Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Made it to Everest Camp 1!

6000 m - Camp 1, Khumbu Glacier - After a 1:45 a.m. wake-up call from our BC staff, a 2 a.m. breakfast, and last minute donning of our helmets/headlamps, harnesses and backpacks, we were on the trail to "crampon point" at the base of the Khumbu icefall. My supposed 'fresh' headlamp batteries weren't so fresh as they died just as I arrived at the icefall. Thank goodness for carrying a backup set of lithiums! Off we went into and up the icefall in the dark of night. Other then headlamps, the only other light was high in the heavens as the stars were numerous and brilliant.

The climb to Camp 1 was harder than I thought it would be. Not only did my body crave oxygen, something that continually becomes less abundant with each step up, but my intestinal tract decided to act up as well. Lucky me! We had over 20 ladder crossings, some spanning the well known dark chasms called crevasses while others were placed vertically when steep ice walls needed to be surmounted. At one point I was in a relatively safe spot to stop for a moment to adjust my pack and harness so I snapped a couple photos to give you an idea of what part of the icefall route looked like.

In the one photo you can see the colored tents of the standard Everest BC low and to the right with Pumori (peak to the left) starting to feel the sun's rays. The biggest concern (falling in a crevasse is not a welcome idea of course yet at least we are attached to fixed rope when crossing) when crossing through this dangerous place is serac fall. Seracs are large ice blocks (bigger than most homes) that can fall at any moment yet traveling through this amazing infrastructure at night increases our safety net as the temps are the coldest which decreases the flow of the icefall and therefore reduces this type of situation. Yet after about 5 hours I made it to Camp 1. 25% of traveling through the icefall is complete!

Following closely behind me was my partner for this entire climb, Eugene Constant. Eugene hails from and lives in France with his wife and 3 wonderful children, two of whom are similar in age to my own. It is nice for us to talk about our respective families during the down time. Even though we are living our dream of climbing up Everest nothing means more than getting back to them safely and as soon as possible. The real goal for sure.

We will rest here tonight before leaving early in the morning for Camp 2, approximately 400 vertical meters higher above the head of the glacier which you can see in the picture of Eugene and I. Immediately behind that you see Lhotse and the steep/icy Lhotse face. Due to the picture size you cannot see it but from here at Camp 1 we can see our route to Camp 3 perched midway up that wall. A thousand vertical meters lies between Camps 2 & 3. After a couple nights rest at camp 2 we will test both our physical and mental capacities on that section. One night at Camp 3 and we'll begin the process of down climbing.

I will try to dispatch again from Camp 2 and/or 3 soon and once again send a couple photos of our location and what we see. All my best to my family, friends and colleagues back home.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Happy Yak is a Healthy Yak

5300 m - Today I was able to fulfill my personal goal of giving back to Himalayan Experience Ltd. as we started the process of deworming yaks here in the Khumbu valley.

A small yak 'train' owned by Phurba Tashi’s sister came into camp early this morning. As you may recall from my earlier dispatches, Phurba is our #1 Sirdar or head Sherpa. He organizes the Sherpa staff at base camp when loads needs to be carried high on the mountain and he also climbs with us on the mountain (reminder: he has stood on the summit of Everest 14 times). The majority of the yaks used on our expedition come from Phurba's family.

Thanks to the generosity of Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, we administered the first dose of Safe-Guardâ, a liquid suspension dewormer designed to effectively treat lung worms, stomach worms and intestinal worms. My goal has simply been to provide some rudimentary veterinary care for the yaks that have carried most of the supplies which have made our lives a little bit easier here at Everest BC. I treated the first 3 head of yak using the automatic dosing syringe that came with the dewormer (see photos). Then I taught Phurba to do the same because ideally the yak will need to be treated again in approximately 6 weeks. Logistically and hopefully I will be back in the States at that time. Phurba and his family own a couple hundred head of yak so he will be able to adequately treat all of them not only this Spring with the two doses, but also administer a dose this Fall. Because of Intervet/Schering-Plough’s help, Phurba and his family should have enough dewormer for next year’s climbing season as well.

Phurba did an excellent job administering Safe-Guard and the yaks (the few we did today were actually crossbreds) could not have been more cooperative. Please see the photos attached as well as the video I created under the "Healthy Yak" page.

