Nepal has always occurred to me as a place that would be fun to visit - I was not disappointed.
I was asked to join a group heading to take on the Everest Base Camp trek. After jumping at the opportunity, before I knew it I was on my flight to the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu. As expected, Kathmandu is the standard big third world city. Big, loud and dirty yet full of its own personality and beauty. The colour and vibrance that you meet as you come around each street corner seems never ending. After meeting our guide and doing th
e standard "Meet the team" dinner, it was off for an early night before starting our adventure to Lukla.
At just 527m long, and with a gradient of 11.7%, this Lukla airport has been named the most dangerous airport in the world for the last 20 years. After flying in and out of this mountain side strip, its not hard to see why. Although dangerous, landing at this gateway to the himalayas truly is a magnificent way to start the trip.
What followed was 2 days of relatively easy walking before arriving at the town of Namche Bazzar.
This mountain side town is known as "The home of the Sherpa" and is a haven of free wifi and plenty of local bars an shops. We spent 2 nights here to help our bodies acclimatise to the altitude. At 3440m, the effects of altitude begin to make themselves known and taking an extra day to adjust can make a big different in the success of your trip.
Following Namche, it was 5 days of moderate walking before we arrived in our last high camp before getting into Base Camp. Named Lobuche, this small village didn't provide much in the way of entertainment but at 4940m, all that was craved by the group was clean water, warmth and a comfy bed. All of which we managed to find before a big day heading up to Base Camp.
The day of walking up to base camp was a huge day. Starting early, we made our way through the village of Gorak Shep and up to Everest Base Camp. With panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers, the site of Base Camp couldn’t be more picturesque.
As the magnitude of our accomplishment set in, we spent time taking the necessary photos, videos and selfies before the slow trek back to Gorak Shep. On arrival back here, and after a bit of a rest, we decided to take on Kala Patthar. This peak stands at 5643m and provides one of the best sunseview of Mt Everest. Although time didn’t allow us to get to the top, even the view from half way was breathtaking.
The walk down was anticlimactic as we retraced our steps back down the track towards Lukla. As the number of days trekking was starting to build up in the legs it was a relief to return back to Lukla knowing that once the boots came off, they could stay off!
As with many of these trips, the trip was made by the local guides and sherpas. These incredibly strong and humble individuals where welcoming, open and friendly and made for a great experience. The strength shown by these guides was superhuman as they carried enormous loads up the mountain.
Overall, the Everest Base camp trip, and Nepal in general completely blew my mind. The natural beauty of the himalayas just can’t be explained. Photos do the panoramas an extreme injustice and words can’t get close to describing the beauty of the mountains.
If you have ever thought about heading on an adventure through the Himalayas, feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be more then happy to answer any questions you may have and point you in the right direction!