Everest Base Camp Trek Diaries - Day 1

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February 2nd 2010
Published: August 9th 2017
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Wow!! As soon as you enter the plane you start to feel the excitement, when you take off and get above the smog of Kathmandu and the mist, you see the Himalayas and you are immediately captivated. You want to take as many photos as possible from the get go but you know you have to limit yourself. The flight into Lukla is an experience in itself, the landscape is breathtaking where the decent into Lukla airport weaves through the valley's and approaches possible one of the smallest runways ever, but it's angles uphill to compensate.
A safe landing is made and you step out into a cooler climate with guides and porters clambering for some business, all while being quickly whisked into the baggage waiting area. Lukla is a small town and is the starting point for our 2 week adventure. You are amazed when you walk through the only main street to see a Starbucks coffee shop.
So we started the trek of a lifetime, heading downhill you immediately take in the silence, far away from any automobile, the only traffic here are local, porters, other trekkers and Yaks.
Guesthouses and restaurants are frequent so there's always a chance to stop and rest and have something to eat or drink.
The Yaks and Porters frequent the wide and rocky path where they have right of way. You pass through several small villages and cross a few wired bridges where you follow the river down on the bottom of the valley with towering hills and mountains following you on either side. Every bend reveals a new mountain lightly dusted with snow. Upon arrival into Lukla you are already dressed in the warmest clothes you have, but once you hit the track, layer by layer it starts to come off.
I had a thin jumper and a shirt by the time i hit the slopes and i was drenched in sweat. Not a great start to a 14 day trek to have smelly clothes. The days are amazing, clear blue sky but by mid afternoon the clouds start to roll in.
The Canadian couple, Chelsey and Dustin, who i had met online called us crazy for trying to camp and they were 100% correct cause it's not advisable in this time of the year, but we thought it would add to the experience.
In the lonely planet guide to the Everest Base Camp trek it say's the first stop should be Thakding, about four hours from Lukla and then the next day should be to Namche Bazzar, but we were crazy enough to continue straight to Namche. After stopping for some soup we pressed on. 4 hours to Namche the sign said and it was 1pm and we had been going since 8am.
We followed the river that cut's through the valley where the massive hills and mountain's mean portrait photo's are the only way to capture the sheer size and height of the beautiful landscape.
I was feeling in a good frame of mind as we pressed forward, using our walking sticks to help us gain balance as my heavy pack pushed me in all directions. It was all fine until we saw a bridge that was fairly high and looking up further, near the top of the hill, we could see some porters and Yaks coming down, then it dawns on you, it's all uphill from here because you have 600 meters in altitude to to gain.
You cross the wired bridge and can't help notice the absolutely clear water from the small waterfalls turning into fast rapids, you just know it's going to be freezing. Sometimes you have to go up to go down and then go up again, it's tough on the knees.
Once we crossed the bridge we diverted from the river bank and made our ascent into the trees, zig zagging our way up a seemingly never ending trail. It was still freezing but i was still in a thin jumper and shirt and sweating. You start to notice the snow line and we even had a few small drops of snow, but nothing to kick a fuss about.
We we bushed, absolutely exhausted, making our way uphill a foot at a time trying to focus on looking down and not up as the hill kept going up as if it was a treadmill. Relief was welcomed with open arms as we saw the houses of Namche Bazzar. At 3400 meters above sea level, the village of Namche follows the horseshoe bend contours of the hillside, on the other side are looming mountains with frozen waterfalls, but it had too cloudy to see much. After an exhausting 8 hours we were too buggered to bother with the tent, so we decided to treat ourselves to a guesthouse for the night as the next day we had an acclimatization day.
Sore and tired, we welcomed the sight of beds but no hot water, but i guess i shouldn't expect any shower along the way. We grabbed a well deserved and needed dinner, afterall we had walked two days worth in one.
So i have decided to write a daily diary on this trek. So many emotions and thought's race through your mind from the share beauty of this landscape and part of the world as well as the great anticipation of an amazing adventure to come. So a day to day diary will help you understand more about this area of the world and maybe one day inspire you to visit.
I find myself fortunate to have this experience and to share it with Radek. I have always loved landscape and mountains and outdoors. I'm impressed with Nepal and the Himalaya's and to not know even four month's ago that i was going to do this has made it even more special.
You can see yourself taking 200 photo's a day but unless you have a 16GB memory stick and 10 batteries you have to be frugal and selective with the photo's you choose to take as they charge per hour to charge batteries. Thankfully Radek has an SLR and plenty of memory so that we can take turns and share photo's.

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