With the “deworming of the yaks” underway it is now time to climb on the flanks of mighty Mount Everest. We have been broken up into two climbing teams. I will be on the first team (appropriately called the Yaks) which actually leaves at 2:30 in the morning on the 29th of April. The second team (called the Yetis) will leave on May 1st . The climbing plan is as follows: Climb through the Khumbu icefall and provided all goes well, both in terms of feeling well and timing {need to be through it by 7 a.m. at the latest as the next section of climbing in what is called the Western Cwm (pronounced coom) can get extremely hot}, we will either stop for a night at Camp 1 or more than likely ascend to Camp 2 at 6400 meters. If the latter, we will stay at Camp 2 for two nights before breaking into two more teams to ascend the steep (~45 degrees) and icy Lhotse face on our way up to Camp 3 for a night.

Camp 3 is high on the face with the tents being anchored into platforms chopped out of the ice by our Sherpa staff. Camp 3 sits at about 7400 meters so clearly the day from Camp 2 to Camp 3 will be one of the hardest on Everest. This is the day we will wear our down suits for the first time. Can anyone say Ho, Ho, Ho? (yep, mine is red).

After a night at Camp 3 we will descend to Camp 2 for a night and the following day descend all the way back down to our BC for a few days rest. This should put Team 1 into BC on May 4, give or take a day. Team 2 will likely be back down to BC around the 6th give or take a day. Depending on the weather, we will then head back up Everest for one last push, this time for the summit! To say the excitement (and a bit of anxiety/anxiousness/nervousness all rolled into one) is growing would be an understatement. I will try my best to dispatch from the mountain when possible yet realize this is a very busy and serious time for us. I will be in touch when I can. Namaste from HimEx Everest BC!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Lobuche Round 2 Success!

5300m Himex Everest BC - We're back (we did the math today as we have now walked 35 miles or 60 kilometers between Everest BC and Lobuche BC, 2.5 roundtrips)! Two tough days since my last dispatch yet another successsful summit of Lobuche (20,192'). This time we slept on the summit ridge at approximately 6,000 meters. What a view (see photo of Everest as seen from our tent door, along with Makalu to the right, another 8,000 meter+ giant which looks like a shark's fin).

Our team was extremely efficient on round two of Lobuche as we left Lobuche BC at 7:30 in the morning and arrived at our high camp at 12:30, tucked carefully on the snow ledge not too far below the summit itself (see photo of our red and yellow tents as seen from the summit). The Sherpas did a great job digging out the tent platforms, not to mention anchoring our tents into the side of the mountain. Another 30 minutes vertically and I was back on top of Lobuche. This time was very special as I was joined at the top by Ellen Miller of Vail, Colorado. Ellen is the first American woman to summit Everest from both sides. She is training with us as she will attempt to climb Lhotse, Everest's "sister peak" and hopefully become one of only a handful of women in the world to have done so. I truly wish her the best for a safe and successsful climb.

Between David Tait and Ellen Miller, along with several of our guides who have stood at the top of the world multiple times, and of course our Big Boss" Mr. Russell Brice, I am in some outstanding mountaineering company. Humbled doesn't even begin to describe how I feel.

Tomorrow is a much needed rest day so laundry is high on the priority list, followed closely by a shave. A new game plan will likely unfold after the third climbing team arrives back here in Everest BC late tomorrow. Soon we'll head up through the Khumbu icefall on our way to Camps 1, 2, and eventually 3 on the steep Lhotse face. Lastly, I wanted to let you know that I managed to NOT lose my camera this time on Lobuche! Take care family, friends, and colleagues.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Back to Lobuche

5300m Himex Everest BC - Shortly after arriving back to our 'home away from home' yesterday, we were blessed with delicious pizza and jello for lunch. Afterwards it was a bird bath and shave, both of which felt great. Post-dinner we had another team meeting, this time in the Tiger Dome (aka White Dome). Not only were new climbing teams made but the next 5-6 days were laid out as well. Due to some recent avalanche and serac fall activity in the icefall Russell and our guides have agreed that we will head back down to Lobuche to climb again, yet this time we will go straight from Lobuche BC (4850 m) all the way to just above 6,000 meters where we will sleep for a night in two-man tents secured into snow platforms high on the summit ridge. This trip will condition us further, help improve our technical skills, and of course advance our acclimatization process. The goal: become fast and efficient when we finally step foot on Everest's flanks.

