Day 6 to Gokyo – Khumjung to Mongla

Sometimes First Impressions of a Place Are Not the Best

Mongla stupa September 2018
The small settlement of Mongla with its newly painted stupa.

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.

Mongla on the hill September 2018
the view of the small village of Mongla from the Khumjung side

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.

Mongla in cloud late september 2015

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.

Trekking Khumjung for mongla september 2018
Leaving Khumjung on a perfect morning. and becasue we had slept at the top of Khumjung the bonus was we didn’t have a huge climb to get out. We had done the hard climb up the day before.
The growth was green with touches of red
View from trail from Khumjung to Mongla september 2018
A lodge it would seem in the middle of “nowhere”
Large birds flying overhead.

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.

Stairs on the Everest Base Camp trail trek
Always celebrate at the top of a good staircase! You made it.

Oh and that naughty yak here 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 ?

Want to Get to EBC Feeling Great? A Night in Khumjung Rewards You with More Than Views.

Khumjung with a view to Khongde

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.

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.

Chance encounter in Khumjung
By chance we bumped into our porter guide from our 2015 trek (left) with our porter guide 2018 trek.

Apart from the benefit of assisting with the acclimatisation it has great views and you can see the “Yeti Skull” at the lovely monastery.

Trekking through Khumjung to the Monastery
This is the monastery from outside on 28 September 2018 at about 1:00 pm
and this is the same monastery later in the afternoon on 25 September 2015 but on a cloudy day. What a difference a day can make.

Going up, UP, UP to Khumjung

Track out of Namche Bazaar to Khumjung
One track from Namche Bazaar to Khumjung the photo is taken from the Sherpa Museum. It’s a steep climb.

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 town of Khumjung Nepal and the the Kongde range
worth extra hour walk – more UP!
Taking a phot of a lodge dog in Khumjung in late September
me and the lodge dog enjoying morning early morning sunshine after breakfast
Nepalese dog in Khumjung
finally he looked my way.

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

Cameo Stories Around 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
  • Apple pie
  • Souvenir shopping (on your return)
  • Cafe wifi
  • 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.

Follow the Instructions

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Mani along the Everest Base Camp trail

Mental Preparation and Climbing Slowly to Namche Bazaar is Key to a Successful EBC Trek

Day Two A Shorter Walk from Monjo to Namche Bazaar

People planning to trek to Everest Base Camp read about the steep 600 metre climb to Namche Bazaar after crossing the high bridge over the Dudh Kosi river and gorge.

why you need to climb to Namche bazaar slowly

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Plan a Flexible Itinerary for Your Trek In Nepal

Starting Out On A Trek

Trekking Poles – Don’t Leave Home Without Them

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.

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Confessions of a Scaredy Cat on Top of Cho La Pass

Is Crossing Cho La Pass Dangerous?

On top of Chol La Pass with the Porter Guide, Nepal

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.

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The 101 on Trekking in the Everest Base Camp Region

Above Pheriche, Everest Base Camp Trek, Nepal
So much more than Base Camp

A Basic Overview To Everest Base Camp Trekking 

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

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We’re Off for to Gokyo for Trek Number 3 in Nepal

We’re off to Trek in Nepal. Again.

Above Dingboche Everest Base Camp trek
Above Dingboche Everest Base Camp trek

Yes, I am in love. In love with the Nepalese landscapes and with the simplicity of the trekking in Nepal. A colleague asked me what’s the attraction with Nepal.

Why Go to Trek In Nepal?

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Nepal Captures Your Heart Forever

Himalayan Landscapes Are Forever in Your Heart

I have become addicted to wanting to walk in these landscapes. Forever.

Main Everest Base Camp Trail

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.

