Ain't no mountain high enough, Ain't no valley low enough Ain't no river wide enough, baby**

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October 12th 2011
Published: October 19th 2011
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Sunrise over Everest - Awe InspiringSunrise over Everest - Awe InspiringSunrise over Everest - Awe Inspiring

Everest on the Right, Lhotse on the Left. Shot taken from Kala Patar
**Lyrics from song sung by Malvin Gaye

Our trek in Nepal to Everest Base Camp and Gokyo Lakes has been the BEST adventure so far in terms of culture and scenery to die for, so unspoilt and beautiful…read on our adventure by each Locations / Attitude (m)

Kathmandu, Nepal (1360m)

We arrived in Kathmandu and were quickly reminded of similar destinations like Siam Reap in Cambodia and Bali with the masses of people, traffic and the associated seemingly harmonious chaos. I personally love this as there is so much to take in as a side walk observer.

We met our Peregrine Group Leader, Kabin and our other 12 fellow trekkers from Australia and New Zealand (14 in total with Dave & I).
Right up front the leader explained that this trip was going to be ‘an adventure’ or ‘experience’, not a holiday and that the teahouses that we’d be staying in would be ‘basic’ in every sense. That meant no western toilets / outside toilets, basic cots to sleep in, intermittent electricity, if you want hot shower you need to pay as the cost of heating is so expensive (wood is very

Robbo's dancer's pose

Teahouses consisted of little rooms with twin cots (no heating, sometimes a light If you’re lucky) and then a main dining area with a pot belly stoves and bench seating around the perimeter next to the kitchen – very similar to the ski lodges. The dining room is also where the Sherpa guides often slept after we went to our rooms

We spent 2 days extra in Kathmandu ahead of the tour so we could pick up some extra trekking equipment required before leaving for the hills. Note that they only call ‘mountains’ here if they are between 4,001 – 5,999m, then peaks over 6,000m incl. Everest.

We also had a short sightseeing tour, which included a visit to the Bodhnath Stupa, one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world, where we observe Buddhist monks in prayer in the monasteries surrounding the stupa. We also visited the Pashupatinath, the most famous Hindu temple in the country, located on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. We saw the Hindu holy men (sadhus) meditating,pilgrims bathing and on this day, we witnessed some funeral pyres burning on the ghats in progress.

In Nepal
Kala Patar (5500m)Kala Patar (5500m)Kala Patar (5500m)

What a view of Kala Patar with mountain peaking through the mist in the background.
Hindi and Buddhism are the two main religions and the higher we climbed in the mountains, the more prevalent were the Buddhist stupas and chortons/shrines.

It rained for those few days so we actually could not start our trek until weather improved at our 1st destination, Lukla (2827m). There was also a very sad event on the afternoon before we were due to fly with the tragic crash of a Buddha Air flight which killed all on the board, both locals and foreigners crashing near Kathmandu due to bad weather. It was a sobering event for all of us.
We did go to the airport on Monday and waited, and waited with many other trekkers from Russia, Japan, Ukraine, America etc but unfortunately all flights were cancelled and we returned to our hotel for wait out the bad weather. It was a blessing in disguise as many of us had to rush out and buy some extra provisions etc plus a few of us had crook guts so returning to ‘western’ toilet was very welcome if you know what I mean.

On the Tuesday (rather than Monday) we flew to Lukla and what a flight we had,
Goykyo GlacierGoykyo GlacierGoykyo Glacier

What a view !
we had views of the giant
Himalayan mountains bordering Nepal and China (Tibet). The flight time was 40 minutes and we landed at an airstrip built by Sir
Edmund Hillary and the Sherpas in the mid-1960s.

The landing of the plane involved landing on a runway that was on a 20 degree angle and is considered one of the most dangerous airports to fly into.

