days on film.
After the movie we had dinner and a pep talk. Then off to bed by 9 PM.
It was a nice rest day.
It was a day that felt like a real vacation: see a cultural high point, do some shopping, grab some pizza, and see a movie. Very ordinary.