Tuesday, May 28, 2013



To stay on in Kyrgyzstan for free, my visa requires that I have an overseas adventure every two months. Such a hard life I lead! So, I’m eating Turkish pide in a gorgeous café on the waterfront in Eceabat, Turkey! (It’s pronounced ay-JAY-ah-baht). The flight left Bishkek at 530am and we arrived in Istanbul to a beautiful day, Dad also needed an overseas adventure for his visa so has joined me a for a few days! Our first morning was spent wandering around the area near the Sultan Hostel where we stayed.

In the afternoon we spent four glorious hours drinking beer in the sun on a Bosphorus cruise. The weather here has been amazing, it’s almost like Turkish sky doesn’t know what clouds are! 
On the cruise
Information on all the historical sights was surprisingly interesting although please don’t quiz me on it :-D. As we didn’t sleep the night before I was in bed by midnight and up at 6am to head to Gallipoli!

 A five hour drive from Istanbul, Gallipoli has a large significance for us Kiwi’s (and the Aussies too). I’m not going to say too much about is as I think it’s best that you see it yourself but its incredible and very sobering to be at the site of the battles. Our guide was excellent, very knowledgeable and excellent English (RSL tours seem to be fantastic so far!). I’m going to do more research on Gallipoli as I always thought that it was a victory for the ANZACs when in reality it wasn’t. 

Now that I’ve finished a surprisingly delicious tea and fed a skinny stray ginger cat most of the cheese on my pide I’m off to Troy!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Trek to Mt Everest Base Camp cont. KHUMJUNG

PART TWO: The morning of our “rest day” we were to go and see the National Park Museum at the top of a hill behind Namche Bazaar at the break of dawn... Before you get to the actual path there are a few stairs. Definitely my most challenging steps of the whole EBC trek. It was early morning, pre pancakes, –we'd had a huge day prior, (more exercise than I do in a month squished into a day) and I was puffed by the 50th 6th step. Fortunately, against all odds I survived and lived to watch a gorgeous sunrise up over stunning snowy peaks.


The following day we headed to Khumjung, on the way we viewed the Kunde Hospital built by our very own Sir Ed! Further a long the track is a school, also founded by him! It’s always awesome to be so far from home and to be blessed with opportunities be reminded of the incredible Kiwis that NZ’s produced! The school was built back in ’61, it was only a couple of classrooms back then but now it has nearly 400 pupils! The yeti skull (or scalp) displayed at Khumjung Monastery was a legitimate disappointment, I was well aware that yeti's aren't actually real, but somehow in my oxygenhotshowersleep deprived state I was expecting to see the bones of a monsters skull. Khumjung was a pretty chilled little village, we saw BABY YAKS, and the lodge was really quaint, it was the first time I was cold enough in the common room to get excited by the addition of dried yak dung being added to the fire. In the lodges/ tea houses that we stayed at along the trek there is a dining area and in the centre is a large pot bellied fire for heating. The yak dung stinks, but when it was that cold I was ready to go collect more poo and add it to the fire myself!

Boy playing at the Khumjung school
 In the late afternoons after the days walk we usually hung out as a group, to be honest it was all rather tame and not at all like my Contiki tour though Europe (I didn't that the trek would be overly similar to the Contiki, but I had hoped for the occasional themed dance party) Totally different story, turns out due to the altitude you can't drink alcohol at all, incidentally after all that walking and fresh air we were so tired that dinner was at 6pm sharp. The food was pretty terrible, the tea houses steamed their pizzas (yup, that makes them soggy) and as wood/gas are limited most of the food seemed a tad undercooked, my trick was just to get it down as quickly as possible before my poor tastebuds had a chance to notice what was happening! Food (even after we'd just eaten) was the main topic of discussion, quite torturous really. Prior to the trek I'd expected late nights, the reality was the four of us sneaking hopeful glances at the clock waiting until it hit 7pm- the earliest we felt we could fall into bed without feeling too geriatric!

Next stop: Thyangboche, where it SNOWED!