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?

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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To Climb Gokyo Ri Or Not To Climb ?

Decisions in The Khumbu Nepal

Ngozumba Glacier Above Goyko Gokyo Lake and the town og Gokyo

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.

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