Friday, May 16, 2008

Namche to Phakding to Lukla

Sunday-Monday, May 11-12
The final two days of trekking brought us back to Phakding from Namche where we spent the night in another tea house, and then finally to Lukla where we would fly out of to end our trek.

Descending from Namche to Phakding we quickly passed many locations I remember the group stopping on the way up the second day of our trek to catch our breath. It was much faster heading down although a little harder on the knees. We crossed at least four suspension bridges again reminding me that there more suspension bridges on this day than the other days of the trek. We arrived in Phakding before lunch ending our trek for the day.

During lunch, we noticed our Sherpa serving one of our guides, Baldev, a cloudy white drink. Soon after we asked what it was we found ourselves being served the drink to quell our curiosity. The drink is called "chang" and is a Sherpa beer made from rice. It certainly was interesting to taste but hard to describe. Needless to say, it did not meet the palate of the group majority - I guess it is an acquired taste that we did not have the time for:)

After lunch we crossed the trail to a neighboring tea house for their touted apple pie. The owners were more than happy to take a few orders and begin making them from scratch - peeling the apples and kneading the dough. They welcomed us in the kitchen to watch and smiled as we were quizitive on how they prepared and fried the pies. The turnovers were very delicious and we enjoyed them to the fullest extent.

The next morning we headed for Lukla. In the end we would spend more time ascending this day since the elevation of Lukla is at least 1000 feet higher than Phakding. During this day we say many new groups on the trail heading out to trek where we where coming from. You could see the wondrous smiles on their faces and knew now from experience having spent the previous weeks on the trail that they were in for a trek of their lives and would not be disappointed in their expectations.

Arriving in Lukla was a little bittersweet. We were now at the end of our trek - somewhat exhausted but not quite willing to let the majestic peaks out of our view. At our tea house we all toasted over a beer the incredible trip we just finished and spent some time reflecting over our experiences.

After lunch we headed to the Monastery in Lukla - there was a festival being held where the monks put on a show of chant, music and dance. While we were there the "band" came out of the monetary and situated themselves in a balcony and began with chant and drums. This was followed by a fairly long program of cymbals and dance. It was a little hard to follow but there was certainly a pattern or format for which the monks were familiar with that kept them in sync.

In the evening we closed the trek with a large bonfire behind the tea house and broke out some more S'mores to enjoy.

Our flight out of Lukla was early the next morning. Five prop planes all landed back to back within 5 minutes of each other, and after quickly loading them with passengers and cargo, we all took off within 5 minutes of each other. My guess is that this time of the day was the most dependable and the airlines used this to maximize their productivity. After one last view of the mountains we stepped on the plane. It was fun to get back on the Yeti Airlines Fokker 100 and scream down the short 8 degree slope runway into the valleys of the Himalayas.

We didn't exceed 12,500 ft altitude during our flight back to Kathmandu and initially many of the "hill" peaks were above and right next to us. In about an hour we touched down in Kathmandu and we were all back to the city life with all hiking behind us.


3 comments: said...

everest base camp trek is one of the most popular trek in world.

Unknown said...

that a good narrative of his travel journal and also a good clitoral stimulation to provide better performance

Nepal Tourism said...

Wow the picture of suspension bridge one the way to Namche i found i am on there what a cool pic with travel story written love to read thanks for sharing
Trekking in Nepal
Trekking in Nepal
Trekking in Nepal