Nothing can prepare your senses for the sights, sounds, and smells of Kathmandu, Nepal. The many and colorful prayer flags fly in the wind, carrying aspirations to a world beyond this mountain encased valley. The very narrow streets are ablaze continuously with car horns, as countless motorcycles weave in and out of the smoky traffic. And Nepalese food fills our noses with hints of curry and cilantro. This is a small taste of this busy but interesting city. We toured many temples today and even saw human cremations along a river bank at a Hindu center.
Tomorrow we will awaken at 4:30 AM to prepare for our flight to Lukla, where our trek begins. We'll leave this city behind and enter a world of mountains and snow. Lukla sits at 9,300 feet and there the trek begins - downhill! Our first camp will be at Phakding, elevation 8,500. Too bad we have to give up that precious elevation. There will be a chance to write more from the next village at Namche Bazar, but that will a few days from now. Our group of 19 seems almost hand-picked as e laugh and intermingle freely with each other. We have almost forgotten that a trek is part of this journey, the cultural overload is that huge. Our four-star hotal is adequate but that's four Nepalese stars!
Anyway, we are here and amazed with all we see!