I don’t know which piece of good news to share with your first. I guess I’ll postpone some of my self-promotion and give you an update on our good friend Pema. He keeps himself busy from fall to spring hiking the steep Khumbu trails of his home neighborhood in Nepal and tends to maintaining his prosperous lodges. You can be sure that he gets quite enthused when summer comes along and the heavy monsoon rain make his trekking business impractical. He absolutely loves getting out and traveling the world in the summers, as he has been doing for many years. He has made so many friends across the far corners of the globe that it takes him all summer to dash around and drop in for quick visits. For now he’s in the eastern United States, and by the end of the summer he’ll whip through here on his way to California. I suggested that either he has too many friends to visit or he should find more excuses to get away from Nepal.(more…) exercise hiking lodge monsoons Nepalese culture news Pema Sherpa travel
Kathmandu is practically on the exact opposite side of the planet from where I am, and that’s the sense of how far away the culture and perspectives are from here. I’ve discovered that there actually is a small Nepalese community here in Utah, and there are a few things around here to keep them in touch with the familiar comforts of home. Of course the number one joys of the Terai has to be leeches, but Utah is deficient in that regard. However, there are still a few good restaurants that offer fairly authentic recipes. Locally there is the Bombay House, with a kind of pricey but delicious Indian menu. We’re bummed that they’re only open for dinner, because the cravings for curry creep up on us constantly. There are also a few international markets to please foreign tastes, and they even have a few Nepalese RaRa noodles I think and jars of a fossil fuel processing byproduct known as mango pickle.(more…) Kathmandu Nepalese culture prayer flags restaurant spicy food Utah
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We were recently looking through our collection of photos from Nepal to find some truly representative traditional Sherpa clothing. Pema told me about the old days when they would wear fur hats and shoes that were just a patch of leather wrapped around the feet and padded with dried grass. In all of recorded digital history though we couldn’t find anyone in such a quaint outfit, but Pema was proud to share a photo from when he had dressed up in his finest. There he was in a Stetson hat and cowboy boots, along with his chuba and kanam. He insisted that this was a traditional outfit, but we were sure he didn’t understand. To me “traditional” means it has cultural significance, that you wear it on certain occasions, and you wouldn’t be caught dead wearing it under normal circumstances, like when we dress up as pilgrims and Indians in America for Thanksgiving. Or am I the only one that still does that? So we repeated and clarified the question to Pema if he had pictures in traditional clothing. And then we traded incredulous shrugs.
First of all let me update you on my overnight stay at 10,000 feet this weekend. Yes, I did get a headache during the day and I took some Advil. I spent a few hours down low (at 6,000 feet) then drove back up. Yes, that goes contrary to the principle of hiking high and sleeping low. At night I was having trouble with breathing and I couldn’t sleep. I guess I’ll have to re-evaluate my advice on front-loading your acclimatization, but then it could be that I had watched a Harry Potter video.(more…) base camp high altitude headache hiking Mt. Everest Nepalese culture Pema Sherpa Trekking in Nepal