Mount Everest for me for many years was only a dream, a place unreachable, a place you only read about in an adventure book, magazine or a see on a television documentary. I was sharing a beer with a mate, when he mentioned that his expedition to Base Camp Mount Everest was leaving in two days from Melbourne and they had a spare spot should I like to join them.
Should I join them?
I had until the morning to make a decision. As I drove home that night I was already in my mind standing at the base of the highest mountain on earth, I was going to fulfill a dream.
Arriving in Kathmandu
Arriving in the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu was simply amazing with its ember of incense and potent smells oozing your every sense. The music in the streets and Temples take you to a different level – a state of harmony and peace. It was like you were suddenly transported to another world totally detached from your own reality, a world of stark difference and totally opposite to the comforts we enjoy as the norm.
Yes poverty is a way of life for the five million residents, however their resilience and calming happy nature dissolve any thoughts that perhaps our world is worse off. Friendly people everywhere going about their lives, selling their variety of goods, living for the now in good faith and striving for their families.
Temples are a special part of everyday life for the people of Kathmandu, the spinning prayer wheels turning constantly as the colour and smells mesmerises you.
Off we went!
Soon we were off and flying in a twin engine 12-seater on our way through the hair raising Himalayan mountains, that simply dwarf our aircraft as if it were spec in the sky and our eventual landing was straight out of a James Bond stunt as we weaved our way between peaks to touch down on the most hair raising of air strips.
Here to commence our trek through the giants leading to the highest peak on the planet. However I soon realised that the giants of this great land of Nepal were not the size of the mountain peaks that belittled our very existence but the giants were the people themselves. The nature of the Nepalese is astounding, there shear strength of character to be admired, always giving a smile while their backs carry a load beyond human endurance, no complaints, no ill feelings, a very proud and humble people.
The trek is challenging and arduous as we make our way through terrain that boggles the mind, across hung wire bridges 500 feet in the air, acclimatising to an environment where nature is unforgiving. Making our way from village to village and at times imposing on the private domain of the local people who accept that we are in awe of what we see. Many offerings to the Gods scatter our path and temples which honour the enormity and power of these massive shadows which cast over our tiny foot prints.
State of Mind
Silence becomes your state of mind as your eyes absorb what they see, words do not count because you realise you’re walking in a very special place, surrounded by gigantic monoliths of rock, your perception distorted by their sheer size, you are but a grain of sand as you bow in respect to natures might.
Happy flags flutter the trek in honour of the gods for a safe journey, again the locals going about their day with resolve. There are a few night stops along the way as you acclimatize to the ever increasing gradual altitude, making steady progress to the goal.
As you approach the disintegrating glacier its only so close that you are now at the girth of the largest mountains on earth, towering skyward and there solid unmoving, frozen, windswept before me was Everest itself. With snowflakes flying in the wind and the thin air exerting your lungs it was a moment to saviour: a memory forever etched in my mind that they can come true.