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The EBC Trek in 20 Photos From Slate Paths to Slippery Scree Shows the Degrees of Difficulty

How Difficult is the EBC Trek ?The trail in 20 photos

It’s about what you are walking on…

EBC Trek almost to Base Camp

The last few kilometres to Base Camp on slippery scree. But let’s start at the beginning

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Acclimatisation Days Are Not Rest Days

DAY eight Dingboche acclimatisation day – My Favourite Day

I loved , loved, loved this day and Dingboche. I could go back to this part of the world every year if I could.

Ok there is a fuzzy bit in the video but – who cares….

Who is coming next time we trek here ?

Don’t forget to check out my Home Page Our Itinerary for our Everest Base Camps Treks

Yes and thank you to our Porter .. Basanta he was lovely… for always watching out for me.

Beautiful One Day Breathtaking the Next

A Photo is Worth a Thousand Superlatives

Above Pheriche, EBC Trek, Nepal

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.

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Things You Should Know about Trekking to Everest Base Camp

Tents of the 2015 Ultra Marathon Runners at Everest Base Camp
Tents of the 2015 Ultra Marathon Runners at Everest Base Camp

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 and Diamox 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.

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Monastery or Gompa at Khumjung Nepal

Om Mane Padme Hum

Khumjung Monastery

The colour on the inside of the monastery was a welcome warmth from the cloud that had descended on the town for most of the day. The monastery is the red building you can see on the right (below).

Khumjung Monastery Everest Base Camp trek
Khumjung Monastery in Late September Cloud
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All Things Yak on the EBC Track

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Meeting Yaks on the Track

On the Everest Base Camp trek you might see mountain goats, magnificent eagles and other beautiful birds but the yaks were my favourite along the trail.

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Simple Not Basic on the EBC Trail

A Post about Food on the EBC Trek Becomes More. Or Is it Less?

There is a difference between basic and simple. Especially when you are traveling.

Gorak Shep and Kala Patthar

Recently I posted about accommodation on the EBC trek being basic. A comment from a fellow blogger (thanks Miriam) made me rethink how I had labelled  the accommodation. It is the very fact the Everest Base Camp Trek is basic, makes it so good. Basic can be seen as a negative.  So simple, not basic, is a better word to use. Because it is the simplicity of the EBC trek that makes it so special.

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Stupa at Khumjung

Three photos of a Stupa in Khumjung taken from different directions and over five years. Photos taken in December 2013, the end of September 2015, two earthquakes later and in September 2018.

The stupa in Khumjung in 2013

There is a beautiful mani wall along the walk in from Namche Bazaar.

Stupa at Khumjung in the Khumbu region of Nepal

I assume the cracks are from the second earthquake on May 12 2015. The small boy in the photo has his back pack on and had just come out from the Edmund Hillary School, the biggest school in the Khumjung.

Khumjung Stupa September 2018
Walking into Khumjung September 2018

And finally in September 2018 the repaired stupa in Khumjung but the eyes and face are not finished in this photo. The open space in front of the stupa to the right of the mani wall is the play area for the Sir Edmund Hillary School. The wall around the school has been repaired as well. That is me walking in with the red jacket and our porter guide on my left. As for most of the photos the Trainer (my husband) was taking the photo.

April 25 earthquake magnitude 7.8

May 12 earthquake magnitude 7.3

Two Earthquakes and Two Films – another of my posts

Worth a look earthquake 2015 – Great Himalyas Trail website

A Snapshot of the Bridges to EBC

Bridges the Traffic Lights of the Everest Base Camp Trek

via Daily Prompt: Bridge

Small Metal bridge on EBC trek
Bridge over stream before Gorak Shep

The last bridge before Gorak Shep, the last place with lodges before Everest Base Camp. That’s me and our porter guide just ahead.

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Climbing to Namche Bazaar

Day Two Phakding to Monjo 2013  and Phakding to Namche Bazaar 2015

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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 on the Everest Base Camp Trek Blog and  my donkey video.

PLANNING THE TREK BY THE SEASONS

When planning our trek for late September we expected some rain. Continue reading