Phakding to Namche Bazaar

I found a few notes from the first night on the trail. Ordered a Coke. The exact entry in my journal was “YUK!!”. Coke on the trail does not taste like Coke. I couldn’t finish the bottle. After that bad experience I decided to stick with orange Fanta. It doesn’t taste like orange Fanta either but it is a lot closer to what we are used to than the Coke was.

Tried some Dahl Bat. The carrots and potatoes were not bad but I didn’t care for the cilantro soup which contained the legumes. Lights out was at 8 PM. And I do mean lights out. The electricity was turned off. I was very tired. Even though my heart was racing, I could hear it in my ears, I slept like a log. That is, until I awoke at midnight to the sounds of people moving down the hallway to visit the bathroom. I dozed off but woke again at 2:30 as another procession began. I am pretty sure it was the Diomox causing the frequent trip to the bathroom. It is a side effect and one of the reasons I decided to do this trip without taking any.

What a great start to the morning. Sure it was only 4:30 AM but what I view I had from my pillow. Pretty amazing!

Phakding

View from my bed at 5 AM

Breakfast was around 7. I had a chance to get out into town before breakfast and take a few snap shots. I had the scrambled eggs and an order of toast. This became my breakfast of choice for the duration of the trip.

Early morning views from Phakding

We were on the trail by 8:30 headed for Namche Bazar. No sooner than we set foot outside the tea house we encountered our first Dzokyo train. A Dzokyo is the result of a crossbreed of a yak and a cow. These would be our constant companions along the trails and bridges during our trek.

Dzokyo

If you think trekking in Nepal will be a remote wilderness experience, look at this next shot. Our guide, Tashi, is in the front and a little out of focus. But the rest of this procession isn’t even our group. These are members of one or two other groups who were going to Mt. Everest Base Camp also. When you add the Dzokyo trains, porters and Yak trains to the mix, you can truly appreciate how busy this trail really is.

Busy trail

The rhododendron and dogwood were beginning to bloom. They were in full bloom on the return leg of this journey.

Blooming dogwood

Veterans of this trek will recognize the white Stupa. For the uninitiated, you must always pass the Stupa on its left thus placing the Stupa on your right. Any prayer wheels should be spun as you pass.

Stupa

We took a quick rest in Bengkar before continuing on to Jorsale.

Bengkar

I do not see any pictures from Bengkar to Jorsale. I am guessing that is because I was getting tired. Of course, I had no idea just how tired I would be by the end of the day.

After lunch at Jorsale, we started toward Namche. This was to be the longest ascent of the trip. The last High bridge over the Duhd Kosi was around 2800 meters in elevation. Our destination in Namche was 3440 meters.

We were to get our first views of Mt Everest this afternoon but the weather turned as it often did in the afternoon. By evening it was snowing lightly. Walking up and up for several hours with limited visibility is not conducive to taking pictures but when I saw the Namche Stupa, I broke out the camera as I knew we were getting close to our tea house.

Entering Namche Bazaar after the difficult climb up

Time to rest. I will pick-up with our acclimatization day (these are NOT rest days!) in my next post.


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