4/1/2004: March 30th was again an important day for us and our Sherpa’s. We
had the blessing ceremony (Pudja) in a monastery near Bodnath, the largest
Buddhist temple (Stupa) in the world. We were again surprised how impressive
the ceremony is. The monks pray continuously for hours and in between they
bless our expedition. We saw also several Western monks. The monks pray for
hours while sitting on the floor. We managed to sit in the same position for
only 10 minutes. But we prayed together with them for an hour. It is important
for us and it is an important gesture to our Sherpa’s.
We solve the final issues, like buying a few bolts for the stoves. And we
have an interview on the phone with Miss Hawley and later with her colleague
in person. She interviews climbers for more than 30 years now and has become a
historian in Himalayan climbing. Climbers want her to register their climbs
and summit claims.
Time to relax after the Puja.
Today we had some time to relax and chat with Dawa and Prem, our two Sherpa
climbers. They were happy we had the Puja. Today they will buy their oxygen
sets and load the truck with the barrels for our departure, tomorrow morning.
We will travel together with three Czechs, a Spanish man and one from
Greenland. None of the climbers will use additional oxygen. We will have
Sherpa support because it increases the summit chances and the safety. The
others have no Sherpa support. We will tell more about our two very
experienced Sherpa climbers later.
Preparation for departure to Tibet (Zhangmu, 2350 meter)
The loading of the gear goes on until the evening when we will have a
dinner together, before our last night in Katmandu. Tomorrow morning we leave
at 6AM for Zhangmu, the Chinese (or Tibetan) border. The border crossing will
take some time: checking papers, discussing wrong forms, paying extra US
Dollars, etc. We don’t like it because we lost some time already in Katmandu
with arranging the permits, the cargo and the other issues. We start to become
fed up with all the bureaucrats who create work for others. But it stays a
challenging trip. On our way to Basecamp we will have two stops for
Greetings, Wilco, Ron and Rex
Pictures copyright the Dutch Mt Everest expedition