Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Great outdoors

Dragons, volcanoes, and the garden of eden are more than mere myths at these national parks.

Sagarmatha National Park, Nepal

Executive summary by darmansjah

Within Sagarmatha National Park are some of the tallest and most dramatic peaks in the world, seven of those rising over 7,000 meters. Among them is Mount Sagarmatha, more commonly known as Mount Everest, at 8,848 meters,  the highest peak in the world. Sagarmatha is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘sky-haead’, providing a clue on its exotic location.

The park’s landscape is not only restricted to mountains. In fact, the range of altitudes within the park is so extreme that four different climates zones exist here. These zones include a forested lower zone, a zone of alpine scrub, the upper alpine zone where the upper limit of vegetation growth is, and the arctic zone where no plants can grow. As with the flora, species of wildlife, which include snow leopards, black bears, red pandas, yaks, wolves and foxes, are distributed according to the elevation.

The local residents, the Sherpa, are known for their friendliness and hospitality. Many Sherpas speak conversational English and are happy to point you in the right direction should you lose your way.

The park’s visitor centre is located at the top of a hill in Namche Bazaar, the gateway to the park. Lodgings and stores that cater to visitors can be found in this town, which is also a popular stop for altitude acclimatization.

Top Hill Lodge and Restaurant is located within walking distance to the entrance to the park. The clean and comfortable rooms and friendly owners provide a warm homely atmosphere (hoteltophill.webs.com).
There are a few ways to get to the park, and almost all require walking. A popular way is to take a flight from Kathmandu to Kukla followed by a two day hike to Namche Bazaar.

Alternatively, take a bus from Kathmandu to Jiri followed by a 10 day hike to the park.


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