April 7, 2014
Namaste Family & Friends:
I really love Pokhora.
I had a nice dinner last night at the Moondance restaurant. Angel hair pasta cooked in a nice pesto sauce. After dinner, I walked the main thoroughfare and returned to my room around 10pm. I decided to take a shower and go to bed. That’s when I learned it takes about 30 minutes for the hot water to arrive. So, I guess cold showers are in my future.
In the morning, I woke at the usual time-6 am-and walked the main street again. No one was stirring but me. Then, I enjoyed a good buffet breakfast at the hotel and began to plan my day. I had heard paragliding is popular in Pokhora, so I signed up. I donned my best aviator glasses, so as to look official, and headed up the mountain road with great hope that I could take a quick lesson and fly on my own. I even considered paragliding over Chomolumna, checking that off the list, and heading home early. It was not to be. Sadly, the paragliding operator lacked the courage of my convictions, and my request was denied. Something about not wanting to risk the expensive flying gear to indulge the whim of an elderly and unstable American. So, I had to fly with a delightful young pilot named Pokree.
We ran off the edge of a cliff, with me in a seat in the front and Pokree behind me operating the mainsail. The whole flight was captured in video and photos with a GoPro camera attached to the end of a pole which I held in my hand. The flight descends down the mountain about 2,600 feet. It was great fun with spectacular views of the mountain, villages and lake below. We soared like an eagle–well in my case more like a gorak–and soft-landed near the lake. I loved the whole adventure.
Tonight, I plan to have dinner at the “Once Upon A Time” restaurant. That sounds like a good beginning for a novel. Maybe, I’ll adopt it if I write a book. Tomorrow, I have another adventure planned, but I’ll keep that secret to avoid stressing my family.
I have to share one experience as we drove up the mountain to the launch point. The van was full of locals of all ages, and the driver picked up folks along the way to help them reach their particular destination. The Nepalese music was cranked up to full volume, and everyone was laughing, singing, talking and enjoying themselves. This reminded me of something I have learned from my travels around the world, especially my travels in third-world countries. Even the most poor and destitute of our fellow travelers on planet earth can find happiness from the most simple things, no matter their circumstance in life. No amount of fame, fortune or wealth can buy that happiness and contentment.
Okay, so I’m stepping down of my soapbox and heading to Once Upon A Time.
You never cease to amaze us. Keep the adventures and the stories coming.
“Soar like a Gorak” sounds like a dance move, ha-ha. Great post.
I love this post!!! Looking forward to the pictures.
Love the stories! Take care. Jeff
Thanks Jeff. I really miss Judy’s comments this year. But, I feel her presence on the journey.
Little Brother Billy
Does anyone know what vitamins Bill takes?
Your adventure has begun!! God Speed Young Man!!
Looking forward to sharing this quest of yours. Thank you for sharing.
Great posts, Bill…
Reminds me of my time in Pokhora years back. Had completed the 2-week Annapurna Circuit and basked in the sunshine there. Rented a mountain bike and when a water buffalo turned its head and clipped my handlebars, I soared into the air like a gorak! Despite a chipped tooth and scratched up back, I read “Annapurna” by Maurice Herzog that night. Classic on man’s first ascent of an eight-thousander. Keep enjoying the journey, Bill!
I am afraid to guess what tomorrow’s adventure is. I am glad bungee jumping (prior trip) and now paragliding are crossed off the list.
Hi Bill- not sure if you remember me but I’m good friends with Joe D’Amico– we use work together at Apollo and we met at his house a few years ago when he and Kathi had a party for you first Everest trip. I had dinner with Joe the other night and your name came up…he told me we were right now attempting another summit….I wanted to wish you the best of luck and know that my wife, Tami, and I are sending you lots of positive energy!!! All the best, Brian
Had to google gorak, then had to scroll down past the fantasy and urban dictionary definitions to see what you looked like! What fun! Haven’t paraglided, just parasailed, but what a wonderful feeling it was!
Trees are coming down along the street, so it will look a bit different when you return.
We enjoy your posts!
Bill, you are a really incredible individual. May Our Lord keep you safe on this journey. You have really packed my interest about climbing Everest. I am a dear friend of Karol and Dan Hatch, who is a good friend of your daughter in Newport Beach. I will be following you again on this climb.
God watch over you and the rest of you making this climb.
HEYYEE…BILL…SOAR LIKE A N.DAK. SEAGULL…BEHIND OUR TRACTORS”’IN THE SPRING”WINGS WIDE & SECURE…LOVED THIS POST…THE PICTURES ARE WONDERFUL””THE WALL OF SNOW WE HAD YESTERDAY, AS I CAME OUT OF THE SCHOOL WAS SOo THICK WE COULDN’T SEE ACROSS THE STEPS TO THE STREET…IT”’WAS FANTASTIC TO STEP INTO”””& FIND MY WAY…SOUNDS LIKE YOUR MT EVEREST JOURNEY…INCREDIBLE BEAUTY IN EACH SURPRISE VIEW”’WE SEND MORE HOPE, LUV,
PWR TO KEEP GOIN…NO MATTER WHAT”’COURAGE & MIGHT IN YOUR AWESOM ADVENTURE””LEO IS CLICKING HIS TEETH..AS YOU PROCEED”””