After landing we had tea and met our Sherpa crew sort who loaded on their backs our trekking duffle bags containing our sleeping bag, down jacket and other clothing and toiletries etc while we just carried our daypacks. We had 7 porters who carried 2 duffle bags each along with their tiny possessions. As the trip progressed we got to have some more interaction with them, although they were little shy of us. One of the them, young fellow, wore a hot pink knitted scarf all the time and we were told later that it was his girlfriend’s so it was very special scarf. Many of these young men will do treks fulltime during the busy season so rarely have a chance to see their family and friends and many of them have
Path down from Gokyo Ri to GoykyoPath down from Gokyo Ri to GoykyoPath down from Gokyo Ri to Goykyo

Glacier in the background
2-3 children and may be only 20 years old as they marry very young, 15 or 16 years old.

Supporting the Group Leader, Kabin were three (3) guides, Mingmar 1; Mingmar 2 and Lapkha (25 yrs experience incl. many trips to Everest). The Sherpa tribe people will name their children in consultation with local priest, after a day of the weeks so Mingmar is Tuesday and Lapkha is Wednesday. All our guides had many years of experience and great English. Their role we found out later was very wide ranging, including taking our orders for all our meals, bringing us our meals at the teahouses’ kitchens, arranging the payment for the meals, arranging our bags and rooms ahead of our arrival, organizing our sterilized drinking water and ‘washy washy’ each morning upon our waking, comprising of bowls of warm water to complete quick wash with. Then during our trekking they pointed out cultural and landscape points of interests along with sharing jokes with us and teaching us a little Nepalese.

Many Sherpa guides work all year round so when they can’t work in monsoon period in Nepal they often travel overseas to work in countries like France, Switzerland
Paramount Pictures Logo ??Paramount Pictures Logo ??Paramount Pictures Logo ??

From Kala Patar (5500m). I wonder if Paramount pays Nepal a royalty for its logo?
or Japan to guide or cook on treks or restaurants.

After our welcome tea we walked to village of Phakding (2652m)
(Trekking: approx 3 hours) which involved descending towards the Dudh Kosi River where we joined the main trail to Namche Bazaar, located just above Chaunrikharka (2713m).
Due to the bad weather the main suspension bridge was washed away so we had to ‘off road’ it along a muddy makeshift and in places very narrow tracks (a boot width)

What floored us all were the porters who had collected goods from Lukla (including door frames, sheets of glass panes) had huge loads (some up to 120kgs) on their backs and they were sprinting along the muddy little path and even going around us to ensure they could make their deliveries.

NEWS FLASH: Everything and I mean everything, every bottle of Coke Cola drink, every grain of rice etc is carried by foot from Lukla up the mountains, there is NO motorized transport or even roads up here, NOTHING with exception of rescue & scenic helicopters. So everything is carried by local porter (some very young (10yrs) to very old (65yrs+), or by yaks, donkeys or the
Everest Lunch StopEverest Lunch StopEverest Lunch Stop

Tenboche Monastery lunch stop. What a view of Everest as a backdrop to lunch. I think lunch cost about $3 each.
hybrid cows (half cow/half yak).

Day 4: Namche Bazaar (3446m)
(Trekking: approx 7 hours) From Phakding we crossed the river and head up the valley, following porters from the south that are ferryingsupplies to Namche Bazaar. The trail kept close to the river valley and is lined with beautiful blue pine and rhododendron forest that isvery spectacular in the spring months, when the flowers are in bloom. We crossed the Dudh Kosi River at Benkar, where there glimpses of the snow-capped peaks of Kusum Kanguru (6369m) and Thamserku (6623m). From here it is only a short walk to Monjo (2835m), where we arrived in time for lunch. In the afternoon the walking is a little tougher (tortuous) and includes the steep ascent to Namche Bazaar. From Monjo it is a short walk to the entrance of the national park, before we cross the Dudh Kosi River to Jorsale (2805m). The trek continues upstream on generally flat terrain, crossing back to the right bank to the confluence of the Bhote Kosi and Dudh Kosi Rivers, where we start the steep climb to Namche Bazaar. After crossing a large and stable suspension bridge high above the river, we
Everest Base ApproachEverest Base ApproachEverest Base Approach

One giant glacial moraine
slowly ascend at a steady pace. There were some fantastic photographic opportunities as the peaks of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and
Taweche (6542m) came into view for the first time.

Namche is a bustling town with all its WiFi cafes, Irish Pub, bars and bakeries. We had the most delicious pizza and apple strudel.

