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Published: December 31st 2016
Lobuche - Pangboche
Start of the trek back, can't say I am not glad that we are headed to warmer altitudes with more air. Also given that fact that we did manage to reach top of Kala Patthar had made the mood jolly. It will mostly be retracing our steps, and given that we had great clear days on the way up here, most photos have already been taken. So now the full focus will be to gather all the remaining strength and trek down as fast as possible. Due to not stopping at Gorekshep, we had also gained day. I was thinking of what could be done with this day - trek to Ama Dablam base camp, or take longer higher route towards Namche, not sure. First order of business is to go down to 4000m.
Journey from Lobche to the Thukla pass was uneventful. At the pass we again took many photos. This time less tired and weather was still good. But the valley was clouded up and it was that typical above the clouds scene here. How mystical. Just as we were done photo shooting at the pass, the cloud started to rise and engulfed us.
At this altitude the water has frozen in the clouds and air was full of tiny icicles. What an interesting experience. Heading down the pass there was not much to see. We reach Thukla quickly, took a short rest here and then onwards to Pheriche. It is a very long flat walk to Pheriche. My strength was somewhat back, though I was still quite tired from lack of food for last couple of days. My appetite was not back yet. At Pheriche we decided to stop a bit and think about what to eat. There was nothing that I wanted to eat, so we just took and break and then carried on.
Soon we reached Pengboche, into the same lodge where we stayed on the way up. Feeling much better, we decided to go out for some splurging. We had a black forest cake here, and expensive treat at this altitude, but it was worth it. At the lodge we also met a nice New Zealander couple. They were celebrating 60th birthday of the man, wow! what a fitness level. They had carried a New Zealander cake and chocolate all the way (well, their porters did). I went with
the lady to search for a Nepali cap in the village but did not find any. Just going up and down the little village was too much effort. Also I was worried about meeting returning yaks on this narrow track, some of them unaccompanied and running. At the lodge there was a little birthday celebration and then food and rest. I was thinking about heading off to Ama Dablam base camp, though super exhausted, I thought I could make the journey and then we could stop at a nearly village. We still had enough time. Pangboche - Namche
The morning was not promising. We were covered in clouds and it looked gloomy and cold. That pretty much did it. No Ama Dablam. I guess if I wanted to hike in cold and cloudy with no views I could do that in Switzerland. So we started straight back to Namche. The journey to Tengboche had a short uphill section which was feeling impossible. I was also carrying a bit more weight due to all the jackets. At Tengboche we were lucky to see the monastery, it was just about to close. Then downhill to the river. Finally the last
dreaded uphill to Namche. This proved to be quite difficult and any thought of making any side trips were forgotten. I was glad to see our nice lodge at Namche. Namche - Lukla
We made this journey in 2 days as we had the time. We knew that it is full of ups and downs, and every up was getting more and more difficult. I guess lack of food and too much activity is catching up and I am devoid of energy. We stayed at same lodge in Padking where we had lunch on way up. There was a big Japanese group here. Apparently this place is very famous with Japanese, they come here and go up to the Everest View hotel near Namche, see the views and then head back either on foot or in helicopter. I guess that is how rich old people do adventure holidays. We walked around Padking to find something exciting to eat, not much was here though. At the lodge there was aalu paratha, which we enjoyed very much. Daal Bhaat was also great here with some achar too.
Lukla was such a blessed site on final day. We were done,
hike was over, it was time to relax and shop. Since we had a very short distance to cover on final day, we were here quite early. Of course the uphill from Pakding to Lukla was killing, but some of the strength was back. At Lukla we went out, bought a few things including a hat. Then decided to take our guide out for some cake as a treat later. We noticed a bit late that everyone else was having big dinners with their guide, probably a sort of tradition. We also ate some samosas here which tasted delicious though they were cold and somewhat raw. Now just wait for flight next day, hoping it will be as smooth as flight into Lukla. Everest base trek is over with a successful climb to Kala Patthar.
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