Still worth a look but not the picture most are hoping for in my estimation. And the morning is cold. Real cold. I cared little for seeing the sun actually break the plane but I thought a morning hike might be rewarding. I tried to time my departure so the sun would be falling across the trail as I made my way up. Sunlight warm. Richie likey. I left about 6:30 am (as opposed to the normal tourist yak train departure of 4:30 or 5 am) but this was a bit premature as most of the trail was still shrouded in darkness as I made my way up. It was a bit nippy. Richie no likey. Time for the beating of the dead proverbial horse: the views were fantastic. Standing at the high point one is presented with a 360 degree view of the surrounding valley. So Everest is a mere shadow. Doesn't matter. The panorama is exquisite. Ever snort cosmogonic cocaine?
|That's Everest in the middle right|
|Gorak Shep from above|
I lingered for a time braving the periodic bouts of butt clinching icy winds. You never want to loiter too long in a place like that. I could sit up there forever and a day but I think it important to always leave such a place wanting a little more. It's better that way.
Back to my lodge in Gorak Shep for the breakfast banquet. The night before I learned a lesson, a lesson I think we all learn again and again: Don't judge a book by its cover. The previous day I'd watched two gentlemen enter the lodge with enough gear to cross the Arctic and donning Mohawk haircuts. They did not look particularly friendly and, I am ashamed to say, in my mind they might as well have been carrying a Lite-Brite with the word "DOUCHBAGS" on it. They sat down and engaged me in conversation. They were Italian doctors and had just walked all the way from Jiri (some people opt to take a bus from Kathmandu and walk from there in lieu of a flight to Lukla). They were extremely friendly and personable. They decided on the unique hairstyle as a 'shits and giggles' approach to their hike. As it was happening a crowd watched in gleeful awe as the two reshaped their noggins. Very funny. Guess what? That makes me the douchebag.
It was now time to head for mountain pass number two, the Cho La. This day would take me from Gorak Shep to Dzongla, a starting point for the pass. I spent most of the day alone, passing a group of trekkers only now and again. Here I go. Beat that dead horse, Rich! Beat it! The journey was amazing and took me through scenery difficult to fathom. The wind was slapping me in the face like nobody's business but I did not much care. I was too mesmerized by what I saw. More cosmic cocaine. More tuning fork like sensations. Lonely, haunting, wonderful. The kind of energy you just can't find in a Red Bull.
"You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life."
— Albert Camus