The first team is preparing to leave any minute for Lobuche BC. Tomorrow the team I am on will make the 12 K (~7 mile) trek back to Lobuche BC. The final team will leave on the 24th. If all goes as planned I will be back to Everest BC on the 25th followed by my remaining Everest teammates on the 26th. So we'll be out of touch again for a couple of days. This time I vow NOT to lose my camera! :) As expected, guide Hiro is making good on the 5 beers I owe him for finding it on the first Lobuche climb. A great guy who fully deserves each beer.

Speaking of my camera, I have included a photo taken today of David Tait and myself. Who is David? He is a gifted athlete and climber from England who has summited Everest twice. In fact, in 2007 (with Himalayan Experience) he did a complete traverse of the mountain going up the north side and down the south (this was televised by The Discovery Channel for their series, Everest-Beyond The Limit). He is back to try and summit without supplemental oxygen. Ironically David has assisted me with some hardware for my PDA which has allowed me to share photos with you from the start of this expedition. A big thank you to him as I am truly honored to be on the same team as him.

As I promised after our Puja ceremony on Easter Sunday, I am including a photo of our Sherpa staff. Over the past week they have carried up the mountain almost 2 ton of gear. All to make us more comfortable at camps 1 and 2 to start. The true power horses of the expedition. Without their support the degree of difficulty would be astronomical. Lucky for us, we'll each be partnered uup with these incredible young men. Today Phurba Tashi handed each one of us some barley/rice and a small tied nylon cord, all of which was blessed by a holy lama. The cord is now around my neck and the barley/rice is inside my backpack as both are meant for safe passage through the Khumbu Icefall. Very soon we will make that voyage on our way to camp 2 here on Everest.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Lobuche Success!

4850m Lobuche BC - We arrived back in Lobuche BC the afternoon of April 18th. It was great to see our teammates again as some had just come down from the summit of Lobuche while others (Team 2) were at Camp 1 about 500 meters above us on the eve of their own summit bid. The 19th found us making our way up towards Camp 1 which sits on a fairly smooth rocky terrace.We woke at 4:30 this morning and after boiling some water for a Ramen Noodle breakfast (carb load) we were on our way up the 700 meter vertical that would put us on top of Lobuche (6119 m or 20,192'). Only 50 meters into the climb and we donned crampons and ice axes. Another 200 meters (+/-) and we were clipped into fixed rope. Thank you to Phurba and the Sherpa staff for a great fixed line all the way to the summit.The climb itself was steep. 4 hours after leaving camp and a small crevasse to jump across on the final traverse/summit ridge I was standing on top of Lobuche! I had the honor of climbing with my Japanese colleagues (see summit photo) for the majority of the climb as we stayed pretty well in the middle of the pack. Our guides, Hiro and Shinji (see photo of Shinji and I on the summit) were wonderful. In fact, after leaving the summit my camera dislodged from its pouch which I did not discover until about 100 meters into the descent. On his way up Guide Hiro found it just prior to the crevasse! I told him down at base camp that he was my "Hero." We agreed that I would buy him at least 5 beers when we get back to our Everest base camp. A small price indeed. :) The views were breathtaking (see photo of Everest, another 2731 meters or 9,012 feet higher). And the icing on the cake? We all made it back down to Lobuche base camp safe and sound where we feasted on anything with sugar, along with french fries and Coke. Yummy! Tomorrow we will make the 3 hour trek back to our home away from home. Perhaps a shower and a shave awaits.I would like to say hi to my loved ones and friends back home. Imiss you and think of you often. From Lobuche BC, Namaste

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Stretching the Legs.. and Arm

5300 m 5300 m - HimEx Everest Base Camp - Since the Puja Ceremony and my last dispatch we have had a couple of interesting yet fun days. On April 14 Russell Brice led our first team meeting here at base camp. Other than basic camp logistics he laid out plans for the next couple of weeks. We have been divided into 3 climbing teams for Lobuche (6119 m). The first team left today and will begin climbing tomorrow with summit day on the 18th, the day I will leave here for my own summit attempt on Lobuche. Tomorrow we will be training on ladders with crampons as well as steep ice climbing here in the Khumbu ice flow. We will likely repeat this process a second time.

