Tag Archives: Namche Bazaar

Day 11-12: Namche Bazaar to Lukla

11/17-18/2015
Namche Bazaar 3446m/11270 ft.
Lukla: 2845m/9383 ft.
17km, 11.1 miles, 7-8 hours hike time

We spent a day relaxing in Namche Bazaar and trying to transition our minds to reconnecting with reality. Namche has a measurably better wifi connection than other stops along this route so we all updated friends and family, sent photos, and shared them with one another. We also kind of quietly retreated into groups of two or three, picking cafes or bars for lunch or a drink rather than congregating in the communal dining room at our teahouse. There is definitely a sense that the worst is over. Where once the team was our focus, now exploring the local experience is more prevalent on our minds.

I was still tired but felt better after a solid night’s sleep. I went out to stock up on the local cold meds, using my pantomime skills to explain to the Nepali woman that I needed relief for a cough and (now) head congestion. I wandered the streets for a bit, enjoying the warm sunshine and odd sites you only find in towns like this. I found an ATM and marveled that 400 rupees will tide me over for a long time here in Nepal and only cost me about $40USD.

Farming outside Namche

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Day 10: Pheriche to Namche Bazaar

11/16/2015
Pheriche 4371m/14340 ft.
Namche Bazaar 3446m/11270 ft.
19km, 11.8 miles, 7-8 hours hike time

Unfortunately I was awake and coughing for a lot of the night in Pheriche and I was horrified to hear that I kept our neighbors awake too. They offered me cough suppressant the next morning. I felt terrible doing this but I declined since Ryan had told me it was best to just let all these mountain maladies work through your system. It’s faster, he said, when you don’t take a lot of meds that suppress but prolong the symptoms.

We’d decided to head to Namche Bazaar in one day so we could have an extra day there to relax. The trail is mostly downhill, but there’s a lot of distance to cover. We’d done this stretch in two days on the way up to help deal with acclimatizing.

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Day 4-5: Namche to Deboche

11/10/2015
Namche Bazaar: 3446m/11270 ft.
Deboche: 3867m/12687 ft.
6.5km, 4 miles, 6.5 hours hike time

Terrain: Gorgeous views from high on a mountain side, climbing steadily then sharply up to Tengboche Monastery on a rough trail. Trail continues down to Deboche.

We spent two nights and roughly a day-and-a-half in Namche Bazaar. It’s the first village that lies above the threshold where altitude sickness might begin so most teams spend a day there to aclimatize. On our rest day we did a short hike above the village to a clearing that provides the first view of Mt. Everest.

Tenzing Norgay stands forever in front of Mt. Everest on the back left, with its ever present banner cloud.

A nearby national park visitor center provides a fascinating overview of the Khumbu region, and at the base of the hill is the beloved Sherpa museum. This is a must see, filled with artifacts of Sherpa life historic and modern, as well as an extensive gallery of photos and equipment from famous climbers and expeditions. Continue reading

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Day 2-3: Tok Tok to Namche Bazaar

11/8-9/2015
TokTok: 2544m/8700 ft.
Namche Bazaar: 3446m/11270 Ft.
7km, 4.5 miles, 6.5 hours hike time

Terrain: Gently rolling trail until after lunch, then a steep climb up a long hill using stairs and switchbacks for 2-2.5 hours.

As we struck out from Lukla that first day we quickly encountered something Ryan had mentioned during the pre-briefing: Mani stones. All throughout the Himalaya are symbols of the Buddhist faith that is an important part of their life. Chortons are one example; they are usually larger, constructed structures that look like religious structure and often contain prayer wheels. Mani stones are rustic shrines; large rocks painted or carved with prayer symbols, or piles of rock slates on which the symbols are cut and painted.

Prayer wheels are supposed to be spun clockwise, the direction of the earth’s revolution, according to Buddhist tradition and mani stones are approached the same way and passed on the left side. Ryan had warned us that other trekkers and locals will call you out if you break the custom, which is sometimes tempting when the easier path is a downhill slope to the right.

This was our first mani wall. You can’t see in this shot but there is a path around both sides of the wall. People approaching from the opposite direction would pass the wall on the path that is to my right. We went left.

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