carry on the EBC trail to Namche

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October 20th 2009
Published: November 12th 2009
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After a brief goodbye as I always want it quick. Although walked on the same trail again, but the scene still captured our attention, and without the burdened of the companies, we could stop whenever we wanted for photo. But this time we was walking with our bag, luckily with the rest in Rossi, we managed well today and covered the journey to Kinja(@1600m) in 2 hrs. After 4 days studied, Fadli find a way to squeezed 2 bags into 1, and it really made his walk easier, one last thing he might need was a walking stick, see if he could buy it somewhere along the trail. Fadli is a nice 25 years old young man. A freelance journalist in Indonesia for magazine, that was why he was crazy enough to carried that many equipment for the EBC.
After a lemonade drink break in Kinja, the trail began a steep uphill climbing, we saw many porters on the trail, carrying material for tourists who would flying into Lukla. "24 days this time" 1 porter said, and he was hired by an expedition team to the base camp. They got 500 rupee/day for the 50kg cargo. "it is just normal weight" he added. The climbing seem like never ended, and the trail getting higher and higher, the view was deep with Kinja bazaar far below by the river. We made as many tea break whenever we saw an open door. When the price was right we even go for soup noodle, topped with fried egg was superb! When I heard "only 30 mins to Sete", my feet speed up. And as promised we saw Sete(@2600m) stood on the hillside, couple of lodges and a stupa, that was all. We were planning to reach Goryam today as it was only 3:30pm, but once we sit down for tea, and the view with the sun light filtered through the cloud, we got soft and...after find out the room was only 100, so we decided to stay. There was only 3 GH in Sete and it filled up really fast, shortly before dark, almost all of them was full.
"if you want to be as strong as the porter, eat sherpa stew"! That was what we heard from the beginning of the trek from the local guide. But what is sherpa stew, they couldn't described it to us, so when we saw this name in menu today, we go for it. Finally this mysterious dish laid on the table in front of us, me and Fadli looking at it, a streaming bowl with a spoon in it. We began our inspection by stirring it, right...a kind of rice soup it was, contained with different kind of crops, perhaps barley and cereal, some small round noodle and pasta, didn't find any vegetables, but the taste was alright. It was quite suit my stomach as it was just like congee to me, but I would need more than just one bowl.


No power socket could be provided for battery recharge between Kinja and Junbesi.


"Attack the Lamjura pass"! That was the expression trekkers used on this trail. I wondered why we had to attacked it? Or how to attack it? Anyways...we declared our war with the Lamjura today! Started at 8am, a bit late as everyone had already gone, it was because breakfast need time to prepared, we always tried to order the same food together to be able to help saved the wood fire, but then we saw they just prepared it one after one in the kitchen. Think we didn't need to considered too much later.
The climbing started right away from Sete, and there were guesthouses all along, we should had walk further up yesterday as you could see the Numbur up here, and it made a good spot for sunrise and sunset, would we knew! After more than 4 hrs long climbing we beat the Lamjura Pass at 3600m. rewarded myself with an ordered of dal bhat, but it came after 90 mins as it was freshly cooked, and I end up beaten by the Lamjura with a serious cold and non stop running nose. The descending was long as well and it took more than 2 hrs to reached Junbesi. There wasn't much view not until approaching Junbesi, the valley was dotted with sharp colour roof top, and a monastery by the hillside. But I didn't had much mood for the village yet as the cold really got me, headed straight to bed after meal.


