Posts Tagged ‘Namche’

EBC trek 30 March

Friday, April 1st, 2011

We were indeed the only guests at Pumori Lodge at Pheriche. We had breakfast at 07:30 and I persuaded Goki of the wisdom of getting to Lukla tomorrow. Basically it gives me the chance of being in Kathmandu a day earlier, or gives me three shots at getting there before my flight to Delhi and connection to Bangkok instead of just two.

So yesterday was a long and tiring “downhill” slog from Pheriche to Monju. I’d have been happy to stop at Namche but Goki was keen to get to Monju. I suspected he had a hot date lined up. We left at 08:30 and got to Tengboche at 11:00. The trail to here was a mixture of snow and ice, and from Debuche to Tengboche, slush. The rhododendron forest between Debuche and Tengboche was still asleep, Goki said they should be in bloom in a couple of weeks.

After lunch we set off at 12:00 with a hard-on-the-knees downhill to the river and then a long uphill slog to Namche. We arrived after three hours, had a cup of tea and twenty minutes later pressed on to Monju.

We reached Monju about 17:00. For a day of going downhill – 4270m asl to 2835m asl – there was a lot of uphill involved. It was really quite tiring.

Today we did Monju to Lukla in just over four hours, arriving in good time for lunch. The theme for the day was “Spring”. Whereas on the way up, a little over a week ago I saw only one rhododendron in bloom, today there were several open. And there were many more alpine plants in flower. Also the crops  had shot up and there were fields of solid green (wheat and barley) whereas last week they were just brown fields. The photos are all uploaded to Flickr.

I met an interesting Australian  girl in Khumjung Lodge in Lukla. She’s a teacher, here doing voluntary work for a year. Later in the afternoon a group of Americans arrived and we compared notes on how our treks went. Goki managed to change our flights so we’re in with a chance of getting back to Kathmandu tomorrow. I’m not sure exactly which flight we’re supposed to be on. After delivering me safely back to Lukla, and changing the flights, he had one or two celebratory drinkies. He offered me a glass too of some local distilled from millet fire water. One sip of the evil tasting concoction was more than enough for me.  I guess all will be revealed tomorrow. Fingers crossed for good flying weather.

EBC trek 24 March

Friday, April 1st, 2011

We left at 07:30 as planned and started with a stiff uphill 150 metres to get over the ridge of the spur that forms one of walls of the valley where Namche nestles. We then had a long downhill to the river at Phungi Thenga at the bottom of another valley. We could hear the roar of the river all the way down the valley. If you want to cross the river you have to go to the bottom of the valley but giving height away is galling on a climb. It was then a further 3km distance and 600 metres ascent to Tengboche, 3867m asl, where we arrived at 11:30.

Lunch was “sherpa stew with vegetables and meat” aka minestrone soup with a few larger chunks of veg and some cubes of braised meat. I’m staying at Tashi Delek lodge which is owned by the daughter of Dawa Tensing. Yes, him of Sherpa Tensing (British 1953 Everest expedition – the one with Sir Edmund Hillary) fame. The owner’s husband is 72 years old. He was born and lived his first 19 years in Tibet until China invaded, forcing him to flee to Nepal where he has lived for the last 53 years. He showed me a large album of photos celebrating Dawa Tensing’s involvement in several expeditions and letters of commendation from many patrons. It’s the most basic teahouse so far, the outside and squat toilet has finally made an appearance! The wash facilities comprise a plastic barrel of cold water with a tap on it, and a bucket underneath. My single room is 8’x4’ with the thinnest mattress so far. Five star friends had better not come here! It makes the budget accomodation at Pontins Camber Sands look positively luxurious.

I’ve explored the surroundings, taken a load more photos, established there’s an internet cafe. The rates here are double what they are in Namche and they won’t let me plug a netbook in.

A group from the Adventure Company arrived about 14:30 and shattered the peace. I think earplugs will be more than a little useful tonight. A little later a group from Gap Adventures also arrived, a younger but less boisterous crowd.

Tomorrow is a slightly longer walk and another 600m ascent to Dingboche.

Listened to DiSarli and Fresedo today. Gotta keep the tango in my head :-)