Left late (stomach) 9:40 – arrived 2:10 pm. Walked down to Phortse Tenga (3808 metres).Had a lodge break and then UP to Dole. Good track, stairs and then flat.
Staying at Namaste Lodge (second lodge at the start of the village). Six lodges in total. New toilet. European toilet.
Lots of rhododendrons and shiny bronze barked trees and thorn bush, small rose hips.
Noticeable increase in prices.
I have made some notes each day on all of our Nepalese treks. That way you won’t forget what the photos don’t tell you. My first note mentions a problematic stomach the morning we left Monjo. We were trekking independently meant we could leave when we wanted to, also taking into account the advice of the porter guide. Although it is best to leave your lodge early to get whatever sun there is later in the day before it disappears behind large mountains it doesn’t mean you have to leave when its still dark.
Unfortunately when we left Australia for the trek I was sick with a cough. So the steep climb up from Phortse Tenga down level with the river up to a height above Dole and down again took a lot of effort and a lot of coughing. I had to stop a lot to catch my breath and was exhausted when I arrived. Our porter knew one the people running one of the lodges so we stayed there on his recommendation.
Sometimes First Impressions of a Place Are Not the Best
The Sherpa woman was squatting on the side of the trail on the path looking over the edge of the hill. Yelling. She wasn’t hysterical but she was very animated. Nepalese people are very calm and yelling just doesn’t fit with their character. They are very accepting and you don’t see them getting angry. As we got closer I could see she was yelling into her mobile phone. Bad reception perhaps? Finally we were close enough to see the problem. The woman was yelling at two teenage girls way down on the slope, maybe one of the girls was on the other end of the phone, although she could probably have her heard without the phone. She was directing them to round up a yak who was eating in a cultivated area where it obviously should not have been. The young girls where having some difficulty catching the yak because of the slope. It was quite funny but then again it wasn’t.
Mongla the Second Time Around
We were almost into the very small village when we witnessed the escaped yak scene and the scene is seared into my memory.
When my husband, The Trainer was planning our itinerary for our 2018 trek to Gokyo he decided we should stay in Mongla if we were going to stick with our altitude rule. Before we left Australia when he told me would be staying the night I was unimpressed. In 2015 on our trek to EBC we had stopped for a breather and a cup of tea and the view in Mongla before walking down to the river and across and up to Phortse. I clearly remember the falling down stupa, the tiniest of places, no lodge of any significance that I would want to stay in and a lot of fog.
The Trainer who is the researcher for our treks knew we were on a point on the mountain path where there should be a good view. We had a cup of tea, resting and waiting for the cloud to lift. But the weather was not in our favour and would not be for a few more days.
Fast forward three years to 2018 and although also the end of September and the tail end of the rainy season, we were much luckier with the weather. It was a beautiful clear day and we had a view. And is often the case when you travel, the weather, how well you are feeling and who you meet can influence how you feel about a place you are visiting. And we really enjoyed our night in small Mongla.
We checked out the two of the four lodges on the small point and decided on Snow Land Lodge behind the restored and newly painted stupa. The eyes hadn’t been painted in properly yet, they were still covered in plastic, I’m not sure why.
A room with our own bathroom is always our preference but the lodge didn’t have one. As we were the only people in our section of the building we had exclusive use of the shower and toilet for the stay. With the exception of Namche, I had one of the few showers I had on the trek here, after we arrived.
We turned out to be the only people staying the night apart from a couple from Indonesia who arrived after us.
We met them as they arrived, on their return journey from having climbed Renjo Pass, feeling tired but also glad they had managed the climb. We ate with them in the dining room that evening. The Trainer was learning Indonesian at university so he was pleased that he could practice his Indonesian. I stuck with talking in English and also learning some more Nepalese from our porter guide Dilip.
The walk from Khumjung to Mongla
The weather had made for great walk we had seen some lovely green valleys and spied a few eagles or vultures riding the thermals.
Again we were thankful for the amount of stair training we had factored into our training before we left Australia because we had quite a few steep lots of stairs to navigate on this part of the track. What am I talking about. They are everywhere along the track.
Oh and that naughty yak here he was after he meandered up and tried to sneek through the village …
The feature photo in the header is the view setting out the next morning of Phortse on the other side of the valley. A pretty perfect view, in my opinion. The small settlement of Mongla was worth the second visit.
Have you visited somewhere you were unimpressed but changed your opinion when you revisited ?
An Extra Acclimatisation Night in Khumjung Rewards You with More Than Views.
At Namche Bazaar A Third Night Spent At Around 3790 Metres Helps Acclimatisation
For our second trek to Everest Base Camp and third trek to Gokyo and over Cho La Pass we stayed in Khumjung (3790 metres) in addition to the two nights spent in Namche Bazaar (3440 metres or 11,286 feet at its low point). We believe a third night at that similar altitude has helped with our altitude acclimatisation on two of our three treks. And. You will help get to EBC feeling great. Technically on this trip we were going to Gokyo Ri but we are talking altitude which is much the same.
Although our three treks to the Khumbu region have been “independently”. The first time totally without a porter/ guide, which we wouldn’t do again. It is better to have some form of local support and it enriches your trip having someone local with you. The second and third treks we took a porter/ guide, making it just the three of us, there are a few trekking companies that do a similar itinerary around this altitude, that is an extra day in Khumjung – but you have to search for them.