My nose was like an opened valve, the running nose persisted and I had no medicine for it, bad...and I really couldn't sleep last night as the fluids all drained down my throat and caused an infection, now I got a hot nose and a hot throat! really not into any mood for sightseeing, and I did made the effort, but the wind made me shivered once outside, so I better kept myself indoor. Fadli finally dug out some pills for flu, I didn't care as long as they claimed could stop running nose, it did stopped a bit and I could slept for an hour.
Junbesi did offered some hiking opportunities in its area, they got an video-tape in the info center which shown some sites, a 30 years old monastery not far could be visit, an important tibetan buddhism site, and further on made a loop trekking back to Junbesi in a week. The village itself had 2 monastery as well, the village has a small library which got some good books about the Himalaya, further down is the high school next to a stupa by the river. Electricity was provided by a small water plant, and there was no supply during the day until 4pm and most of the time after midnight. "we will build a big power station next year" the GH owner told us. And she said Bill Gate was here 5 years ago, "he ate in my guesthouse" she added that Mr Gate summoned the villagers and asked what was the most needed here, and they all said electricity, so Bill Gate promised to help and next year there will be a dam on the river. I was wondered if 5 years ago if they were asking for a road, will it came true? Haaa... Mr Gate?

A Saturday market at Salleri near Phaplu.


This is the first time I travelled in an huge area that was without road network. And I hadn't see any boat yet, you need to covered any distant by you own feet. All the materials had to carried in by human labor, and also a lot of donkey troops into this business too, we saw many of them coming in from Phaplu,
perhaps because of the airport there. kids never seen a car before but saw aircraft everyday. From Junbesi today we climbed up again to the Taksindo Pass direction. After an hour we got to Phurtyang where we supposed could see the Everest the 1st time in this trek, but unlucky the sky was so clouded that we could only saw some of the Everest neighbours, couldn't named them anyway ! Again...if we would had known, we would walked further up to sleep here last night, as morning time you got better chance to see the Everest . Today was the most easy day so far, the climbing was gradual and by noon we made it to the Pass at 3070m. This was the Sherpa country, and you could see many stupas and mani stones along the trail. The down hill walk from Taksindo Pass was long, and the loosed rocks trail made the descent rather difficult and uncomfortable. We were planning to push further to Jubhing, but it was over 3pm and Fadli began to had his knee problem, so we decided to stay in Nuntala(@2300m). It was a pretty small village with row of GH on both side of the single street. "it could be anywhere in Europe! " I exclaimed, all the houses were sharp colour painted on door and window frames, small lawn in front, pebble road nice and clean. A map in the street corner shown the local interests, but I wondered what is "beer can be seen"?? the surrounding lived mostly the Rai group, and some walking trip could be done. might try it on the way back. .


Price went up the further east we travelled, cup of tea from 8 rupee in Kathmandu ,then about 15 rupee in Jiri, and while around Junbesi we paid 20 rupee and 40 rupee today in Bupsa. And from here you need to prepared to pay for recharging battery. Now each day budget should be around 800 rupee. So spending should be more carefully as the further we went, the price will be more high, and I didn't had many rupee cash. When looking for room, most important was to check the menu, as room rate should be the same in every GH around 100 rupee, but food price could be big different .
We made an early started this morning by 7:30 from Nuntala, again on the steep downhill trail with loose rocks until we reached the hanging bridge over the raging Dudh Kosi river, probably the lowest point of this trek at 1500m sea level. Then the climbing started again, we finally arrived at the lunch stop Khari Khola with a brand new monastery next to the pass, after lunch break, the walk to Bupsa although not far, but was bloody steep! The view was great while climbing, over looking at the Khari Khola monastery stood on the cliff head, with greenish terrace fields rolled out underneath, our walking trail could be clearly seen in between, what a long journey and it was not even done half way yet! Bupsa(@2300m) stood on the side of the hill with only couple of guesthouses and a small stupa, plainly an overnight stop but nice and quiet.


