Wednesday, 21 April 1982

30 years ago: 21 April 1982, Everest Trek day 2, Jorsalle to Namche Bazar and Gonglha

Wednesday 21st April 1982:  Jorsalle to Namche Bazar and Gonglha (5 miles)
I slept very well but was up at 06:00 bursting for a pee, welcome back altitude!  Breakfasted slowly with champa porridge/sherpa stew - like a mixed stew/soup/porridge, unusual and although quite edible not wonderful - followed by two boiled eggs and boiled potatoes which were much more to my liking.  I left by 07:30 feeling really great for the first time in ages.  I got to the foot of the climb up to Namche Bazar at 08:15 and, taking it very slowly, but seeing few birds and a distant glimpse of Everest from one of the hairpins, I arrived in Namche (11,300 ft) at 10:30.  I had an omelette and fried potatoes at the Khumbela Hotel where I decided to stay.  It was expensive, at least compared to Jomson, but everywhere in Namche was likely to be.  I left my bag there and took a trail west out of Namche.  I slowly wandered along it for several hours, as far as Gonglha and back, munching the occasional biscuit and seeing Impeyan Pheasants (a.k.a. Himalayan Monal).  The first was a male on a rock in the forest completely by chance but then I saw another six males on my return when they started to feed out in the open potato fields.  Brilliant - one of my main targets for the trek seen already and such good views! I definitely now wish I’d not sent my warm coat home as it is decidedly chilly up here!  It is the end of the season with the weather becoming more cloudy, hiding mountain views as well as playing havoc with airline schedules.  Few trekkers are in evidence and the majority of those that are here seem to me rather elderly with sherpas and porters (an interesting comparison with Jomson where most were young independents like us).  Weather was cloudy, although the sun shone until mid afternoon when it clouded over completely to below the level of Namche.  No big mountain views today although I took a number of photos - in vain when I realised the new film I’d put in the camera wasn’t winding on.

Birds seen:  Lammergeyer 1, Himalayan Griffon Vulture 8, Besra 1, Golden Eagle 1, *Impeyan Pheasant 7 males, Snow Pigeon 50, Rufous Turtle Dove 35, Darjeeling Pied Woodpecker 1, Olive-backed Pipit 6, Long-tailed Minivet 2, Brown Dipper 3, Wren 1, Rufous-breasted Accentor 1, Blue-fronted Redstart 6, Plumbeous Redstart 3, River Chat 1, Blue Whistling Thrush 4, Red-throated Thrush 1, Blyth’s Crowned Leaf Warbler 20, Lemon-rumped Warbler 10, Tickell’s Warbler 2, Slaty-blue Flycatcher 1 male, Rufous-gorgetted Flycatcher 4, Streaked Laughingthrush 2, Black-capped Sibia 4, Grey-crested Tit 3, Black-crested Tit 1, Coal Tit 4, Green-backed Tit 2, Nutcracker 2, Chough 100, Large-billed Crow 20, Beautiful Rosefinch 2, White-winged Grosbeak 2.

first views of Ama Dablam

first views of Everest, peeking out from behind Nuptse

Namche Bazar

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