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Phuket woman to head to Everest Base Camp

PHUKET: Just three months ago, Phuket woman Mayura “Nany” Namarasa decided to take on the ultimate challenge: to start climbing the hills on the island in preparation for an epic 14 day alpine trek to Everest Base Camp in the Himalayas.

By Claire Connell

Friday 21 February 2014, 09:42AM

Mayura and her boyfriend Kevin Mansfield will leave on Thursday (February 27) and return on March 16, which will include the two week trek.

The couple fly to Kathmandu, Nepal, before flying to Lukla in the country’s north-east. Two other Phuket people – George Lindsay and Al Alnor – will also be on the same trip, which the group are doing through the adventure tourism company that Kevin works for, Unforgettable Adventures.

In preparation for the 120-km-hike, the 28 year-old Mayura has been jungle trekking in the hills in Kamala wearing her pack to increase her fitness, hiking for three hours a day, as well as visiting the gym to increase her leg muscles.

Despite being of rather small physique, she’s determined she will succeed in her dream to get to Base Camp, and have a view of the highest mountain the world.

“I can do it – 100 per cent,” she says with a big smile.

When asked about how she will handle the temperatures, which will be as low as -15 degrees Celsius, she says, “That’s a good question. I worry about it a little bit. But if you have the right clothes and you’re fit, you’ll be fine.”

Once the group fly to Lukla, they will then trek up the Dudh Kosi Valley, which is surrounded by the Thamserku and Kusum Kanguru peaks. Then it’s a steep climb to Namche Bazaar, before having a rest day.

Passing villages and monasteries, the next stop is Tengboche, located high on a ridge where a 360-degree panorama awaits, with views of Everest, the Lhotse Nuptse Wall, Ama Dablam and Kantega.

The group will then arrive at Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar (5,555 metres above sea level), a viewpoint recognised as the best vantage point to see the spectacular Mount Everest, before they return to Lukla and fly back to Phuket.

The idea for the trip first came to Mayura when she was looking at some of the tours Kevin’s company offered. She spotted the Base Camp trip and asked if she could join one.

“He said no [at first],” Mayura explains, “He didn’t think I could do it. He told me once I start training then I can come, so I started the next day – I wanted to show him I can.

“I also want to show Thai women that they can do this too, even if they think their bodies aren’t strong enough, or they are worried about travelling overseas.”

There is a concern about altitude sickness, as the highest Mayura has trekked will be 500 metres above sea level. In Nepal, the group will be going to a height of 5,600 metres above sea level.

However, Kevin says this is avoidable if the group have rest days to allow the body to adjust.

They will be hiking around four to six hours every day, except for the final day which is an eight hour climb – unbelievably, on this day the group only walk a total of four kilometres.

The good news is that Nepalese porters will carry the majority of the gear, so the trekkers will only be required to carry a day pack.

Kevin, who is the business development manager for Australian-based Unforgettable Adventures, says Mayura’s fitness will be fine for the trip, and the two are likely to be some of the fittest in the group. “She’s got the right mental attitude too, and that’s more important than fitness,” Kevin says.

Maruya says, “My friends said to me, ‘You’re such a little girl, are you crazy? It will be so cold.’ But that’s why I want to go. It’s a big mountain, and it’s hard to make this dream come true.

“I am a little girl, but I’ve been training very hard. I want to be able to tell my friends, ‘See, you can do this too’. I’m very excited about it.”




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