All of this training is essential so that we are as fit and ready as possible to enter the Khumbu icefall on our way to Camp 1 and ultimately into the Western Cwm (pronounced Coom) and Camp 2.. The latter process will be repeated with the addition of Camp 3 up the steep Lhotse Face. A lot of climbing to come! I will obviously provide you more details in future dispatches.

I got my Wisconsin Cheese Wedge Hat out and had the team, including the sherpas and base camp staff sign them. As you can see by the photo attached, the staff has enjoyed the new UV protection! I have also been working with Phurba Tashi, our lead Sirdar or Sherpa (14 successful Everest summits) regarding the logistics of deforming the yaks (likely to start down at Lobuche) and checking on their overall health (see picture, Phurba Tashi is assisting). I know my friend and colleague Denny Hausmann, D.V.M. with Alpharma Animal Health will appreciate that picture!

I took a short trek up to around 18,000’ (5500m) on a nearby peak. From there the views of Everest and the neighboring peaks were incredible. Everest towers over everything nearby, a daunting but inviting task at hand.

I’m not sure when the next dispatch will be due to the hectic schedule over the next 5 days but I will try my best to keep all of you posted on our progress. Take Care.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Puja on Easter

5300m - Himex Everest BC - Puja A belated Happy Easter from Nepal. I would also not be able to forgive myself if I failed to wish my wife Katherine a Happy Birthday. I will be home to celebrate it in person, albeit late, but better late than never :)

It has been several days since my last dispatch yet between some sick days and technical problems (laptop died, satellite modem not working well, etc.) we will learn to cope. I am slowly starting to feel better and as far as the IT issues, I hope they improve too. I will try my best to continue with text and picture dispatches as long as my satellite phone-pda combination stays afloat. Knock on wood please as it is mostly rock and ice here! Please keep in mind the dispatch frequency will be less given we will be climbing soon on Lobuche and then into the Khumbu icefall on our way up the flanks of Mt. Everest.

All that being said, we had a wonderful Puja ceremony here at our basecamp on April 12/Easter. I have attached a couple photos, one showing the centerpiece of the ceremony and one I had taken of me with several of our western guides & our high altitude medical expert, Dr. Monica Piris. It was a great ceremony as the gods were asked for our success and safety while climbing on Sagarmatha. I intend to include more photos of our sherpa staff and of the amazing scenery in future dispatches. Please note that all photos on the site are intended to be small due to upload time and cost. Some can be enlarged by clicking on them if you desire although the quality will be greatly reduced. Namaste from cozy Himex BC!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Himex Everest base Camp - How Sweet it is!

5300m (~17,500') - HimEx Everest Basecamp We made it to our 'home away from home' here near the Khumbu icefall (you can see the icefall to the right with the traditional BC located closer to the foot of the icefall and our camp in the foregroun) on the 9th as planned. As we crested the last ridge the clouds lifted providing us a stunning view of Everest. Despite the terrific last minute photographs AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) set in just as I arrived into camp. AMS has hit a number of us in a variety of ways throughout the trek in. No pain no gain gain! Fluids, rest, and the occasional med and I'm almost back to normal. Today and tomorrow are rest days to allow the acclimatization process to continue. Perhaps a visit to the traditional Everest basecamp (mentioned above) will be in order as rumor has it there is a bakery there. Yum! A shave (and maybe a shower) is on the list too.

We have settled into our tents unpacking all of our gear that the yaks carried up here all the way from Tengboche. Awesome creatures to say the least. Some of us have been taking advantage of the midday sun to do laundry (no, no wash machine here so back to the basics of hand washing). The white dome in our camp picture is a "relaxation dome" which includes reclining chairs, a mini-bar and even surround sound connected to the flat screen TV for watching movies. Okay, who ever said we were roughing it? :) Russell does an outstanding job of trying to bring some of the comforts of home to the mountain. Really great to be a part of this group as there will be plenty of tough days ahead. It is amazing how one gets so easily out of breath by just walking from point A to point B here, and that is on relatively flat ground! On the 12th the Buddhist monks will come to our camp to hold a Puja ceremony. They will ask the Gods for our safe passage up and down the mountain and bless our catas (silk scarves) and ice axes. This will be an incredible part of history to participate in for sure. I hope to send my dispatch after the ceremony with pictures for sure. Thanks again for all your terrific emails.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Lovely Lobuche Camp!

