Left late (stomach) 9:40 – arrived 2:10 pm. Walked down to Phortse Tenga (3808 metres).Had a lodge break and then UP to Dole. Good track, stairs and then flat.
Staying at Namaste Lodge (second lodge at the start of the village). Six lodges in total. New toilet. European toilet.
Lots of rhododendrons and shiny bronze barked trees and thorn bush, small rose hips.
Noticeable increase in prices.
I have made some notes each day on all of our Nepalese treks. This helps me remember what the photos don’t tell me. My first note mentions a problematic stomach the morning we left Monjo. Trekking independently meant we could leave when we wanted to, but still taking into account the advice of the porter guide. Although it is best to leave your lodge early to to maximise on the sun before it disappears behind mountains later in the day. It doesn’t mean you have to leave your lodge when its still dark.
Unfortunately when we left Australia for the trek I was sick with a cough. So the steep climb up from Phortse Tenga down at river level up to a height above Dole and down again took a lot of effort and a lot of coughing. I had to stop a lot to catch my breath and was exhausted when I arrived.
Our porter knew the people running one of the lodges so we stayed there on his recommendation.
Sometimes First Impressions of a Place Are Not the Best
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.
An Extra Acclimatisation Night in Khumjung Rewards You with More Than Views.
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. And. You will help get to EBC feeling great. Technically on this trip we were going to Gokyo Ri but we are talking altitude which is much the same.
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.
Things to Do the Day After the Big Climb to 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’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.
Confessions of a Scaredy Cat on Top of Cho La Pass
Is crossing Cho La Pass dangerous ? 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.
To Climb Gokyo Ri or Not To Climb ? Decisions in The Khumbu Nepal
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.
The highlight of trekking to Everest Base Camp is the view from Kala Patthar. Not Base Camp. You can see Everest and the rest of the mountains from Kala Patthar. You can climb to Kala Patthar to see Everest at sunrise, sunset, late morning or early afternoon. You do not need to be a mountaineer to get this view.
I have become addicted to wanting to walk in these landscapes. Forever.
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.
He met us at the baggage collection at Lukla airport. After a cup of tea and sorting our packs at the Paradise Lodge we were ready. He tied our bags together with his ropes, positioned the load on his head and led us out of Lukla, stopping every now and then to check we were following.
At first from his lack of response to our questions and attempts at conversation I thought he had limited English. But as he tuned in to our accents and we started to get to know each other, he spoke more.
On the second day he seemed a bit more relaxed and he started to teach us some Nepalese words. Jum jum, let’s go and appropriately on the hard climb to Namche Bazaar bistari bistari, slowly slowly. Jokingly he taught us quickly quickly. When we climbed to Khumjung the thick cloud forced my focus to my feet and the spider webs covered in dewdrops, he told me the words for spider and spider webs too.
Familiar with the trail, he pointed out things I would never have seen without him. He pointed out birds and bee hives hanging in the crevices of rocks on the other side of the river. Sometimes he sang his Nepali songs. We watched fascinated by his animated conversations with others along the track and picked up his sense of humour and friendly nature.
At the end of the day when I wrote in my small diary, he reminded me of the things we had seen on the trail. He spelt out the Nepalese words I had learnt during the day and I helped him with some new English words in our guide books.
In Dingboche, surrounded by magnificent mountains he taught me their names. He helped while I practiced naming them in order, like a child reciting their abc, learning the Himalayan range spread before me.
Many times we waited together for donkeys and yaks to pass. Once I was caught in a tight spot and I turned away when I shouldn’t have. Fortunately Basanta was watching. I turned around in time to see him pushing a donkey away from me. If he hadn’t of done this the donkey’s side load would have pushed me over the small wall.
He pulled me up the huge black boulders to reach the top of Kala Pattar. Took photos of us together and celebrated with us at Everest Base Camp.
He called me Louise, sometimes jokingly Mom and sometimes Didi – Big Sister.
Sometimes he led. Sometimes he followed. And sometimes we walked side by side.
On the last day, walking back to Lukla a woman coming the other way silently pointed at the porter right behind me as if she thought I needed to move aside and let him pass. Yes I know, I thought, he is my porter and he has been close by for sixteen days. He has carried our load making our trek to Base Camp easier. He guided, pointed things out and watched out for us. He was our companion, Nepalese friend and shared his country with us. Thank you Basanta.