travelogue2 - Home

Date: 20-12-04
Subject: Kumbu Love

It is true...
There are actually places left on this earth where the
water runs so pure it can be drank straight from the
ground, where the spirit world still has power over
human existence, mothers breast feed until their
babies are at least three, cars are not driven and the
world moves at an considerably slower rate.
In this world families stay together, working everyday
to eat and sleep in comfort.People sing to each other
when they want to dance and a spectacular sunset will
be the most colorful entertainment of the day.
Oh the Himalayas, the Kumbu, old Sherpa, Tibetan ways.
Teachers from their spirit, something they honor every
day.
I have changed. Taken myself to limits I never knew I
could. Strengthened myself physically and mentally.
More than two weeks at altitudes over 14000ft. Six
days of living at 16000ft or over. That does not
include the peaks.
So many days at this elevation wears on the
body..truly takes from the system.
I have so many red blood cells right now that I would
be disqualified from the Olympics (just a little
factoid).
My metabolism has sped up and at that altitude one day
of not eating breakfast could be the deciding factor
of weather I make it over a pass, down a hill...
It was close a few times. When I went to Everest base
camp I did not recover for days.
I have never been so weak in my entire life. I had to
rest almost every 30 ft. It was sometimes hard to take
in the extreme beauty all around, but I made it.
It was not until two complete days of rest and food
(still at 16500 ft, but hey!) that I managed my last
peak of over 18000ft.
I have to say as I was heading for the top, I felt
kind of over it...Didn't even want to hike anything
small...ever again.
Now that my strength is back I remember why I love the
sport.
Tim has gotten stronger and stronger. I think one of
the reasons I struggled was trying to keep up with the
pace and "physical" strength of a man.
Now that I am low again I realize how strong I am,
probably stronger than I have ever been. Lack of
Oxygen is powerful. Remember that when breathing in a
delicious, fresh, glorious breath of sweet, pure air.

It is amazing how traditional the Kumbu area still is.
Aside from the North Face down and fleece, clothing is
still traditional Tibetan style. Yak shit is still the
only source of fire and people cough all night from
breathing in the methane smoke. (Besides the smoke,
the air is clean)
The Sherpa people are the most devoted Buddhist I have
ever met. They burn their juniper every morning and
smile at each other while they walk clockwise around
the Mani stones and never over the prayer flags that
lay as well as fly everywhere. They are proud of their
lung power and climbing Everest is just something they
do to feed their families.
We missed the busy season in the Everest Region when
apparently their are tourist everywhere. I didn't see
that at all. It was nice to see westerners when i did,
especially if a woman happened to be in the group.
Mainly it was me, Tim, our two Aussie buddies and the
locals.
Now back in Kathmandu we stuff ourselves with pizza,
real coffee, all the expensive (relatively speaking)
comfort food and luxuries we can handle.
I could have lived in some of the places we stayed...
They were too amazing for words. But then, I guess I
love the choice.
Choice....what a concept!!!
I am so blessed and working on appreciating it every
moment. Not a Buddhist but definitely trying to
practice compassion, kindness...the works.
Off to India in a few days. New trip, new adventure.
Changing in some of the peace for a bit more chaos..
Plan on doing a lot of Yoga.
Love and special prayer for you during this holiday
season. It does not matter what religion , the idea is
beautiful.
Love a bit more fully, shine brighter, give
generously, pray for peace, and be thankful for the
moments with enough of everything, no matter how much
that really is.
With love always, yuv
War is everywhere,poor little Nepal is getting hit
harder everyday. The city is on strike due to Maoist
power. It is strange to walk around in a huge, silent
city. We, the tourist, are not in danger but the
tension is felt all around.
Just another area to fit into your prayer...

 


© 2003 Hudson Cress. All rights reserved. No portion of this document may be used in any way without the explicit written consent of Hudson Cress. For more information, visit http://hudsoncress.org