It has been a year and still the memory of Everest Base Camp Trek, Nepal is fresh in my mind. It was actually a pleasant feeling to note down day wise experience of this entire journey. Since the EBC trek was quite long and I have so much to share, I will break down the journey in parts!
Let’s take a closer look at the entire journey of Everest Base Camp Trek day by day!
Day 1: Kathmandu
We reached Kathmandu in the morning and our tour operator was outside the airport waiting for us. He quickly hailed a taxi to get us dropped to Hotel Address. Stay in the same was included in the itinerary. The hotel is located in Thamel which is also a place with lively feel and shops for trekking gears. Generally, all trekkers stay in Thamel for easy access to the gear buying or renting. The day was free for us to buy any gear if not bought or just explore the town. It is always better to buy gear from Kathmandu as it was a bit cheaper than my hometown, India. We got trekking poles, backpacks, local SIM and rented down jacket. The other required gear we already bought from India, but given a choice, purchase trekking clothes from Kathmandu. Apart from shopping, we also had an hour long briefing session for with other members of the group on the itinerary of the trek, evacuation process and other important stuff which was already told to us by our sales person. Each group (6 people) is accompanied by guide and assistance guide along with porter to carry 2 persons bag. They do this session for you understand and if have any doubts, better to ask now and not later. They also offered us down jacket and sleeping bag for rent, if required. Our luggage was needed to get transferred into duffle bag provided by the tour operator with a weight limit of 10 kg. With final note on meeting time for next day, evening was left for us to enjoy in luxury before we headed for the hard life a trekker.
Day 2: Kathmandu – Lukla – Phadking
We woke up early to take our flight to Lukla which is a starting point of many treks including EBC. Lukla airport is one of the dangerous airports in the world as it is located on the hill with very small runway. The flights to Lukla is dependent on the weather condition and subject to cancellations. If the weather is not good, flights will not take off as it is too risky. We headed to the domestic airport to take our local flight to Lukla. The weight limit for the Lukla flight is 10 kg duffle bag and 5 kg hand bag as the aircraft is propellor one. Our flight operator was Summit Air. We did luggage check in and headed towards bus to take our flight. They say that one must sit on the left side of the flight (only 6 seats) to get the best view the mountain range. We literally headed first to catch hold of the left side seat. Indeed view was amazing as we saw everything from small villages to mountains to snow clad mountains. The landing felt a little risky if you are seated in window seats.
After landing, we had our breakfast at Buddha Cafe and headed to Phadking, our resting tea-house. Lukla is on height and Phadking is located at the foot of the hill, and from there we have trekked to EBC. Every time during our trek, we will either go up or down as we will be moving from one mountain to another. The first day was a bit relaxing as the trek was descending and it is any day better than going up. We trekked for almost 3-4 hours to reach our teahouse ‘See You Lodge’. Rooms in teahouse are very small with space for two beds and that’s it. Washrooms are common for the floor. There is a common dining area where everyone sits, read book, play games or just do chit chat. Your guide brief you about the next day, the distance to cover, height of the place, etc. We had our dinning and crashed into our bed as the day felt too long. Unaware that next day was the toughest.
Day 3: Phadking – Namche Bazaar
After a great start of EBC trek from Lukla to Phakding, we were excited for day 2 of trek. To our surprise, today was supposed to be one of the most difficult day of the trek as we were going all the way down, only to come up and cover much more distant in the upward journey. Our start was exciting as the majority of the trek included gradual or downward movement. Walking through the greenery and waterfalls, made the journey refreshing. Since we were new to the mountain trekking, we did spend most of our energy in clicking the pictures. The morning looked cloudy with drizzling, only to be replaced by sunny weather as we went up. Our fear of rain, ended up being extra luggage in our day pack. We walked downwards till we reached our lunch point. Our guide informed that after the lunch, the hard part of the trek starts, walking on a steep mountain to climbing tons of uneven stairs. Our lunch place was next to the river as our trek was for quite some days.
Post lunch came the hardest part. We pushed ourselves by repeating that only today is hardest and tomorrow is rest day. Entire trek was just going up at every step. We met many people on the way who finished the trek and were heading home. A short talk with them motivated us to keep going. The trick to keep walking upward was to go slow as per your pace and not hurting yourself because others are going fast. Since our bodies are not used to the altitude of Namche Bazaar, taking things slowly helped to get used to height and avoid altitude sickness. The single way road was used by everyone, either it was people trekking back or donkeys and yaks carrying necessary stuff. Our hard work and pain paid off when we saw the first sight of Namche Bazaar. A whole village located on the edge of the mountain, with colourful roofs, shops filled with trekking gears and cafe and bar to provide a relaxing time to the trekkers! Indeed it was fun to be in a town filled with people and excitement. Namche Bazaar is the only town with the availability of trekking gear closest to and last town on the way to EBC trek.
The Journey will continue in Part 2 of Everest Base Camp Trek