I truly wish that every person had the opportunity to travel to a 3rd world country. As Americans we are so blessed far beyond what is even imaginable here in Nepal. I just read an article in the newspaper today that said most Nepalese do not even get 1 meal per day let alone the 3 or more that we are used to in America. How heartbreaking. It is easy to see why so many people beg on the streets of Kathmandu. Just consider that I get cranky when I miss a snack let alone 2 or more meals in a row. What does that say about me? I pause for thought.
Today was spent wondering through some of the poorest of the poor districts in Kathmandu. I went through these areas because I wanted to visit the Monkey Temple. This is one of the holiest of sights for the Nepalese people who are devout Buddhist. There must have been some sort of festival or holiday going on today because there were more people at the temple than I have ever seen. I just worked my way in to the crowds and climbed the 1000+ steps up the hillside to the very top. That explains the nasty sweat spot in the picture above.
One thing I did notice this time was that there are many more baby monkeys than in previous visits. Some are cute looking but I have been told never to look or even stare in to the monkeys eyes. This gesture is interpreted as aggression. Couple that with their sharp teeth and the knowledge of biting people, I decided not to take any chances. I quickly snapped a few photos of the monkeys and walked by quickly. Although, the antagonist in me had to make a few chirps and squeeks and grunts and whistles just to see if I could spook them. No such luck. One did look at me as if to say "Dude, grow up". I just laughed to myself and kept on.
Another cool thing today is that most of our team has arrived in Kathmandu. We are just waiting on 1 more to arrive tomorrow and then the trip officially begins April 1st with the commencement of the trek in to Everest Basecamp. We are a team of 6 climbers and we are all getting along great. It is so nice to have a small team. My previous Everest trip saw a team of 23 climbers. To big for my taste. I also met our Sirdar. This is the head sherpa. He is very famous as far as sherpas go. He was also the sherpa responsible for carrying the IMAX camera to the summit of Everest in 1996. He is hilarious as well and we have already compared notes on just how funny we think we are. Thanks a million for following along. More tomorrow as we hope to wind down this initial phase of our journey to the highest piece of real estate on Earth.