MM Collection
Checking in from the Condor's Nest on Illimani, Bolivia. MM Collection
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April 2, 2009

Mountain Madness Everest Base Camp Trekkers Arrive in Kathmandu!

Our Everest Base Camp Trek is under way! The team has arrived in Kathmandu and consists of the following members:

Amanda Berndt, Chicago, IL

Glenn Bacheller, Newburyport, MA

Becky Bacheller, Newburyport, MA

Winson Ho, New York, NY

Richard Kelliher, Santa Barbara, Ca

Lead Guide Deana Zabaldo will be reporting on the team’s progress; here is the first dispatch from Kathmandu:We spent the first day touring Kathmandu and learning about Nepal--including Hinduism, Buddhism, history, and politics. The country is a fascinating amalgam of modernity and tradition.

In the early morning we headed out to a holy Shiva temple where a priest blessed our journey and gave each of us a traditional red tikka on our foreheads amidst chanting Sanskrit prayers. Deeper in the temple grounds we witnessed a Hindu funeral: body engulfed in cremation flames, soul released through ritual observance for its next rebirth in the cycle of reincarnation. We also found some ascetics to chat with--covered in sandalwood paste for clothing and with 2-foot dreadlocks!

The afternoon took us to Buddhist sites--the peaceful Bouddhanath stupa (where we spun prayer wheels and had lunch on a rooftop, with colorful flags waving prayers off into the breeze) and Swayambhu, the Monkey Temple (where we found troops of rhesus monkeys cavorting and got a good view of sprawling Kathmandu, ringed by mountains and coated in a haze of dust.It turns out those are only "hills"--the mountains have snow on them! It's time to pack up for our early morning flight to Lukla...