Apart from the benefit of assisting with the acclimatisation it has great views and you can see the “Yeti Skull” at the lovely monastery.
Going up, UP, UP to Khumjung
Khumjung is the biggest town in the Khumbu. We were in no rush to leave the hotel this morning on Day Four of our trek. The slow steep walk took us 3 hours and 20 minutes but it took another hour to trek to the top to Mountain View Lodge. Silently I was cursing myself for agreeing with our lovely porter guide to stay the night at this lodge. He knew the people and the lodge. Because the lodge was at the top of the town it was another steep climb. But the views were worth it especially the next morning. The town is totally surrounded by mountain ranges.
The Monastery is worth a visit I love some of the photos taken in there in 2015.
And would I climb the extra hour to the top of the village again? Yes I would.
Has there been a time when you have gone that bit further, put in extra effort for something special, a higher view, another viewpoint – despite being exhausted?
Things to Do the Day After the Big Climb to Namche Bazaar
Just after leaving our lodge in the middle of Namche we came upon this building which was like a boarding school. At least that is how we interpreted what our porter guide told us. I just love all the little shoes. And everything as neat as a pin.
We walked to the top of the Museum and Visitors Information Centre. My favourite part was the traditional house.
I loved the warm interior, the timber and the metal pots.
Up the top of the hill near the satellite tower the sculpture of Tenzing Norway and the sign underneath …
There was a great view from there but being the end of September we didn’t see it for the clouds which can still be an issue but what a dramatic scene they can make.
I love washing on line shots …
I love, love , love the yaks on the trail. This guy is patiently waiting to be moved on to wherever…
Namche Bazaar is also an opportunity for
A sleep in
Souvenir shopping (on your return)
A huge variety of things in the little general store
A place to buy the book you wish you had bought
Buying something from a chemist
Buying extra trekking gear that you wish you had now that you’re on the trail – gloves, an extra fleece etc
Buying a buff (which were hard to find in Kathmandu)
A daily film is shown in the afternoon about Everest
Trekking above the town to Khumjung or Khunde. More about this in the next post.
I’m a fan of trekking poles. A friend walked part of the Camino thoughts on trekking poles I must admit they do help but it does look like you have an affectation.The Trainer (my husband) put it more succinctly. You look like a wanker. I replied. Lots of wankers on this trail then. And took off down the trail. With my trekking poles.
Confessions of a Scaredy Cat on Top of Cho La Pass
Is crossing Cho La Pass dangerous ? You bet it is.That’s me with the worried look on my face on top of Cho La Pass (5368metres / 17,611 feet). I’d made it to the top with a lot of help from our porter guide, I was still anxious. And scared. All I wanted was to get off the top and safely to our lodge in Dzongla for the night before weather set in. I could include a bucket load of expletives here but I haven’t, I’ll just let you imagine them. Lots of them.
To Climb Gokyo Ri or Not To Climb ? Decisions in The Khumbu Nepal
You can plan and prepare for a trek, but you can’t control fate. I had caught a cold just before leaving Melbourne for Nepal and for eight days I had coughed my way through the Khumbu. Now more than three quarters of the way up to Gokyo Ri I was exhausted.
We met in Egypt. And had four days together. He made me laugh, something clicked and there was that spark. We talked about me visiting him in Milan but as a teacher it had to be the school holidays and it seemed way too long off. We exchanged details and said goodbye.
Maybe you’ve just returned from hiking to spectacular Machu Picchu and are keen to try the Everest Base Camp trek. Or you’ve been thinking about it for years but you know next to nothing about it, this post is for you.
Decide when and where you will trek twelve months in advance to give yourself plenty of time to prepare, research and train whether you are trekking with or without a tour operator. Being prepared for what the trek is like this is critical. Mental preparation is everything. Everything.
Basic Points About the EBC Region when you know absolutely nothing
I have become addicted to wanting to walk in these landscapes. Forever.
That’s me on Day 13 of our Mount Everest Base Camp trek returning to Lukla. From the top of Kala Pattar we had the closest view of Everest, two weeks before I turned 58. That was October 2015. Now, we just have to go again. Back to see, and be a part, of these massive landscapes.
From the moment you walk out of Lukla to trek to Everest Base Camp the views are beautiful. The higher you go the more amazing the views, higher again the views become breathtaking panoramas. Looking through the hundreds of photos taken by The Trainer and our two treks through the Khumbu, the beauty is commonplace and you gravitate to the most spectacular photos. It is easy for a good photo to go unnoticed. Like this one.
If someone says that they are trekking to EBC it doesn’t mean they have to sleep in a tent or are intending to climb Mount Everest.
It is not normal walking andDiamox is the key to managing altitude. Make sure you have it an I would tend to follow the trekking guides’ recommendation, as in experienced guides who lead treks on a regular basis. A slow trek is key to getting there without be sick. Altitude headaches can be really horrible. I’ve heard and read. We didn’t have any.
about Kathmandu, trekking to EBC and Nepal in general.
Do I need to include steps in my training ? You bet. By the end of your training you should be able to do 1 hour of steps with a ten minute break in the middle.
There’s the man with the vision and the all the plans. Trek to Everest Base Camp, Nepal. He had been to trek the Annapurna circuit in the 80s and he knew there is a lot of uneven ground so he insisted on finding uneven hills to train on and lots of stairs too.