Day 5: Namche Bazaar (3446m)
(Acclimatisation Day) We remained at Namche Bazaar for a second night to allow for proper acclimatisation to the altitude. Namche is a prosperous village situated in a large protected hollow. It gained its importance during the period when Tibetan salt was traded for thelowland grains of Nepal. Today a limited amount of trade still exists at Namche and Tibetans are often seen in the village trading rugs and Chinese-made goods, clothing, salt and dried meat. It is recommended that you take the opportunity to see both the sunrise and sunset views from the national park headquarters above the village. The stunning vista includes a superb panorama of the Khumbu peaks and great views of Everest. We had a brief glimpse of Everest before clouds covered the peak but what a view – we enjoyed with yummy cup of hot lemon
Grand Hyatt @ Mong LaGrand Hyatt @ Mong LaGrand Hyatt @ Mong La

Our abode for the evening
honey tea in glorious sunshine.

Day 6: Mong La (3970m)
(Trekking: approx 4 hours) From Namche, we ascended to the airstrip at Shyanboche and then to a lunch spot in Khumjung - the largest village in the region. Towering above Khumjung is the sacred rocky peak of Khumbilya (5761m).

It is the home of the guardian goddess of the region, often depicted in religious paintings (or thangkas) as a white-faced figure on a white horse. The trail contours around Khumbilya's lower slopes, passing through beautiful birch forest and then climbing on to treeless, grassy slopes to a stupa on top of a rocky ridge (3992m). Also there is a hospital and school set up and staffed by overseas volunteers. We visited the hospital with two of our trekkers, Fiona and Lina, recovery nurses from NZ. They were impressed by what they saw be it pretty basic but covered most eventualities.
We also saw the farmers harvesting potatoes and some women sewing lines of the Buddhist prayer flags.

Once again the views of the surrounding mountains are magnificent. Phortse can be seen across the valley – a picturesque village set in a patchwork of stone-walled fields.
Road to Everest Base CampRoad to Everest Base CampRoad to Everest Base Camp

Like being on the Moon. One giant glacial moraine for all of the 20k appraoch up the glacial valley.
We overnight at the cluster of lodges on the saddle, known as Mong La.
The cold afternoon mists rolled in so quickly that by 4.00 o’clock you could hardly see much in front of you. It was very cold and the 1st night we had to put on our down jackets.
This evening we enjoyed ‘outside’ toilet experience in freezing temperatures and use of one’s torch – part of the adventure baby.
We gave the teahouse owner some balloons for their little boys and their friends and they had so much fun playing game of tennis with the balloon inside the teahouse.
TIP: don’t do a helicopter swing with little kids at attitude, you will feel pretty dizzy / woozy, that’s what happened to Robbo with owner’s little son.

Day 7: Dole (4038m) then final stop at Machhermo (4465m)
(Trekking: approx 8 hours) From the stupa we descend 300 metres on a series of switchback trails to the Dudh Kosi River at Phortse
Bridge. The trail to Gokyo is deceptive and we can ascend too quickly if we do not plan our trekking days sensibly. So, in the interests of acclimatisation, we take three days to reach Gokyo. Leaving Phortse Bridge, we ascended steeply at first and then contoured high above the valley, enjoying excellent views of Kantega, Thamserku and Ama Dablam (6856m). About an hour's walk from Phortse Bridge, we gained our first views of the mammoth Cho-Oyo (8153m) at the head of the valley. We were now trekking beyond the tree line and pass some imposing waterfalls en route to the yak herding settlements of Tongba (4015m) and Gyele (4050m). From here it is a short distance to Dole (4084m). After lunch we can explore the upper Dole Valley, returning via a high ridge above the lodge to enjoy fantastic views of Cho-Oyo and Gyachung Kang (7922m) to the north, and Taweche (6542m) and Cholatse (6440m) across the valley to the east. We are now at higher altitudes and it is important to take notice of our trek leader’s advice and recommendations regarding rest and fluid intake. That meant we went slow walking pace, no hurry.
One highlight for me was the sight of a young teenage girl and boy couple who were both carrying large baskets of food and supplies holding hands as they climbed the path we were one. So sweet!

