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The unbearable lightness of being in the Himalayas

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Author: Maria Malkina, Almaty, Kazakhstan
Teamleader: Sergii Novikov
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Nepal. This country has been on my must visit list for the last couple of years and to be honest it was a very distant and mysterious country. I could not have imagined that it would be very easy and fast to organize this trip, the main thing is to want to.

Наша группа в новогоднем трек к Эвересту

The desire arose back in August, when I was listening to a randomly found the song Ocean Elza – Everest and decided to google the statistics of visits to this mountain. And then it began…

I read about Nepal in general, but my mind was stuck on Everest. In the end my search was limited to the trek to the base camp. Because I had never been on a trek in Nepal and knew nothing about it, plus I was going there alone, I decided to trust the companies that organize such trips, and began to search. The parameters for selection were: price, conditions, dates and reviews. Fortunately, in season (late October), I could not get there, because I already had another trip planned, and the tour for the New Year seemed very attractive. In the end, I signed up for the Kuluar group, bought tickets and started packing )

Route

There are several routes to EBC (short for Everest Base Camp), our group took the most popular one. First there was the flight from Kathmandu to Lukla by a small plane. The flight takes an hour, and we all remember this hour for a long time, at first it was scary, then the whole group stuck to the portholes, and the rest of the time we watched the changing images of these amazing mountains with burning eyes, taking pictures without interruption.

A word of advice: get on the plane from the left side, you can see the most picturesque part of the scenery from this side.

Перелет в Луклу

Lukla is the most dangerous airport in the world because the runway is very short and there is a cliff on one side and a rock on the other))

But the pilots on the flight are excellent professionals, so the flight and landing were perfect.

And from that moment begins the most interesting thing – every day we walk up 8-10 km from one village to another, while observing the amazing metamorphosis of the surrounding scenery. At first there is a lot of vegetation, stormy rivers with very beautiful water color, thickets of rhododendrons, and then there are hard open spaces with mosses, cracks and glaciers. At the same time, the landscape is constantly changing and during the day we can see completely new peaks or a new perspective of already known mountains.

Gear

The list of equipment is listed on the Kuluar website. You can take a lot of things, as they are carried by porters))

The most important, in my opinion, is this:

Food

Nepali cuisine is very simple and therefore delicious. Especially if you don’t suffer from a lack of meat in it. Portions are generous and sometimes you could get one dish for two not too hungry trekkers.

In addition to local food, everyone knows how to make pizza, sandwiches, pancakes and other joys of European life. There was a lot of variation in prices, but, for example, a small sandwich and a huge serving of potatoes and vegetables cost the same. There was no flavor in only 2 places, and then I tried to quickly forget about it)). In general I was completely satisfied with the food and I still remember some masterpieces of the chef’s art with a pang of melancholy.

My top 5 local dishes:

  1. Veg Dahl Bat (Nepali set) – it’s impossible to stay hungry, ever) is rice with vegetables and lentil stew. Everything is served separately, and you mix it up however you want. Rice and lentils are complimentary)
  2. Veg fried potato w/egg is large pieces of potato fried with vegetables and an egg. Very nutritious and tasty, which is no small feat.
  3. Sherpa Stew is a very nutritious soup with everything in the kitchen. There can be pasta and pieces of dough, vegetables and even pieces of meat))
  4. MoMo – Manti. The vegetarian ones are just fire )
  5. Apple/Snickers pie – Cheburek with a finely chopped apple or a whole snickers. It quenches your thirst for unhealthy carbohydrates in high altitude)

Обед в Непале

Season

Before the trip there was a lot of anxiety about the temperature, precipitation, and other track weather conditions. I was afraid that I wouldn’t take enough warm clothes, or too many, I was afraid that my boots were too light for such an ordeal. But all my worries turned out to be in vain.

The weather was wonderful, sunny every day, in the afternoon the clouds came over and the sky became fantastically photogenic. In the season (October – November and April – May) judging by reviews the weather is more unstable and precipitation.

At the end of December half of the route I walked in a thin down jacket and light boots. Closer to 5000m I already wore a membrane jacket and a cap, but there was no snow and wet rocks along the way. And this made it much easier to reach our final point of the route.

Another plus of the track in the off-season for me was the small number of tourists. Which means that:

Of the minuses::

How it all ended

These 13 days flew by very quickly, but contained a gigantic amount of impressions that will stay with me for a long time to come. First of all, I will miss the people: we had a group of cheerful, brave, hardy, and just good guys. Plus our wonderful guide Sergey Novikov, who kept the atmosphere of the holiday every day, gave advice, answered all the questions, treated us to tangerines and organized evacuations.

The Himalayas are the most beautiful place I have seen. It’s like another world where time flows differently, people are happy, and you get better and calmer. Thank you Kuluar for making my dream come true

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