- Friday 29th September 2017
- Day 2 – Phakding to Namche Bazaar
- Altitude Start : 2,600m (8,500ft)
- Altitude Finish : 3,440m (11,286ft)
- Elevation gain: 640m (12,099ft)
6am ‘lie in’ and it was time to get up, get washed (baby wipe shower), sort out the rucksack, get breakfast, begin the trek!
I feel good and I am ready to put every ounce of effort into this day which we have been told (and I have read over and over again for the last 9 months) is one of the toughest days as it is so steep.
It’s up, up, up and then some more up…..and that’s after going up down, up down and up down again and again and again – you get the picture? I read something sometime ago and it hit me as I started the climb it went something like…
….”Ability is what your capable of doing, Motivation determines what you can do, Attitude determines how well you do it”.
So with ability sorted, high motivation in place and a positive attitude I began my trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar ( how cool does that sound, Namche Bazaar!!).
Like yesterday we continued to trek along the wonderful picturesque banks of the Dudh Kosi on exciting suspension bridges laden with prayer flags.
For some these are the highlights and fears as you cross amazing gorges at huge heights…and you need to cross approximately 3…I think…with the last one being the famous one used in the Everest film, it’s 100 feet high.
Walking through Sherpa Country past cultivated fields and small villages we were constantly greeted with “namaste”, meaning hello from the locals including the adorable children who at one stage sat side by side and high fived us as we went by. Other children played away happily.
I had carried in my backpack coloured pencils and paper and began to share them out to some of the local children.
After entering Sagarmatha National Park at Monjo, the trail climbs steeply with quite literally breathtaking views towards Namche Bazaar the gateway to the Khumba region.
Throughout the trek we encountered several donkey and cow trains. We stayed far to the sides of them, preferably the side away from the cliff drops, as they would walk right over you, or knock you over the edge!
Again we witnessed the amazing strength and endurance of the local people carrying loads beyond imaginable…every hour of the day my admiration for them continues to grow….and they do it in flip flops!! Honestly no joke! And then we hike on, up and up and up.
Prayer wheels are spun, photos are taken, memories are created.
We continue to trudge uphill some more (you get the picture right), slowly, slowly as our guide would tell us.
The challenges of the trek to Everest Base Camp is the up and down walking, this is a result of crossing ridges (by suspension bridges) rather than walking along them – The Nepali Flat.
We pass many large boulders with amazing clear Buddhist prayer inscriptions carved into the sides of them by Buddhist Monks.
So after being pushed to the limit, however I must say this limit completely disappears when you are rewarded with both spectacular scenery and a huge sense of personal achievement, you climb some more.
On this stage of the trek we were meant to get a view of Mount Everest but unfortunately the cloud came in quick and low and just like that we missed our opportunity. But there were other views to be had.
Then suddenly Namche Bazaar is in sight..we have made it…or so we thought…as in order to get to our tea house it was another 15 minutes walk….yip you guessed….UPHILL!!
Namche Bazaar is a thriving hub full of colourful lodges, houses and teahouses and boasts the world’s highest bakery, ‘Starbucks’ and Irish Pub (the Irish get everywhere, I can say that lol!).
Tomorrow it is showing a free screening of the movies ‘Everest’ & ‘Death On The Mountain’….how fitting!!!
Namche is nestled in a U-shaped bowl amphitheatre surrounded by mountain ranges on three sides and opening out to the Bhote Khosi on the other, it’s a spectacular sight.
We had reached our tea house after a total of 6 hours walking, did I mention by the way it was ALL UP HILL!
I can’t decide if I need a hug, an extra large coffee, 2 weeks sleep, elephant trunks (some will know what I mean by that) or my mum!!
So were staying here for two nights as tomorrow is an acclimatization day to adjust to low oxygen levels. They call these ‘rest days’ but they lie…because they are not actual rest days as you climb….climb high sleep low.
Evenings are rewarded with hot food and conversation around the table with our group who are generally like minded people. We listen and share stories and generally learn about each other…our group consists of people from England, Spain, USA, Australia, New Zealand and Slovakia and of course our Nepalese guides who are very friendly. We have actually bonded well and everyone gets along easily.
So tomorrow we are exploring the area and climbing further up the mountain to visit The Everest View Point….up at 6.30am!!