After lunch we started with a climb out of the small Dole Valley before ascending more gradually up the Dudh Kosi Valley, high above the river. The walk is easy though we felt the effects of altitude on even the smallest hill. The barren alpine scenery with only small clusters of scrub juniper is a stark contrast to the snowy white peaks and deep blue skies. After two hours we arrived at Luza (4360m) and, after a further hour's walk, we reach our lodge at Machhermo (4465m) where we spent the evening.
The teahouse was packed with many trekkers and unfortunately the rooms were so cold that we all huddled in the main teahouse for warmth and little light they had.

Day 9: Gokyo (4720m)
(Trekking: approx 31/2 hours) A short, steep climb leads from the Machhermo Valley on to the steep grassy slopes of the Dudh Kosi Valley.
The valley widened as we passed through Pangka (4390m) and on to the jumbled, terminal moraines of Ngozumpa Glacier, the largest in Nepal and the source of the Dudh Kosi River. Climbing steeply over a rocky trail we kept to the western side of the glacier to reach a small lake at the head of a wide valley and then pass a larger lake at Longponga (4690m), before following the lateral moraines to the third lake at Gokyo (4750m). Gokyo consists of a number of stone dwellings surrounded by stone-walled yak pastures. Our lodge was located close to the lake and, if there are no clouds around, the sunroom can be distinctly warm in the afternoon. For those feeling energetic, we ascended to the slight ridge at the back of Gokyo for views down to the mighty Ngozumpa Glacier. This was amazing as we saw beautiful glacial lakes of turquoise blue and miles of glacial peaks looking like the toasted peaks on the top of a lemon meringue pie. We even heard some ice breaking off like little avalanches. We also had the best Dahl Baht meal I think as the lentil dahl had fresh coriander and other herbs in it. It was delicious.

Day 10: Machhermo (4465m)
(Trekking: approx 4 hours) We rise early for an ascent of Gokyo Peak (5360m) - a straightforward but steep climb and tiring due to the altitude. The walk up will take just over two hours+ and the reward is one of the best panoramas
Yak Yak YakYak Yak YakYak Yak Yak

One of the many trains carrying goods up and down the mountains.
in the Khumbu. From the rocky summit, four 8000-metre peaks can be seen (if no clouds/mist)- Everest (8848m), Cho-Oyo (8153m), Lhotse (8511m) and Makalu (8481m).

We got up at 5.00am, dressed in the dark and started the walk up in the darkness and snow (did I mention without any COFFEE). It was very tough, every step was exhausting but Dave made it and unfortunately the mist did not clear so nothing of the peaks were revealed. Robbo got as far as 5,200m but turned back as was bit dizzy and stumbling.
At one point Dave was 80 m above me and yelled down, ‘C’mon Robbo’ and my reply was ‘Jimmy’s NOT happy’ (reference to Seinfeld episode).

Countless other towering snow-capped peaks and rock spires fill the horizons including Gyachung Kang (7922m) to the east of Cho-Oyo, Cholatse (6440m), Taweche (6542m) and Kangchung (6103m). In addition, there’s a bird's eye view of the Gokyo lakes and the huge creaking Ngozumpa Glacier, now cutting halfway across the world and snaking its way down the valley far beneath.

We descended back, quite shattered, to Gokyo for a late breakfast and then retraced our steps back to the snout of the glacier and continue down the valley back to Machhermo. It is surprising how easily and quickly we covered the return route even though it started snowing, now that we were well acclimatized. Although at night when you were sleeping (if you could) you would find these severe shortness of breath where you actually had to sit up and catch your breath. We also found that opening the doors to our little cabins brought more oxygen in when we felt we couldn’t breath properly.

