Day Two Phakding to Monjo 2013 and Phakding to Namche Bazaar 2015
Above is the suspension bridge at Upper Phakding. We stayed at the lodge just above the end of the bridge in the photo on the way back down from our 2013 trek. The bridge is the site of my donkey video.
PLANNING THE TREK BY THE SEASONS
When planning our trek for late September we expected some rain. We had light rain while exploring Phakding in the late afternoon and when setting out on Day Two. Fortunately it was light, I couldn’t bear wearing wet pants all day and having issues drying clothes as I only had one spare pair of pants. Our light waterproof jackets did the trick.
On our 2013 trek we stayed the second night in Monjo so Day Three would be a shorter walk and leave more energy for the big climb to Namche. We spent the afternoon on a slow exploratory walk through the Monjo.
I was quite keen to stay in Monjo again 2015 because I liked the lodge we stayed in and the woman who owned it. So we pencilled in Monjo for Day Two destination with the option of continuing. We set out early from Phakding and felt great and were at Monjo late morning so we decided to keep going after having lunch. Even though it was a light lunch I wouldn’t do it again. Climbing the hill on an empty stomach would have been better.
Starting out from Phakding and being careful not to slip. Another reason trekking poles are good. To stop you from slipping and to stop yourself if you do start to slip.
If I am wearing a purple pack it is a 2015 photo. If I have a pumpkin coloured on my back it is 2013. Colour coded treks. Just joking.
Monjo. Literally on the trail, a hot shower. Pass.
Mani rocks in Monjo – sunny afternoon when exploring Monjo November 2013
After Monjo, buildings were propped up because of earthquake damage. There was a lot of damage and rebuilding before and after Phakding.
Trekkers’ Information Management System Card – Don’t Leave Home Without One
TIMS checkpoint at the entrance into the Sagarmantha National Park. Click for external link to the TIMS website
This woman was behind me and then overtook me. She must have been carrying 40 kilos of cabbages and she looked about 80. (2013)
Jorsale 2740metres taken from the one of the many bridges.
Diamond Diamond Cafe at Jorsale 2805 metres
Rule Number Three : Cross the high bridge to Namche Bazaar.
Walking above the river bed to go UP to the top bridge. In 2013 on the way back down to Phakding we somehow (we didn’t have Porter guide on this occasion) ended up on the lower bridge. We had been told to cross the higher bridge. So we made our back up to cross the higher bridge but not before a thwacked my head on a low rock. Ow! I think that’s one of the reasons they tell people to cross the higher bridge. The lower bridge had some really tricky bits to the point of being dangerous.
The Bridges to Namche Bazaar
High Bridge to Namche looking very innocent from this angle.
Why I needed a mirror. Just above the bridge to Namche – the Trainer in the background. Despite my hair, I love this photo. The Dudh Kosi river below.
Fruit Sellers and Toilets
Fruit sellers on the Everest Base Camp trail on the climb to Namche Bazaar.They weren’t there on our 2015 trek. Probably because there were so few trekkers and maybe because of the time of the year. There were no flights for five days following our flight in due to bad weather. People started flying in with the helicopters. Another reason not many trekkers.
The first and last view of Everest. We didn’t see this view in 2015 because there was so much cloud. But we knew it was there. Also this is the same point where the orange sellers are and importantly, a toilet. Yes it is a squat toilet but it was reasonable. And there aren’t many spots to just go behind a bush. Like none.
On toilets, I was lucky I never desperately needed to go to the toilet and had nowhere to go. I did discover a GO GIRL in a trekking gear shop before my second trek. The girl on the desk said her rock climbing girl friend used one. That made a lot of sense. I bought one and did try it out but not on the trek. You need to practice with it. Here is the GO Girl site. The joys of being a woman.
Coming into Namche Bazaar
Are we there yet? Another TIMS checkpoint coming into Namche Bazaar. When you see this don’t get too excited, there are still a few more hills yet. And it is all UP UP UP UP.
Keep your eyes pealed at this point for the beautifully coloured bird called Himalayan Monal. I saw a quick glimpse of one but only because Basanta our porter guide pointed it out. I would have never have seen him otherwise. He must be a male, right?
Walking into Namche Bazaar – the last hill and then you are nearly into the town. In 2015 with Basanta our porter guide we didn’t end up coming this way. We took another track. I thought there was only one. This alternate track was very narrow and not used much. We came out near the top of the town and walked down to our lodge from there.
The Kwangde Range above Namche Bazaar
Shops selling handicrafts and trekking gear line in Namche Bazaar
The lodge In Namche Bazaar where that we have stayed four times now. To give you an idea of how slow the season was, the first night in 2015 there was only one other room occupied.
Namche Bazaar November 2013 – cold but sunny, warmish days
Namche Bazaar September 2015 – cloudy, mild days
Even climbing from the top to the bottom of Namche Bazaar alone, is a killer. Our lodge was the big one with red roof just to the right of the centre of the photo.
I am really glad we didn’t stay in Monjo. How the itinerary worked out over the next few days, I believe helped with our successful acclimatisation.
The next post will be Day Three and Four Acclimatisation Days and Day Four 2015 Trek to Everest Base Camp. With an extra day up our sleeve, we walk to Khumjung and stay there adding another night at a bit higher altitude than Namche Bazaar. In a way making three nights rather than two at a similar altitude.