4850m-HimEx Lobuche Camp - After a fresh blanket of snow overnight and a fuel packed breakfast we departed for our camp at the base of the Lobuche peaks. After 3+ hours of trekking and a vertical gain of roughly 500 meters (1650') we were welcomed into a wonderful HimEx camp, all of us getting individual tents. At ~16,000' we are now living higher than any point in the lower 48 States. Attached is a photo of me with my teammates (L to R) Moises Nava from Mexico and Stuart Carder of the UK with Lobuche BC in the background. Towering above us is Lobuche East at around 6,000 meters high or 20,080 feet, close to the height of Denali or "the great one" (aka Mt. McKinley, 20,320') in Alaska, North America's highest point. As mentioned previously we will use the Lobuche peaks for training on fixed ropes to the top and for further acclimatization. This will occur sometime after we get settled into our HimEx Everest basecamp the day after tomorrow. Four hours after arriving in camp, as if by standard afternoon Himalayan clock work, the snow began to fall (see photo). It was even accompanied by the occasional boom of thunder. Amazing how quickly the weather can change here.Tomorrow is our rest day as quite a few of us need it. The standard GI 'bugs' as well as respiratory viruses have been making their way through the team. Not abnormal given the size of our group. It is amazing to think how our bodies are undergoing tremendous physiological changes in order to adapt to the ever increasing thinner air. Despite this thinner air our excitement grows as we inch closer to Everest! Stay tuned and Namaste from Lobuche.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Simple Things in Life

4343m-Dingboche dispatch#2 - A hot shower today is definitely dispatch worthy! Ahh to feel somewhat human again after a thorough cleansing and shave. ;) Managed to check emails early this morning under a clear blue sky, outstanding mountain vistas, and chilly temps. We are starting to say goodbye to the warm temps of the lower valley yet the sun at altitude is certainly a blessing (and a curse given the increased risk for sunburn).

Given today is our rest day in Dingboche I wanted to send this dispatch to share several pictures from the past few days of trekking. Your positive comments about the previous dispatches as well as your requests to keep them coming have given me the necessary drive to comply as often as possible. Thank you for that.

I figured I would take advantage of the down time today as the next few days will likely be hectic, not to mention tiring. We will gain another 500 vertical meters (~1500') tomorrow on our way to the Lobuche camp. We rest there for a day before another 500 meter (+/-) gain to our Everest basecamp on the 9th. We will come back to Lobuche to train on fixed ropes as well as allow our bodies to further acclimatize before we gain the upper slopes of Everest. By utilizing Lobuche we avoid too many trips through the Khumbu Icefall on the lower South Col route of Sagarmatha. Lobuche is a 6100+ meter (just over 20,000') mountain so we continue to work hard for our goal of reaching the top of the world.

Pictures (top to bottom): Plane taking off at Lukla. Yak Train in the valley below Namche. Getting a professional shave at Namche (first ever!).

Namaste from Dingboche

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Out of Sight But Not Out of Mind

4343m - Dingboche - One more cinnamon role (okay, had one when we arrived in Tengboche yesterday at the Tengboche Bakery. Tough choices as the dutch apple pie looked wonderful yet doubt it could beat my wife's version back home) after breakfast and we were off on our trek towards Dingboche with lunch at Shomare mid-day. Prior to Shomare we made several stops to take in the last views of Everest before descending into the Khumbu valley (see pictures). The next time we see it will be from Kala Patthar just before reaching basecamp on April 9. We arrived at Dingboche around 2 pm taking in the towering Ama Dablam which rises roughly 2500 meters more above us (see photo). Simply incredible. Tomorrow is our rest day before heading to Lobuche on April 7 where we will stay in tents for the first time. Then it will be tents through May! Everest may be out of sight but it is surely not out of mind.I would like to take this opportunity to thank my employer and sponsor, Alpharma Animal Health, for its support of this trip to the top of the world. It is with honor and pride that our company logo accompanies me on this voyage. "No place but up" on our "Quest for Success" together...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

A Gift From Mother Nature

3860m - Tengboche We left Khumjung this morning after a wonderfu blessing ceremony via individual distribution of catas (silk scarf) to all HimEx team members from Phurba Tashi's father. We arrived in Tengboche just before lunch. As fate would have it Mother Nature granted us a terrific view of Mt. Everest. An emotional moment to say the least as I have waited just over 11 years for that moment. "Giddy" as a school boy running around at around 13,000 feet getting photos of the mountain and its beautiful summit pyramid is the best way I can describe it.

