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Mountain Madness Everest Base Camp Trekkers Arrive in Kathmandu!

Our Ever­est Base Camp Trek is under way! The team has arrived in Kath­man­du and con­sists of the fol­low­ing members:

Aman­da Berndt, Chica­go, IL

Glenn Bacheller, New­bury­port, MA

Becky Bacheller, New­bury­port, MA

Win­son Ho, New York, NY

Richard Kel­li­her, San­ta Bar­bara, Ca

Lead Guide Deana Zabal­do will be report­ing on the team’s progress; here is the first dis­patch from Kathmandu:We spent the first day tour­ing Kath­man­du and learn­ing about Nepal – includ­ing Hin­duism, Bud­dhism, his­to­ry, and pol­i­tics. The coun­try is a fas­ci­nat­ing amal­gam of moder­ni­ty and tradition.

In the ear­ly morn­ing we head­ed out to a holy Shi­va tem­ple where a priest blessed our jour­ney and gave each of us a tra­di­tion­al red tik­ka on our fore­heads amidst chant­i­ng San­skrit prayers. Deep­er in the tem­ple grounds we wit­nessed a Hin­du funer­al: body engulfed in cre­ma­tion flames, soul released through rit­u­al obser­vance for its next rebirth in the cycle of rein­car­na­tion. We also found some ascetics to chat with – cov­ered in san­dal­wood paste for cloth­ing and with 2‑foot dreadlocks!

The after­noon took us to Bud­dhist sites – the peace­ful Boud­dhanath stu­pa (where we spun prayer wheels and had lunch on a rooftop, with col­or­ful flags wav­ing prayers off into the breeze) and Swayamb­hu, the Mon­key Tem­ple (where we found troops of rhe­sus mon­keys cavort­ing and got a good view of sprawl­ing Kath­man­du, ringed by moun­tains and coat­ed in a haze of dust​.It turns out those are only hills” – the moun­tains have snow on them! It’s time to pack up for our ear­ly morn­ing flight to Lukla…