Day 6 to Gokyo – Khumjung to Mongla

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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.

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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?

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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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

Keeping Watch in Khumjung

Stupa at Khumjung in the Khumbu region of Nepal

Eyes peeping out from the yellow fringe seem sad against the grey cloudy backdrop. Despite being badly cracked from the 2015 earthquake, the stupa still stands sentinel at the end of the main path into Khumjung and watching over the Sir Edmund Hillary School.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/eyes/

Day Five Khumjung to Phortse

Last updated by Louise Terranova 13 April 2019

A Quiet Day on the Everest Base Camp Trail

  • 26 September 2015
  • Time taken about 5 hours
  • 3790 – 3680 metres
  • Was actually a descent of 110 metres. In a way acclimatisation around the Namche Bazaar and Khumjung altitude was a total of four nights by staying at Phortse.
  • Phortse is also referred to as Phortse Tenga and Phortse Thanga (local spelling)

The clouds cleared in the morning and we took some video and photos before we left the village of Khumjung  while we still had mountain views. We had seen the spectacular views above the town on our 2013 EBC trek when we were there. The date was the 30 November for people wanting to know what the weather and the all important views are like at different times of the year.

View above Khumjung in December

Mount Khumbila is the larger brown mountain to my right.

Many treks go from Namche Bazaar to Tengboche possibly because some parts of the trail to Phortse are very narrow and may not be suitable for lots of trekkers. So the trail to Phortse was very quiet and we saw hardly anyone going in either direction.

Unfortunately, it was very cloudy most of the day so we missed some spectacular views. The walk up to Phortse after crossing over the river through rhododendron forests was lovely (even though they weren’t flowering).

Phortse is a very steep town so the walk up to the monastery at the top of the village was quite a walk. The village grows wheat and buckwheat. We saw the Rock Climbing Academy being built which will be fabulous when it is completed. The woman who owned the lodge we stayed at was lovely. I remarked on the coriander she was picking in her garden and she asked me if I liked it. To which I replied yes. So, she put it in the momos I ordered for dinner. They were the best I had eaten. Over dinner we had some Nepalese and English lessons with Basanta and ‘Nepal on a Shoestring’. We were the only guests and the only trekkers in the town. We had our first shower since leaving Kathmandu.

Phortse perched on the hill from the other side of the valley

Amazing seeing the towns perched on the hills from a distance

Late afternoon cloud in the small "forest" in Portse Nepal

The cloud really made these trees look beautiful and very moody.

Day Four Namche Bazaar to Khumjung

Steep Climb Through the Clouds

Friday 25 September 2015

Namche Bazaar 3420 – Khumjung 3780 metres 2.5 hours walk

Khumjung is the largest town in the Khumbu region.

Khumjung Everest Base Camp trek September 2015
Walking into Khumjung

The climb out of Namche is steep and we were in thick cloud. We could not see very far but sounds travelled up the hill to us – the chinking sound of the stone masons and the anthem and then music for a fitness program from the school below. I practiced my newly learnt Tashi Dele greeting, much to the delight of the Sherpas passing us. Possibly they were going down to prepare for the market the following day. The large market on the Saturday is very famous and sadly as we had changed our itinerary and we would miss it. Perhaps next time.

The landscape changes and reminds me of the moors in Scotland. The thick cloud made me focus on the low heath like plants. Spider webs bejewelled with water droplets reminded me not to forget the beauty at the ground level. Consequently, new Nepalese words included putali (butterfly), makura (spider) and makura zal (spiderweb).

IMG_1010

I was keen to see that the school built by Edmund Hillary had not been badly damaged by the earth quake which had affected Khumjung. I was pleased to walk into the town and past the school just as the children finished their half day Friday. Sadly, though the gompa near the school had been damaged.

Stupa at Khumjung in the Khumbu region of Nepal
Sadly the earthquake damaged the stupa at Khumjung

We found a lodge, organised our room and had lunch. Later we walked to the town’s monastery and home of the famous Yeti  skull (Wikipedia). The monastery was quite beautiful and worth the visit.

We were the only guests in the lodge and after our dhal bhat we watched a video about the life of Hillary.

We woke in cloud, walked straight up out of Namche in cloud and went to sleep in cloud.

See photos for our walk into Khumjung