Dingboche now...Internet bad...

“Dingboche now Internet bad” this is the message I received this morning.

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Well…since that’s about all the news we have for today, let’s think about what Team Typhod is doing in Dingboche today. Dingboche is a Sherpa village with a population of about 200, altitude of about 4,410 meters, which is around 14,470 feet. Oh what I would give to see how these 200 citizens react to our beloved Elsa and the boys. I can guarantee she is making friends all over the place and they will forever remember that voice and friendly laugh. I bet you our team is acclimating and enjoying the halfway mark to the base camp hike. Once you reach Dingboche, you should be on day 5 of the trek. This area is known for having some mountain sheep called Argali, I hope we get some good pics of some. This place is also known to have a bakery where people visit and order tea and other local treats.

From what I have read, this is a place for a good overnight stay and acclimation of a couple days, as people start to feel the altitude once they reach Dingboche. There is a trekking trail where people go to hike around and acclimate before continuing on to the next stop, Lobuche….and some stories to go along with them.

First glimpse of the big one… Everest

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Three days into the first phase ( base camp trek) of our climb and life is a breeze.

A rough 4 hour bus ride (with heads bobbing off the windows, trying to get in a little bit more shut eye) which started at 2am. Well that was followed by a whole day sitting at this little airport waiting for the weather to clear, for our flight to Lukla. The weather forecast for the next day look pretty sketchy as well, so we got all fancy and chartered a helicopter. Flight was smooth with absolutely beautiful views.

First night in Khumbu valley was great. Hit the walking trail at 6 am next morning to Namche. This is normally a two day hike , but team Typhoid with cheerleader in tow, was strong, steady, yet sweaty and made it in great time…. well actually our cheerleader also known as princess fairy sparkle, literally collapsed against the center post, in the restaurant and said“ I can not F$&@@! move, I’m serious, I can’t move”. Boy was exhausted and I think he now has a better idea of what is in store for team Typhoid on a small scale.

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Two nights in Namche. Our time was spend with an acclimation hike from where we got our first glimpse of the BIG ONE… Everest, followed by a sports massage…. have to interrupt myself here…. The great Mr Becker decided, in Kathmandu that he needed a massage. Dan went with him, thought it was a bit funny when the one lady came from the back, adjusting her belt, but didn’t think about it again, till later. Well Thomas’s masseuse was not happy with him. Apparently he didn’t get the memo… it’s not a real massage, she kept on asking him if he really wants massage, but didn’t like his answer, 15 min into slapping him some she walked out of there…..great food, a few beers, laughter, making friends and with a good idea of what’s coming, just enjoying the now for what it is … absolutely awesome.

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Up early and we hit the trail again. Uneventful, no hiccups or even heavy breathing. We feel strong, happy and healthy! We are in Tengboche, heading to Dingboche tomorrow.

There’s really not a lot to say about Dan.. he is Dan and everyone wants to be like Dan.

From now on our internet availability will be minimal. I will send updates to Leslie via satellite phone and she will be writing our blog posts, which I know for sure will be much more legible. Thanks Leslie!!!! If, however, I happen to get a bar or two on the 3G, I surely will update you guys with the nitty gritty.

Thanks for following

Still strong

Click here to see all images

Elsa

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The Trek to Base Camp begins

Hello friends! This is Leslie writing on behalf of Team Typhoid. I will be filling you all in on the days when our trekking friends are not able to access the blog.

It has already been an amazing adventure for the group, getting their fill on good food and monkeying around for a few days. Now it’s time for business.

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The team made it safely to Lukla after the weather conditions caused their airplane flight to be cancelled at the world’s most dangerous airport. They had to take a helicopter instead and landed safely after a long day of waiting. I received news from Elsa that after they landed, there was a plane that crashed into a helicopter. Apparently the helicopter was parked on the runway. (if you want to learn more about the crash here is a link to an article in the Washington Post).

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So…now begins the trek to Base Camp. The team made it safely to Pakhding, where they will begin their 8 day hike. The image you see here will show you the towns they will stop and stay at along the way on their nearly 40 mile trek from Lukla to Everest base camp.

Stay tuned…

Click here to view all photos

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Monkeying around

Tick tock… that’s the sound of the checking/shopping/packing/eating clock , running out of time…. tick .. tock.

With less than 24 hours before our 4 hour Jeep ride, followed by the flight to Lukla we need to wrap things up here in Kathmandu. But then, laughter is good for your soul, and with that in mind we made sure we got a few doses of that in yesterday.

Gerald , our main and only cheerleader, got over the initial shock , that most first time visitors experience during their first encounter with this jewel of craziness, the beloved Kathmandu. He was a champ, sitting up front next to the driver. We first headed out to the monkey temple. There is a fancy official name for it , but seeing that there are many monkeys and many temples, and seeing that I’m too lazy to look up the name right now, we will be calling it the monkey temple.

Thomas was not in full disclosure mode before we ventured out there. He has kind of a weird obsession with only the little monkeys jumping on his head. What can I say, boys will be boys… I’m not talking this #metoo confessions stuff, my boys are good! They banded together, bought snacks for the monkeys and tried their outmost best to get the monkeys, only the little ones to jump on Thomas’s head. But to everyone’s amusement, the big ones with the pink asses will come, and up jumps Thomas. I kept my distance, but was with him … those big ones are scary as hell. Daniel and Gerald were the video/ food props crew. Never knew, that to Thomas, not all monkeys were equal… haha the big ones and the ones with diarrhea made him move fast.

