On Monday Nov 7 we launched our journey up the Himalyan Highway, better known as the Everest Base Camp Trek. We look forward to dry, sunny weather and Sue has arranged guide service with Earthbound Expeditions, who provides two porters and a guide.
We were up before dawn and made good wee-hour time to the Kathmandu airport, where after a short wait and light security we boarded a 18-seat Twin Otter for the short flight to “the most dangerous airport in the world” in Lukla… the 10-degree tilted runway spans only 1500 feet, with a cliff on one end and a solid rock mountainside terrace at the other… one of the first chortens we passed on our hike was dedicated to the 18 victims of a 2008 Lukla crash. But I write now after our return to Kathmandu, so it wall ended well for us.
Our guide Namaraj Sapkota (“Nama”) sped us through the airport to our nearby teahouse for tea (of course) then we began the first leg of our trek, a 3 hour hike to Phakding. En route we logged our crew with the tourism police and passed through the Pasan Lhamo Memorial Gate, named for the first woman to summit Everest. Our hike took us up and down across steep ridges and ravines – nothing is flat here – and across several swaying metal suspension bridges across the Dudh Kosi river.
We arrived in Phadkding in the early afternoon and settled into one of a dozen or so teahouse-lodges. Each stone-walled lodge has a common dining area and kitchen on the ground floor, and simple rooms with two cots; ours had a private bath. Max and Ben get their own room… better for everyone’s sleep, and good for growing up.