Paradise Lodge Lukla and the washing and tents drying
Paradise Lodge Lukla and the washing and tents drying
The Shangrilla Lodge in Phakding in 2015. We stayed here on the first night and the second last nights of Everest Base Camp trek.
I remembered the lodge pictured above from our first 2013 trek. We didn’t stay there then. Our flight from Kathmandu to Lukla was delayed about four hours due to fog. We were trekking solo, without a guide or porter and had no accommodation booked.
We arrived in the late afternoon in Phakding and wanted to look at some lodges before we decided on one. Our main focus was getting our own bathroom.
The small villages are generally along the trail going up the hill. Exhausted on that first day of our trek the last thing we wanted was to walk up and down checking out lodges. All I wanted was a shower and bed. We only had the energy to check out two. I remember walking past the Shangrila Lodge (pictured above) lots of young people were listening to music, talking and laughing sitting on the terrace. Party central, I thought. Not for me, I wanted to go to bed and sleep. Early. So we walked on past.
We decided on a lodge at the lower end of the trail. Our room had a western toilet and a shower however there was no hot water left. So we got wet and froze drying off in our room. Lodge rooms have no heating.
I was falling asleep at the table waiting for our food. I was in bed and asleep by 6:30.
The view from our lodge /hotel in Namche Bazaar. Our hotel in Namche was a lot more upmarket. We had power points in our rooms, electric blankets, chairs etc. Obviously this accommodation was more expensive than the majority of the accommodation.
The main room of the lodges is the dinning room where there will heat. A dung fueled fire will be the centre of the room and be the sole source of heat.
People sit in the room, chat, read, write up notes, swap stories, if there is wifi you will access it from here. This is the place where you will meet people coming in the opposite direction and tell you about the weather and conditions ahead. Most lodges will have a small supply of chocolates, chips, bottles water, toilet paper etc you can buy.
You will charge your phones, camera batteries etc in this room, too. This will be charged to your bill.
There are no ATMs along the trail. Take enough cash for your entire trek.
Get your rooms ready for bed before you eat your evening meal. The light probably won’t be great and it will be cold in your room. So you will be able to get straight into your sleeping bag.
There are limited nice lodges. The Yeti Mountain Home group is one group, very nice but expensive in comparison to other lodges. We didn’t stay in any. If you wanted to sample the Everest Base Camp trail and maybe climb to Namche Bazaar and check out Khumjung and Khunde, Thame structuring your trek around their accommodation.
We enjoyed staying our night in Monju Guest House. The garden setting is a bonus. Most people walk through Monjo but on our first trek, wanting to start off slow we stayed here and then walked to Namche Bazaar the next day ( day 3 of our trek ).
What Todd Samson has been getting up to lately is far from tame. Todd Samson is an Australian Canadian television celebrity is currently in a show called Body Hack.
Each episode looks at a different group of people who are involved in extreme activity and how the body copes with it. Taking it one step further Todd Samson walks in their shoes for some time. The Nepalese episode looked at the life of the Sherpa people who work as porters along the Everest Base Camp Trail. Continue reading
People following our trek to Everest Base Camp know the Trainer was also the researcher extraordinaire. I found printed information he had and have linked the sites at the end. Trekking companies often have information too.
Visit your doctor for advice. A doctor at the clinic we visit had been to Base Camp three times. His advised us to not take the Diamox too early and only if we needed it. He reasoned taking it too early didn’t allow any reserve to fall back on. He suggested if we had problems to take the Diamox, descend, sleep lower and come back up. Time permitting this is a good plan.
The company who organised our porter, Lukla flights and TIMS cards brought our tickets to our hotel. We had met Doma who manages the business in Kathmandu in 2013. This time her husband accompanied her. Lhakpa is usually out with a group trekking somewhere. His advice was to definitely start taking half a Diamox twice daily at Dingboche (4,000 metres) if we weren’t already taking it.
The Trainer smokes but he is very fit. He started taking half a Diamox twice a day in Namche Bazaar. I had decided to take our doctor’s advice but changed my mind to take Lhakpa’s advice with his experience of many treks. So what did I do? Altitude can affect your sleep. You momentarily stop breathing and then your body wakes you. A bit scary and annoying. The trainer with his husband hat on suggested taking the Diamox purely to sleep better. I started taking half a tablet twice daily in Phortse (I think) two nights before Dingboche and slept much better. The trade off is Diamox makes you wee more . So read all the info, get medical advice, guide’s advice then do what feels right at the time, all things considered.
The golden rule is not to sleep more than 300 metres higher each day. Sticking to the rule the Trainer planned a sixteen days trek which meant staying in Dughlia. Not the most beautiful place and with only two lodges. Most treks stop for lunch here and then continue on to Lobuche.
We experienced no headaches. Our itinerary was a slow trek. The night we factored in Khumjung gave us an extra day to acclimatise at a slightly higher altitude after our two nights in Namche Bazaar.
Bistari, bistari – slowly, slowly our porter used to say. And we did go slowly and rested regularly. It is not a race. We took time to savour the amazing views. We kept hydrated and didn’t drink alcohol on the trek, not counting my Mohito in Namche on the way back.
Acclimatisation days are important for day walks to a higher altitude. Then you sleep at the same altitude a second night.
Interested in reading my packing list?