Next stop( sorry, but I’m not gonna look up the real name of this place, right now cause I’m technologically impaired and I’m scared whatever I’ve written will disappear) so let’s call it human barbecue place. It’s an outdoor crematorium with many Hindu temples. We got to watch them make fire to an already dead man( had to clarify that because my friend, that I spoke to yesterday thought it was like a human sacrifice.) There are many of these fire pits. They take huge logs of wood, put the body on it, our guy’s face was not covered. Next step is dried grass on top and then they light it up. When they done they just sweep the, whatever remains are left, into the river…. weird, really weird to us that are used to the 6 ft burials or the impersonal cremations , were you hope that this vase with ashes that they give you, is actually the ashes of your person.

Wait a minute, I have the sequence wrong, we are not that heartless that we would have been able to eat , right after cremation. So in between the above two activities, we went to a huge (emphasis on huge), stupa. Its a heritage site, beautiful, little bit of a tourist trap , but who is gonna trap us :) Great lunch( by now Gerald is kinda getting really hungry but he is still freaked out about the thought of yak milk and yak butter and yak cheese, we are eating, he is having a coke).

Back to the hotel ..where we had to sign papers, went through climbing program , ask many questions…I could see that in all our faces , the reality of our huge endeavor is settling in our bones… this s@&! Is about to become real.

i have this saying that hunger doesn’t discriminate, and hunger has no taste… and I was proven right. We went to a pizza place cause our beloved Thomas wanted to eat what he was for sure not gonna get on the mountain, and I’m 110% sure pizza was a good guess. Well after two days of only eating eggs and dry bread, our cheerleader, Gerald changed his mind about the yak cheese. I didn’t have the heart to tell him it’s water buffalo cheese… not that I think it would have made a difference… the boy ate that whole pizza. Back to the hotel and we were out for the count.

still having fun

Elsa

Team Tyhpoid

30 hours of traveling, many stops, plenty bad airplane food, trying to sleep in the Chinese gymnast or human pretzel position…we have arrived in Kathmandu.

One deep breath,… followed by standing in one line after the next , after the next to get our visas and paperwork done.. Suddenly, the oh s$@! moment… you start praying and doing all weird stuff in your mind, like rituals you’ve seen other people perform, to all the gods out there (don’t wanna miss one… Basically like an umbrella with every god , that you know of, huddled together underneath, and you desperately hope you hit the target… which is I HOPE OUR LUGGAGE MADE IT! And then, slowly but surely, here they come, with like 15min intervals. Who cares, it’s here.

Happy to see Dawa’s face when we got out of the airport. We got our flower necklaces, there is a better name for it, but I like flower necklace. In the taxi and off we went.

By now my exhaustion has kicked in big time, but we still need a few pieces of not so important gear. Grabbed that at the second shop we passed and I realized that I’m caput, because one of my favorite pastimes is haggling, and none of that was happening.

Nice celebration beer and tandoori chicken, and we back at our hotel where we met up with Thomas.

Team Typhoid consist of 3 members. First there’s Dan, also know as Dan the man, or Daniel . What a fine specimen of athleticism he is, hence “Dan the man”. What makes him such a great team member is his incredible knowledge of gear… this boy knows his stuff…. I think everyone, secretly wants to be like Dan. His other great characteristic is , Dan is a flat liner.. which means nothing really riles him up… compared to, Thomas and I who are cardiac arrest, up and down and all over the place, in a fun and sometimes hilarious way. Dan is exactly what our two ADHD asses need. Thomas is our other member… remember I mentioned one member getting Typhoid and losing luggage… Mr Thomas Becker….I love being around Thomas cause he is sooo disorganized… makes me feel superior 🤣😂… cause anyone that really knows me , knows I’m not. But, Thomas gets stuff done and in the end that’s what matters:) ( I have to remember to take a pic of Thomas’s wool undies, he got Alpaca ones… but the only alpaca part of it is the little printed alpacas 🙈)

We have a 7 o’clock gear check… time to go wake the boys…

PS: our main cheerleader, for the base camp trek section , is landing at 12:35. Looking forward to spend time laughing at my beloved son, Gerald Bleeker.

The big day has arrived

After months of training, dreaming, having nightmares, getting excited, freaking out…it’s time to get the last of our gear in the overstuffed duffels ( duffels looks like seals), say our goodbyes and head out.

Training was intense, fun and very consuming. Thanks to everyone that supported us through it.

Confession time, I had my own private training, using my shepee…yup, there is such a thing. I now am as efficient standing and peeing, as any man! Makes life sooo much easier. I did have loads of fun mastering it and can now stand and pee with the best of them.

A few little hickups, this last week…from one climber contracting typhoid fever, to losing his luggage (he found it) to literally last minute shopping, like yesterday….same climber:) we are ready as we gonna be.

I had to drop off my beloved Maxwell Bleeker at his second home, he is happy, which really makes me happy. Thank you Ally, I know Max will be taken care of well and not have one knot in his hair:)

We will be arriving in Kathmandu on 9 April.

Just reread the post again…well, for someone that always have too much to say, this is it…out of words. This is all I have , for now:)

Thanks for following

Elsa