Today was the most scenic day so far, with deep gorges valley and magnificent snow cap mountain on the background all along the trail, the walk was long. we couldn't made it to Ghat although we started earlier than usual. From Bupsa we climbed up to our higher pass today where we face the huge Numbur again, every few minutes airplanes flown in and out from the Lukla valley and glided acrossed the sky in front of our eyes, it was so closed that somehow I thought I did seen the passengers inside the plane. from the 2900m pass we could see the trail began to descent along the contour of the mountain, after the pretty Puiyam village, there was another huge snow cap towering over my head, " The Kusum Khangkaru" said the local man passed by, this 6370m giant look so beautiful especially with the clear blue sky. from the hillside we could see Lukla on the other side of the mountain and Surkhe was down the valley, but to reached there it still took a long time as the downhill trail was tough with many loosed rocks, from Surkhe the climbing began again but gradual, and the scene was rather pretty with villages and many mani-stones along the trail. After 9 hrs and we decided to stopped at Chaunrikarka, 4pm already and I quite like it here at the first sight, not just only GH but more like a village with local people minding there farming business. A stupa right in the middle of the village and a sharp mountain head hanging far out at the end of the trail.

Every Thursday is Lukla market


The walked to Namche Bazaar(@2400m) was long and tiring, especially the last climbing section. Villages were closer after Chaunrikarka and there were many nice looking guesthouses, many times I thought I was in the Alpine mountain in Switzerland or Austria, after Ghat we began to saw flown in tourist group. They all stayed the night in Phakding, and there were even couple of resorts. After 10 am more travellers came downhill as I roughly counting close to 300 people had passed me in the day, and the uphill traffic congested together, worse was also with the yak troop carrying goods for tours, donkeys couldn't managed the job in this altitude. Often we had traffic jam while in narrow cross way. I frequency heard travellers complaint of group tourists ruin the nature of the trekking activity and the tranquility of the mountain, but in reality it dose provided jobs opportunities to many people that inhabited in the area, as there is no road accession and no other economics here, tourism is the only way for the locals to get some income, all they need is a healthier development and responsible management. they should encouraged tourist eat more local products while helping the villagers growth different popular vegetables, not just relied on carrying outside foods and products for consume, that would be another ways to created incomes. Like a guide said "we can earned good money from expedition tour", but it wasn't without risk, like walking up the hill to Namche yesterday, I saw a group of porters and guide surrounding couple of boxes of broken eggs(by accident or carelessness) which they had to carrying for tourist group.
Yesterday we mostly travelled along the Duh Kosi river, and before approached the Sagarmatha National Park in Mojo, another huge mountain stood in front of me, the 6618m
Thamserku , and I also spotted a guarding god stood next to the giant, which is a human shape rock nearby. Part with 1000 rupee I was allowed into the park and reached Jorsale, also had many GH, the last village before Namche. A long tiring climbing and finally we reached foggy Namche after 4pm, another 9 hrs walked!
Namche stood on the concave hillside, couple of small lanes with souvenirs shops and many GH, they had a standard room rate 200/room, but if you didn't eat in the house, the room charge will be 500 rupee. we picked one with a reasonable menu and checked in as we were rather tired. After a 300 rupee dalh bhat we went to bed. looking back at the incidence in Jiri, I think I was just ignorance and naive over reacted about being forced to eat in the guesthouse, then I knew it now it was the way they function here on the trekking trail.
Woke up this morning and saw a clear blue sky." golden hilltop" Fadli told me, so we hurried out without even changed into our walking shoe. Up we just climbed and eventually we got to the park where actually was the place to watch sunrise, although the sun was already raised and many tourists was coming downhill, but when we got to the high ground and a group of whiten mountains was in front of us, "it is the Everest" Fadli exclaimed! The first glimpse we had in this trip, and with the sun and blue sky, we lose control of our fingers, zoomed in and zoomed out, very busy and very satisfied ! We decided to stay the day in Namche for acclimatisation. So we made a short hike to Khumjung, and it was another walk with fantastic view, kind of panoramic view on the 3800m mountain top, we checked the map looking for names, Everest, Ama Dablam, Lhotse, Khumbi Yui Lha, Thamserk, Kongde... they were all there and many more! Beautiful! It would be something to be here for sunrise, and staying in Khumjung could make it possible, and there was many GH there as well. To saved the battery we need to control our crazy shooting, as while in Namche it cost 80 to 100 rupee for 1 hour battery charged, and further up the trail will be more expensive.

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