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The James Bond Hotel, A Month in the Nepali Himalaya – Part 3

March 11, 2009

| Image by photos by Uli Loskot

Yesterday´s rain in the lower regions has covered Namche Bazaar and above with a thin blanket of snow. Andi, Tina, Andreas and I gear up for an excursion to the Everest View Hotel. It lays a bit higher than Namche Bazaar and makes for a fine daytrip to help you to get used to the altitude. Altitude sickness can start having effects at about 2500 meters. This Hotel was erected in the 70s by a Japanese guy, who had the idea to fly rich Japanese into the place, hence the small airstrip nearby. The only problem was that people collapsed as soon as they got out of the airplane at an altitude of 3420 meters. Rooms in this Hotel are very expensive and come with oxygen. It looks nothing like any other building around here. A cold, modern stone/wood structure with a big glass front facing the Everest, waiters in uniforms hushing through big empty halls and the atmosphere of some lost glory welcomes you. Did James Bond maybe come by here? A cup of tea costs four times as much as anywhere else in Namche. But the view onto 8000 meter majestic giants is truly amazing and I get a glimpse of Everest before it disappears in a haze of clouds.

On the way back from the Everest View Hotel I explore some prayer flags and other Buddhist sacred places above Namche with Andreas and Tina. The Solu Khumbu is full of Buddhist sites and monasteries, and the paths are lined with Stupas (mound-like structures containing Buddhist relics) and Mani Walls (stones covered with the Tibetan Buddhist inscription Om Mani Padme Hum).

I can feel at headache coming on and my energy is low. The altitude got me. I spend the afternoon in my cozy, but very cold room in bed with two blankets on top of my sleeping bag. After dinner I do make it out to the local bar (Yes there are bars in Namche!) called 24 hours and drink an orange juice. Alcohol and altitude, I think, don´t go together very well.

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