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Kathmandu & Everest Base Camp

Kathmandu, Nepal

So....next onto Nepal! We travelled overland into the Nepalese border which was pretty easy actually. We got our visas on arrival with no problems and stayed in Sanauli for the firt night just to rest & plan our bus trip to Kathmandu. However we had just a little problem, that being here was a transport strike & buses for the next day were cancelled- typical! Thankfully the strike latsed only 1 day so we managed the get an overnight bus the day after, which took about 11 hours, and arrived in Kathmandu about 4am.
Thankfully, being organised as we are (sometimes!) we had a pick us from the bus station & got taken straight to our hotel.

We stayed at the 'Hotel Nepalaya'....and what a novelty it was for us. We had carpet in the rooms plus a Bath!!! Get us!! Seriously, this was real Comfort for us after our India experiences. Also it was soooooo cool temperature wise in Kathmadu- only about 25 degrees which was heaven.

The main reason for our trip to Nepal & Kathmandu was to do Everest Base Camp. We'd already been in touch with a guy called Bijay from Oasis Trekking, so once we'd booked the trek we spent the next few days getting ourselved organised - making sure we'd got all the right gear, sleeping bags, hats & gloves etc plus we did a bit of sight seeing around the town.
Kathmandu is a really great place, a complete refreshing change compared to India, and it had a really nice 'feel' to it, and you'll soon find out that everybody visting has either returned from a trek or is about to do one. Us included!

Day 1- Our guide Kamal picked us up at our hotel at 4am ready for the flight to Lucklar which is where the trek began........and by the way Luckla aiport is one of the most dangerous airports ever! And when the plane truned up we know why! It was the smallest plane we'd ever been on seating just 16 people & we within an arms distance away from the pilot. Thankfully we made it it one piece (the flight wasn't too bad actually!) and the scenerey was immediately stunning. Just breathtaking.
We did just a lttle easy walk on day 1, about 3 hours and then rested our heads for the evening.

Day 2/3- So our real first day of trekking began on day 2, and to be honest it wasn't too bad. It wasn't easy, but I think at this point we were both still a bit 'drunk' on the scenery and the whole experience of making our way to Everest Base Camp (or EBC as eveybody calls it!).

Now, day 3? That was a whole different ball game.........it was truly horrible!! For me anyway, I found it really difficult as we walked about 6 hours that day & 3 hours of it was uphill, & I mean up very, very, steep hills. When we finally made it to Namche oh was I glad to rest there. I was knackered!!

Day 4- this was our 'rest' day. But to be honest I don't call climbing 300 meteres uphill for about 2 hours a rest!!But it did the trick, we were now aclimatised to the height & neither of us were showing signs of any altitude sickness. So the next day instead of resting again we made our way up.

Day 5 - onward to Tengboche, which all considering was quite a nice walk! Here was a very ancient monastery, so after lunch we were able to have a look around & see the monks during one of their prayer sessions. In the morning we were awoken by a helicopter landing outside our room.....we heard that another group had decided to fly back down, we're not sure why but we were both thankful that we didn't need a chopper. Not just yet anyway ;-)

Day 6 - we were climbing to Lobuche today & it was now getting colder, and higher (obviously!). The weather hadn't been too great for the past few days, it was very hazy so we were a bit worried about what it was going to be like when we did finally get to EBC but we tried not to worry too much & being so close to our goal was keeping us both motivated.
We'd always start our walks early morning, about 7am and after a few hours we'd stop for a cup of tea & snickers to keep us going, so by about 1pm we'd arrived. The Tea House where we were staying was pretty horrible, but to be fair it was the first not very nice place that we'd encountered. It was just soooooo cold, and the food wasn't brill, and we weren't really looking forward to sleeping here at all. But we were knackered, so we did sleep alright. After we'd stopped shivering at least!!

Day 7 - Today was EBC day! So were were up early, at about 6am - & what a view we had! It was just gorgeous, the sun was shining (Hooray!!!) and it was breathtaking. We could actually see Everest & teh whole mountain range in full view so we were really looking forward to walking to Gorakshep.

We had about a 4 hour walk so as soon as we did arrive we had food........egg & chips! It was great!! They were the best chips we'd tasted so they really set us for the day. After a few hours rest we kept our eyes on the weather because it started to look a little hazy again. Today we had a choice of either walking to EBC or up to Kalapathar which was 5545m and THE mountain where we'd get the best views. So we opted for EBC as the weather really wasn't on our side.

We could see EBC in our views, it actually looked quite close. And that was the first of many challenges we faced that day! The trek was tough. It was up constantly up/down, up/down, over rough terrain, plus it started to snow a little & I think also because we could see it so clearly the deception that it was actually miles away was just too cruel!!
Both Danny & I found it tough, but after about 3 hours............WE MADE IT!!!!!!!!!!!
To this day I can't believe we have actually done it. But we have! And it felt great!!!

To say we were knackered when we got back to our Tea House was an understatement. But the buzz, speaking to others who had either just completed it too, or were on their way, was great. We couldn't celebrate too much though as we had to get up at 4am the next day!!!

Day 8 - up & up & up & up we walked!!! And it was soooooooo steep. And sooooooo early!!
The only way I could keep myself motivated was to keep on walking & not stop. I kept on marching so hard that I actually left Danny trailing behind me a little. And I reached the top first!!! Not that it was a competition ;-) It was 1 1/2 hours of pure hard slog, but to say the views were worth it is an understatement. I think this is my most favourite sunrise I've ever experienced!!!

So to quote a song 'What goes up, must come down'. And we did.
It wasn't so easy, especially after only about 3 hours starting our decent I fell over & sprained my ankle. To say I slowly hobbled for the next 5 days down was an understatement.
To say that we were supposed to be on our way don there were actually quite a lot of annoying ups ......we went a slightly different route down going to Pheriche instead of Lobuche (which was far nicer) and we also did a little detour to Khumjung to visit the Sir Edmund Hilary School which was great to see.

Another bonus was we were now able to have a few tipples of whisky to celebrate- seeing as though we'd practically done the hard bit. I think we deserved it!!!!

permalink written by  mich_and_dan_moors on May 12, 2011 from Kathmandu, Nepal
from the travel blog: mich_and_dan_moors's Travel Blog
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