I had to tease one of my new friends and HimEx teammates, Moises Nava of Mexico (farthest to the right in the group photo with me along with Stuart Carder and Chris Macklin, both from the UK left to right, respectively) because when we first arrived at the monastery Everest was once again shrouded by the clouds. As soon as Moises appeared the clouds parted! (note: Moises has a great sense of humor and with his permission allowed me to write this for fun) Yeah, despite the heavy breathing and occasional small headache the humor factor is in full charge here in the mighty Himalayas.

Once the clouds enveloped the highest point in the world we settled in, had lunch, then witnessed the 3 o'clock prayer session performed by the monks in the monastery. Another amazing piece of history to be apart of. Tomorrow we head to Dingboche gaining another 500 meters, give or take, which will once again test our fitness levels. Nevertheless a wonderful place to be.

Thank you again for all the wonderful emails and words of encouragement. They mean a lot. Due to the large number of emails I may not be able to respond to everyone but know that your words are deeply appreciated and have been filed permanently in my mind as this team takes one step at a time on our way to the summit of Mount Everest. Namaste and stay well until the next dispatch.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Patience is a Virtue

3780m - We arrived in Khumjung yesterday afternoon. This is the village of Phurba Tashi, our #1 Sirdar or lead sherpa while high on Everest. Phurba has summited Everest 14 times and now has graciously welcomed us into his lodge named appropriately Friendship Lodge.

After settling in we played a game of catch, kick, and take away with Phurba's children and several other local children using the Nerf football I brought along. We soon discovered the advantage the children had over us living at ~13,000 feet as they ran circles around us. Definitely the highlight of my day.

Today several of us climbed the ridge overlooking Khumjung where Mother Nature granted us stunning views of the holy peak Ama Dablam (6856m to the right of me in the photo) and Lhotse (8516m) just behind me over my right shoulder. Soon enough we'll be climbing the Lhotse face on our way up to Everest's South Col. Unfortunately Mother Nature kept Sagarmatha out of view with a pillow of clouds (left center of picture). Truly a "patience is a virtue" type of day as my eyes will now have to wait a few more days to see Mt. Everest.

Tomorrow we leave for Tengboche at 3860m where we will stay overnight as well as visit the famous Tengboche Monastery (center of photo on lower ridge behind me). I hope to also post some additional photos to yesterday's dispatch (Nothing quite like Namache) as the photo I already posted was just a tease to several more I have been able to edit recently. So stay tuned and recheck the dispatch(es) when you can. Namaste from Khumjung!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Nothing Quite Like Namche

3480m - After an exciting plane ride into Lukla and two days of trekking we have made it up to Namche Bazar. A small village with cyber cafes, gear shops to purchase last minute items, and even a bakery that serves Starbucks coffee. Other than no shower in the past 48+ hour the "roughing it" part has yet to start (soon enough).

Tomorrow we leave Namche for Khumjung about 200-300 meters higher. The acclimatization process is necessarily slow in order to avoid severe headaches and other ailments.

As you can imagine the views here in the Khumbu region continue to grow in terms of awe (see photo). It has been a long patient wait yet tomorrow that wait is over as my eyes will finally gaze upon mighty Mt. Everest. Sleep tonight despite the exercise and sweating today may be intermittent at best. :)

I hope the next dispatch comes in a day or two with a photo of Mt. Everest. Once we get settled into Everest basecamp sometime after April 9th we hope to send some more video showing some of the things we've encountered on the way including the "deworming of the yaks," something that has captivated several of my teammates. Hopefully it won't be like the "running with the bulls" in Spain!

Stay tuned as I sign off saying Namaste from Namche.