Back to where we left off!
Despite a few terrifying aspects of the flight, it is extremely beautiful. During the flight you can expect great views over Kathmandu, slowly getting more and more remote until you reach the mountains. Whilst flying through the mountains you rarely go higher than the peaks, instead you fly between them. This can be arse clenchingly terrifying in bad conditions! As me and Nick soon found out on our return flight. But we will get back to that.
Another thing to point out is that flight times aren’t always guaranteed due to changing weather conditions. It is common for flights to be postponed until the next day, especially during the late season. So don’t be disheartened if you turn up all excited only to be told you won’t be flying. Its for a very good reason.
Step 6 – Landing in Lukla
As you get close to Lukla you can see the sketchy landing strip approaching. I don’t really remember much about the landing, apart from it being very loud, the plane slowing down pretty fucking quickly and at the end of the strip is a weird little 4 plane car park.
Once you get off the plane you head through the tiny little airport and collect your bags. Once off you are free to begin your expedition.
Now it is good to point out that Lukla is a small town. Meaning you can get any last minute items you may have forgotten. There are also a lot of free lance guides and porters hanging around offering their services. So don’t panic if you have forgotten anything.
Granted Lukla prices are loads more than Kathmandu’s. But from Lukla up it only gets more and more expensive.
Be sure to stock up on things like;
Toilet paper – unless you fancy wiping your sore arse with your hand and a bucket of water, probably better to get wet wipes.
Wet wipes – Can be used for a sore bum hole, and a ‘shower’.
Sun cream – a must have!
Snacks – mars bars, pringles, etc can cost nearly £5 a pack!
Water purifying tablets – don’t want to makes the pre-existing shits any worse
Will my arse Everest became a regular pun between me and nick.
I have also realised that i haven’t written about what to pack for the trek. I will include that as a separate post.
Step 7 – Trekking
Once you’ve walked through Lukla you come to an arch. This is where the adventure begins. Now there are a few itineraries you can follow either from online, or by asking fellow trekkers about where is good to go and stay. In my opinion you will find out more from other peoples experiences rather than following guides. My reasoning for this is that guides sometimes have set places to stay. By choosing to go freestyle me and nick could stay stop where we liked. On times when we met other trekkers we had the option of staying at the same tea houses as them. Meeting people returning from the trek gave us a good insight as to what was up ahead, what the villages were like and what resources there were.
Here is our trek broken down.
Day 1 – Lukla – Monjo
Nice scenic route warm up route. A few ups and downs but nothing to hard. Many people chose to stop at Phakding. However we decided to carry on to Monjo to make day 2 a bit easier.
Day 2 – Monjo – Namche
Long uphill to Namche. A few epic bridge crossings.
Day 3 – Namche – Kunde/Khumjung
Acclimatise day hike to Khunde monastery and Khumjung village. Everest view hotel is also a good stopping point to see the Himalayan mountain range.
Day 4 – Namche – Deboche
A fairly flat hike along the side of the mountain until a big descent to a river crossing then intense climb up to Tengboche. Again we decided to pass the popular stop off at Tengboche and continue to Deboche. Which we regretted. We stayed at Tengboche on our way back and it was a lot more pleasant.
Day 5 – Deboche – Loboche
Long trek. Fairly steady incline.
Day 6 – Loboche
Another day hike to acclimatise. This time there is a large hill next to Loboche village you can summit. It's quite intense, but 100% worth it.
Day 7 – Loboche – EBC, Kala Patthar stay in Gorak Shep
Nice steady incline. Once you get to Gorak shep you can chill and book into a tea house to drop your things off. Grab a drink then head for base camp! We spent around 30 mins at base camp. For a while we were the only ones there pratting about. It was awesome chilling out knowing we actually reached it. Two out of shape, pale welshmen managed to reach Everest base camp. Love it! After base camp many people chose to summit Kala Patthar. As you can’t actually see Everest from Everest Base Camp. To summit Kala Patthar you have to return almost to Gorak Shep. The climb isn’t the easiest. Similar to the day hike at Loboche, except the altitude has a big affect on many people here. Our night at Gorak Shep was a pretty restless one. Bunged up noses and dizziness wasn't easy to put up with. A woman at our tea house even had to get airlifted back to Lukla.
Day 8 – Gorak Shep – Tengboche
By this time, all stinky, barely slept, and reaching our goal we were ready to kick back and relax. Mainly getting the fuck off the mountains. We descended very quickly to Tengboche. Stayed at a way nicer teahouse than on the way up.
Day 9 – Tengboche – Namche
We treated our unwashed selves here during our second stop at namche. We had some pizzas then went to an Irish Bar and got absolutely squiffed on cocktails with fellow trekkers. After hanging our welsh flag up on the wall and dragging our drunk asses out we even managed to find a lock-in in one of the local cafes. It was an incredible fun night out in the himalayas.
Day 10 – Namche Lukla
The final descent and possibly one of the longest days trekking. The thought of nearly being back is too good too miss out. We trudged on through and made it to Lukla, for our second night out in the Himalayas!
Day 11 – Lukla flight to Kathmandu
Now on the day of our flight we were told that all planes could be postponed due to weather. We weren’t the happiest. Nursing a 2 day hangover with the thought of spending another night in Lukla was our worst nightmare. Luckily the first few planes started flying, and i believe ours was one of the last planes to fly that day after around 2 hours of delays. Now i’m use to a bit of turbulence, but this was something else. Looking down the aisle through the pilot's windshield I saw nothing but thick cloud. Out the window was the same, except when I looked up I could see mountain peaks. This was a little unnerving. Especially when turbulence was kicking the plane sideways as well as up and down. It felt like we were in a really shit version of the red bull air race. Despite nearly shitting our pants we made it back to what now felt like home, Kathmandu.
I have posted a few photos below of the trek, as well as a little video edit.
Hope you enjoy 🙂
If you have any questions feel free to ask.
View from Everest View Hotel