Day 11: Phortse (3810m)
(Trekking: approx 5 hours) A leisurely start to the day takes us down valley to Dole, where we enter forest to continue the descent to Phortse Bridge. Keep an eye open for musk deer, which are often seen on this section of the trail. Here we take lunch and branch off the main trail to Namche to cross the Dudh Kosi and ascend to the village of Phortse. Phortse is one of the more traditional Sherpa villages in the Khumbu region, but surprisingly few trekkers stop here on their Everest trek. The dramatic mountain views and peace and quiet of this village are sure to be one of the highlights of our
Channel Conflict - Thamel KathmanduChannel Conflict - Thamel KathmanduChannel Conflict - Thamel Kathmandu

Hard to get ones message across

This was a gorgeous day of trekking, nearly in full sunshine compared to snow of the day before. The village of Phortse was gorgeous and we all did lots of washing as some sunshine to dry it in. During dinner we lost power but instead enjoyed guitar and singing from the guides and fellow trekkers.
Berget (Melbourne) called out ‘who stopped pedaling’ when the lights went out.

Day 12: Dingboche (4360m)
(Trekking: approx 6 hours) Our morning's walk first headed across a ridge and then descends on an exposed trail to the Imja Khola. Keep an eye open for Himalayan tahr - these mountain goats are often seen on the crags high above the trail. We saw several of them. We also saw a man clearly having suffered from a stroke, clambering up the very steep crag trails without the use of one side of his body. It was a humbling reminder that you can only get from one place to another by walking, no roads or cars up here.

We met the trail coming from Thyangboche by the suspension bridge and from here we gradually ascended to the village of Pangboche, where the peak of Ama Dablam dominates the skyline. We took lunch here and have the opportunity of seeing the beautiful monastery that once housed a legendary yeti scalp. After lunch our route followed the trail high above the Imja Khola, passing the teahouses at Orsho, before again crossing the Imja Khola and old glacial moraines to our lodge in the settlement of Dingboche. Here we found a beautiful patchwork of small fields enclosed by stonewalls protecting the crops of barley and potatoes from the cold winds. The scenery is once again spectacular and although Everest has disappeared behind the Lhotse-Nuptse Ridge, the huge peaks that tower above the eastern end of the valley were ample compensation. The landscape was changing dramatically as we climbed higher as now we were almost completely above the tree line. In clear conditions, it is noted for spectacular sunsets here and on Ama Dablam, the south face of Lhotse to the north, and also Island Peak in the centre of the valley.
Day 13: Lobuje (4930m)
In the morning we ascended the small ridge behind the village above the Pheriche valley. From the chorten (piles of Buddhist stone carved tablets) at the top, Taweche and Cholatse (6440m) make for a striking scene, as they seem to lean forwards from across the valley in the west. To the north, Lobuje Peak (6119m) and the snowfields of the Cho La dominated the skyline. The walking was now generally fairly flat on wide-open fields actually very similar to moors of North East England and some parts of Scotland. Late in the morning we crossed the Khumbu Khola at Dughla (4620m) and take a light lunch at the foot of the huge terminal moraines of the Khumbu Glacier flowing off Everest. In the afternoon, there was a solid and quite steep climb
on a rocky trail to the top of the moraines. On the crest of the ridge, you pass a line of memorial cairns, built in memory of the Sherpas and climbers who have died on various Everest expeditions over the last fifty or so years. It was a very moving site.

From here the views were spectacular, Pumori (7145m), Lingtren (6697m), Khumbutse (6623m), and across the border in Tibet, Changtse (7550m) are seen at the head of the valley, whilst Everest was hidden behind the towering walls of Nuptse and Lhotse. We then followed the valley stream to our

Luckily we got nothing worse than a headache, and difficulty sleeping at altitude.
lodge at Lobuje, arriving late afternoon. Today was a very tiring day but the fantastic scenery made it all very worthwhile.

