NEWSLETTERS - Cho Oyo Autumn 1999

Newsletter 31 September 1999

After a team party in the Rumdoodle Bar in Kathmandu till 3:00am we pulled out at 6:30am feeling nothing like a crack climbing team. Dodging cows, chickens, bicycles and kamakzi trucks dashing through Kathmandu's muddy suburbs blackened with the smoke of a thousand open fires and streets streaming with sewage and all manner of life was just what we needed! All the gear had left earlier in a 5 tonne truck with some of the sherpas and the rest of the team climbers and sherpas were all installed in a rickety minibus for the journey up to the border.

The suburbs gave way to lush vegetation and rice fields as we burst out into the himalayan foothills of rice paddies. A roadside breakfast perked us all up prior to a move off "metalled" road onto axle breaking and truck destroying rock, ruts, mud with monsoon washed out sections. We barrelled along 2000 ft. gorges trying to concentrate on the view in front and not down below. Kodhari is the last truck stop before the border and not a holiday resort but it does sport a monastry - Liping.

A short hop up the gorge wall and after dealing with a few leeches on the way we where rewarded with tea shared with the monks and allowed to listen to them praying and chanting. The head monk took rather a liking to Janey and insisted on a cuddle before we left. A donation to the monastry assured us of safe onward passage.