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Published: October 25th 2018
October 9th - Flight to Lukla and hike to Phakding - Dia 110
Waking up early to catch a taxi to the airport. It was going to be a game of patience getting a flight to Lukla. Usually flights are either delayed or cancelled. My flight was scheduled to leave at 8:30am but did not actually leave until midday jajaja.
The flight was just a 30minute ride and the landing was exciting, scary and fun jajaja. Amazingly the landing strip is slopped upwards to reduce the speed of the plane due to the limited amount of space. 😅
Landing safely I quickly met up with my Sherpa guide, Valaran. He grabbed my hand tightly and with a lot of affection, holding it for a while. I was greaful for it.
Valaran does not know too much English but I have gotten used to hanging out with people I can't really talk with jaja. We hiked for around 3 hours today through dense pine forests and a well marked stone trail. It was quite busy with a lot of dunkey traffic carrying supplies to upper villages. For the more delicate stuff you saw the porters carrying it in a basket and a
string attached to their forehead to balance the weight. Amazingly they are carrying around 50-60kg for hours. I can't seem to understand how a body handles that amount of weight.
For the first part of the hike I felt troubled by having Valaran carrying my backpack. I tried to teach him how to strap the waist belt tightly but he rejected every attempt of mine. After a while I realized that this was his job and me trying to intervene was just going to cause conflict. I just had to enjoy the feeling of hiking with no weight, which is amazing after carrying that backpack everywhere for the past 3 months and a half. 😌
Arriving to Phakding early evening I found myself with a lot of time to spare. Phakding is a small town with one of its only sources of income being that of tourists. Amazingly I found an Irish Bar with good music and vibes. I met a group of US citizens which I hanged out with playing pool. Ended up trying the local fermented rice beer which is served warm and has a taste of vinegar. A taste I have gotten acquainted with and enjoy it
now 😁 Good night filled with good company
October 10th - Namche Bazar - Dia 111
Waking up nice and early to start the hike at around 7am. Valaran and I speeded through everyone. He has some amazing stamina and strength and since I am not carrying a backpack I don't seem to get tired anymore 😂. We are still hiking at low elevations so the hike was mostly pine forests and a lot of river crossings. Passing through steel suspension bridges filled with colorful praying flags. For a mid hike break Valaran pointed me to a house and welcomed me to enter. With his broken English he invited me to drink local beer with him. Not a big fan of drinking at 10am but not about to reject a way of Nepalese living I joined him. We where served a warm pitcher of local brewed beer. Starting to like the vinegar taste and it definetly helped in quenching the thirst. I have to point out its not a bad way to take a break 😁.
After another 3 hours hiking we arrived at Namche. The last big town before venturing into the alpine himalayan terrain. For acclimatization we
were going to stay here for 2 nights.
The first teahouse we went to was unfortunately full so Valaran took me to another one. It took me a couple of minutes to realize this teahouse was only for the sherpas and guides since I could not see anyone else apart from them! I really enjoyed how things turned out though since I managed to hang around with the locals.
I ventured off to explore Namche since I still had some energy to burn through. Namche is a beautiful town with blue and red roofed houses situated on a steep slope next to a deep valley. Getting around requires walking a lot of stairs jaja. After getting enough of the town I was attracted to some nice looking granite boulders higher up. So I spent the rest the evening trying to find a good granite Boulder to climb. I did find one 😜
As the sun set it started getting really cold and I went back to the teahouse to have dinner and chill with the local tibetans. Apart from hiking there is not much else to do around here so people usually seat down around the dining room and do
nothing. I had my book to read meanwhile the guides and sherpas stared blankly into space. It was not after their communal dinner that they started talking cheerfully to each other. Not understanding I just watched and enjoyed.
Valaran appeared all of a sudden and again with his broken English told me to come with him. Not understanding I just followed as he led me to a local Tibetan house were we drank more warm locally brewed beer while amazingly watching some extremely funny and unrealistic Indian Hollywood shows. The house was small and had everything in one big room, a bed, a kitchen and a dinning room. As we enjoyed the beer we had two teenagers curled up in a bed watching the TV and a woman in the kitchen.
As the days go by I find myself happy I decided to get a Sherpa, he is really helping me interact with the locals a bit more 😊
October 11th - Thamel Day 2 - Dia 112
Day of acclimatization so me and Valaran went on a long hike during the morning. He took me to two nearby villages called Khumjung and Khunde. Beautiful villages who dedicate themselves
in growing potatos. One of the only crop that they manage to grow at this altitudes. Interestingly due to the abbundance of stone and lack of wood they fence their property with stone walls. All of the stone walls everywhere created a nice atmosphere.
Passing through the villages we walked towards a big granite boulder field upon my request. Amazing how much climbing potential this area has, the limiting factor is the remoteness jajaja. Walking away from the usual path we had to bushwalk our way back to Thamel 😅.
After our adventure walk I decided to take advantage of the sun and found a nice quiet spot next to some pine trees where I read whilst sunbathing 😌😌. Love the simple quiet life in the mountains. Surprisingly after a couple of hours an official asked me to move to another place. Being told that the area was restricted 😕. Not understanding how the forest was restricted I obeyed the orders and moved out.
Astonishingly I found an Indian friend I had made in Kathmandu which I spent the rest of the evening with. I showed him the warm brewed beer house jeje.
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