Day 14: Gorak Shep (5160m) - Everest Base Camp (EBC)
(Trekking: approx 3 hours to Gorak Shep, then 5 hours round trip to Everest Base Camp) As the trek to Gorak Shep is relatively short, we have the opportunity for a leisurely breakfast before beginning the day’s walk to EBC. From Lobuje we followed the broad valley that runs parallel to Khumbu Glacier. A gradual ascent enables us to build the slow, steady rhythm required when walking at high altitude. When we reach the glacial moraines of Changri Nup Glacier, we make a series of small ascents and descents over a rocky trail lined with cairns that leads eventually to the surprising glacial sands of Gorak Shep (5160m) - reached after about three hours of walking. After a quick bite we geared up accordingly to head off towards the Everest Base Camp joined by two of the porters in addition to the guides and our group leader. The trek to the base camp was done in approx. three hours with not much expedition activity to be seen as
Suspension BridgeSuspension BridgeSuspension Bridge

One of the many suspension bridge crossings. On the way to Namche Bazaar
the main time to try to summit Everest happening in in the popular climbing period of March to May. We arrived a humble large rock with a rough engraving, ‘Everest Base Camp’ and from here we do not get views of Mount Everest, but were able only to see the notorious Everest Ice Fall that flows from the Western side, which is regarded as technically the hardest and most dangerous section of the mountain. The return journey from the Base Camp to Gorak Shep takes the same amount of time. We had an early dinner so that we are able to get up early the next day for awe-inspiring views of the Himalayan giants from Kala Patar. Note 4.30am wake up call (oh NO!!!!!).

Day 15: Kala Patar - Pheriche (4270m)
(Trekking: approx 8 hours) We woke up very early the next day for the trek to Kala Patar (5545m) to experience sensational sunrise views from this amazing vantage point. From the lodge the ascent was quite steep, so we started very slowly and try to ascend at a steady rhythmic pace while it was snowing. Kala Patar is the rocky hilltop below Pumori. It is a tough walk because of the altitude, but the view from the top surpasses the wildest imagination. The mist and snow cleared to reveal sunshine on the amazing peaks of Pumori, Nuptse, Changtse, Ama Dablam, Taweche, Kantega and Everest, the highest mountain in the world, surrounding us. About three kilometres away and some 200 metres below, the area of the Everest Base Camp could be seen in a bowl at the bottom of the Khumbu Ice Fall. For many trekkers, reaching Kala Patar is a very emotional experience and it is worthwhile spending as long as you wish in order to savour this special moment. The descent back down to Gorak Shep was easy and once back at the lodge we had a quick drink (COFFEE) and breakfast. After breakfast we set off to Lobuche and Thugla, where we stop for lunch. After lunch we cross the Khumbu Khola and head down the valley below Cholatse to Pheriche, where we stopped for the night.

We were shattered and crashed very early that night after the big day.

Day 16: Namche Bazaar (3446m)
(Trekking: approx 7+ hours) From Pheriche we crossed the Khumbu Khola River and ascend a short steep trail to the top of a small ridge forgreat views of Imja Valley, Ama Dablam and Kantega. We then descend to the small settlements at Orsho and Shomare before passing through Lower Pangboche to reach the suspension bridge over the Imja Khola River to ascend back to Thyangboche for lunch. According to legend, Thyangboche Monastery was founded in the 17th century by Lama Sange Dorjee, who came from Tibet’s Rongphu Monastery. Thyangboche was destroyed by an earthquake in 1933, rebuilt and again badly damaged by fire in 1989. Construction of the present monastery was completed in 1992. We spend a bit of time after lunch visiting the monastery and the nearby museum. In the afternoon we descended steeply (not an understatement) through beautiful forest of juniper, rhododendron and fir to Phunkitenga. After a welcome break and perhaps a cup of tea we cross the Dudh Kosi River and ascended to Trashinga. From here the trail contours high above the valley through Shanasa and on to Namche Bazaar, where we spend the night. The afternoon mist again rolled in approximately 4.00pm making visibility little tricky for the final steps into Namche but very welcome.
1st stop for most of us
Above Namche BazaarAbove Namche BazaarAbove Namche Bazaar

Acclimitisation walk - about 3800m
was a HOT SHOWER, then Apple Strudel from the German bakery (delicious). Some of the keen ones hit the Irish Pub for games of pool and beers into the wee small hours to celebrate with another group of Sydney boys we had met on our travels.

