Great Big Walk: Visit to Kopan

We had an awesome day yesterday settling into Kathmandu life. We visited Raj and saw how his new trekking office renos we’re going. Lunch at Nargila with fresh lemon soda and the adventure of buying a Nepali SIM card for my phone.

The highlight of the day was meeting Mingar Sherpa’s family. Mingmar and I climbed on Everest together in 2010. Kate from my 2008 Pumori trip also joined the reunion. She’s doing volunteer work in Nepal for six months at the Spinal Injury Centre. She told me that a young man was getting ready to set off on a wheelchair traverse from Namo Buddha. I wish him well and Godspeed.

Mingmar, Marian and I stretched our legs hiking around Kopan. We visited two of the many monasteries there. We happened by two pujas (blessing ceremony) that were clearing obstacles in the lead up to Losar, the Tibetan New Year. The monks were wearing their ceremonial yellow hats and traditional costumes. There was chanting, drumming, and blowing of the deep six foot horns. We managed to accumulate 22,282 steps throughout the day.

In the picture above, you see the giant thanka that was unfurled at the monastery for the puja. Look carefully and you will see the monks in the picture for scale.

At the end of a most delicious meal of dahl bhat and chicken curry prepared by Mingmar’s partner, Doma, the family presented us with katas to wish us well on our Great Big Walk.

Another careening taxi ride through the darkened streets of KTM delivered us back home to our hotel. Later today, we meet our teammates.

raj

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