Monthly Archives: March 2014

Cuba Havana Photos

I flew to Havana in February 2009 for a three weeks holiday; the same calendar year as my trip to Nepal, but the previous tax year. My time in Havana was documented in a TravelThruHistory article, along with some photos.

Here’s some more photos. The fourth one is the view from my hotel.

Havana Cuba Photos

Capitolio CapitolioWoman Cespedes ChickenHouse HavanaStreet MartiHarbour

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Nepal Trek Lukla to Kathmandu Flight

In Tengboche I went to a Buddhist prayer meeting, with the temple open to trekkers.

Flying Lukla to Kathmandu

Lukla was like returning to modern civilisation, with bars full of happy trekkers, pub games and rock music.

The flight from the ‘most dangerous airport in the world’ was smooth, and there were great views of the snow-capped Himalayas to the north as we flew through the valley seen earlier in the trek, and then over flat plains to Kathmandu.

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I think Lukla is just beyond and inside the third ridge on the right as you view. The trek path led all the way across the mountains on the right side of the photo, and then it was up to Namche Bazaar.

The plane flies out of the ridge, and then back down the valley, before turning right to Kathmandu.

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Kathmandu Swayambhunath Monkey Temple

Back in Kathmandu, everybody said the Swayambhunath Monkey Temple must be visited, so I did. It was really nice, and had lots of cool and funny holy monkeys around the place.

It is the most important pilgramage site for the Newars, who are the indigenous people of the Kathamandu valley.

Nepal 130 Nepal 131 monkeytempleUpstairsMarc Latham’s central site is the Greenygrey (http://www.greenygrey.co.uk), and he has books available on Smashwords and Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/author/marclatham).

Nepal Everest View Trek Gokyo to Lukla

The next day was another relaxing one, and I just walked to the other side of the third lake, where there is a kind of beach. The first photo is looking back at the Gokyo lodges across the lake.

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Gokyo to Pangboche

The next day I started the return journey; returning on the route of the outward trek until Phortse Tanga. Then it was a left turn to Pangboche, where I overnighted at a lodge run by a Sherpa who had climbed Everest several times. There were photos of him on the peak  in the dining room.

The first photo below is of sunrise on the mountains in the morning. Looking up what mountain it is I today, nearly five years later, realised it’s the Everest range from the other side to Gokyo.

Can you spot the horse in the second photo?

The third photo is looking back at Pangboche, with Ama Dablam to its side, and the Everest range behind it.

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Tengboche to Lukla

The first photo below also looks back at Ama Dablam and the Everest range, but from Tengboche, where I overnighted.

The final photo is from Lukla, which is either the trek beginning or end, or both, if you fly Lukla-Kathmandu-Lukla.

Nepal 123Nepal 124Marc Latham’s central site is the Greenygrey (http://www.greenygrey.co.uk), and he has books available on Smashwords and Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/author/marclatham).

Mount Everest and Gokyo Lakes Photos

The day after climbing up Gokyo Ri I walked up to the last two lakes, which were jade rather than turquoise. There was another view of Mount Everest along the way (photos 1 [right side as viewed, looking smaller than Cho-Oyu] and 3 [above Makalu]).

Between the track and Cho-Oyu / Everest was the Ngozumpa glacier: the longest glacier in the Himalayas.

Mount Everest Photos

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Marc Latham’s central site is the Greenygrey (http://www.greenygrey.co.uk), and he has books available on Smashwords and Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/author/marclatham).

Mount Everest Views from Gokyo Ri

I had stomach problems in the morning, but was determined to climb Gokyo Ri (5,357 metres, 17,575 ft) to complete the Jiri to Gokyo 100-mile trek, and see Mount Everest. My description of climbing Gokyo Ri is mixed below with photos, and there’s a video from the summit at the end.

Climbing Gokyo Ri

The sunrise looked stunning as it lit up Cho-Oyu on another beautiful clear morning, so I went out to take a photo.

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I left at about 7am.  Stepping-stones crossed the stream running down from the north.  I made it most of the way across, before putting a foot in the water.  It could have been worse: a trekker I later met had fallen back into the water!

The lake looked amazing at the start of the climb, with the sun dipping a copy of Phari Lapche into it, mixing the water between blues and greens, and framing it with the real mountains and an illuminated Gokyo Ri.

reflections

It was a steep climb from the start, and I missed the downhills I’d begun to resent earlier on the trek.  However, any difficulties were outweighed by the stunning scenery being unveiled.

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Looking back down the mountain, from one side of Gokyo Ri to the other, the scenery was one continuous arc of astonishment: the planet’s highest peaks shone under the sun framing turquoise lakes and a moonscape glacier. 

And then I could make Everest out!  It was an amazing feeling to see the highest point on Earth, and fulfil the main objective of the trip.

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I reached the peak after about three hours, completing the mission part of the trek.  It was certainly all worth it, with an amazing 360 degree panorama viewable from amongst the prayer flags and cairns.  There was also a small Buddha statue there.

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The fourth Gokyo lake was visible to the north: it was jade rather than turquoise.  Small brown birds flew around freely, and looked quite tame when they landed.  

Walking down was nice, although a little sad to know it was all over, and the rest of the day was spent relaxing and savouring. 

Marc Latham’s central site is the Greenygrey (http://www.greenygrey.co.uk), and he has books available on Smashwords and Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/author/marclatham).