Day 17: Phakding (2652m)
(Trekking: approx 4 hours) We enjoyed a leisurely departure from Namche Bazaar with a final opportunity to visit the shops in the bazaar before we descend steeply down to the large suspension bridge over the Dudh Kosi River. We followed the trail through Jorsale and back to Monjo, where we took lunch. The trail was packed with the hoards of trekkers arriving for the busiest time of the year to head to Everest etc. Thank goodness we did the trek when it was little quieter was the sentiment echoed by all in our group. In the afternoon it is a short walk via Benkar through blue pine and rhododendron forest, with great views of Kusum Kangaru, back to our lodge in Phakding.

Day 18: Lukla (2800m)
(Trekking: approx 3 ½ hours) This was our last day of trekking, where it is only a short walk on the
Amore - D & RAmore - D & RAmore - D & R

What a backdrop ! Above Namche Bazaar
valley before making the final climb up to the airstrip at Lukla. We then had quick lunch at our lodge and the afternoon was free to wander around and relax. In the evening we enjoyed a farewell dinner, followed by a few celebratory drinks and dancing with our Sherpa companions.

We enjoyed traditional Daht Baht dinner with the all the porters, guides and group leader. Then each porter and guide was presented with their share of their tips from us before starting to sing some Nepalese folk songs and invite us to dance with them. It was so lovely to see them ‘kick back’ and have some fun. After traditional music, more contemporary Bollywood tunes/Nepalese Hip Hop were playing and more dancing.

Note: some of us can’t dance but we had a go, amazing given little or no alcohol was consumed by Robbo and Dave.

Day 19: Kathmandu (1360m)
We rose early in the morning to be ready for the arrival of our aircraft for the flight back to Kathmandu. It was a memorable beautiful flight to see the Himalayan ranges for the last time so close. Bit sad to leave the beauty and simplicity of the mountains we had enjoyed exploring.
Back to big city of Kathmandu we went back to our western style comforts.
Dave and I cleaned up, took our washing and our tired bodies to Thamel for remedial massages with Chiron (blind therapist) at the Seeing Hands Massage Clinic. He was fantastic to start to iron out the soreness and tight spots. He even noticed that we'd lost some weight/inches from our trek - good man to tell a girl this type of thing, any day of the week really will win big points!!!. We had follow up massage sessions the next day. Pure Bliss !
We joined Kabin (Tour Group Leader) and few of the other trekkers for pizza dinner at the Rum Doodle, one of the early restaurants established in Thamel. If you summit Everest you can eat here for free here (but not free alcohol). Boy its a pretty tough criteria to complete for a free slice of pizza!!!!!.
It was nice informal end to our wonderful trek with Kabin and his team.

Day 20: Kathmandu (1360m) – 14 October 2011
Our official trek ended today after breakfast. We had our flights booked to Delhi so now off for our new adventure to INDIA.
1st stop Rishikesh, home of all things yoga and funnily based close to the India Himalayan ranges. Do I hear 'trekking anyone?'. Ciao xx

Additional photos below
Photos: 79, Displayed: 41


Namche Bazaar from AboveNamche Bazaar from Above
Namche Bazaar from Above

Neat little town that has everything one needs. Great German bakery with struddle. Everything has to be carried up by porters or yaks.
Monks having a "chilllax"Monks having a "chilllax"
Monks having a "chilllax"

Kumjung. Hillary school in the background.
Kabin and little dude at a Tea HouseKabin and little dude at a Tea House
Kabin and little dude at a Tea House

Kabin the group leader of the tour.
Relaxing in the Tea HouseRelaxing in the Tea House
Relaxing in the Tea House

Mong La tea house
Getting ready for Sleep - Mong La 3800mGetting ready for Sleep - Mong La 3800m
Getting ready for Sleep - Mong La 3800m

Not one of our better establishments - but all part of the experience
Our Porters getting ready to goOur Porters getting ready to go
Our Porters getting ready to go

Leaving from Namche Bazaar. Each carries about 30kg+ each.
Porters on the way to GoykoPorters on the way to Goyko
Porters on the way to Goyko

Carrying building materials 30km from Namche (2800m) to Goyko (4000). There are no roads, just walking paths.

Tot: 2.181s; Tpl: 0.077s; cc: 29; qc: 108; dbt: 0.0617s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 2; ; mem: 1.7mb