If you missed out on day 1, you can read it here: Everest Base Camp [ Day 1 ] – Lukla to Phakding
It was day two of our Everest Base Camp hike with Nepal Hiking Team. We woke up at around 6.30am to a temperature of about 10°C. Shortly after cleaning up and packing our stuff into the duffle bag, we moved down to the dining hall for our breakfast before moving out. Deepak was already waiting for us as the dining hall while enjoying a cup of ginger tea. “Are you ready for today? Any headaches or pain? No? Good!” Those are the questions that he will ask us every morning for the next couple days of our hike.
“Today, we will be heading to Namche Bazaar. It’ll take around 6 hours of trekking and we will be crossing 5 hanging bridges,” Deepak explained as we munched on hashbrowns. Potatoes are one of the main sources of carbohydrate for both the locals and hikers alike in the Khumbu Region. If you are not one that are much of a rice eater, go for potato. They keep you going for many hours.
The first part of the trek brought us along the river of Dhud Khosi, the “milk river”. We trekked a rather flat plain land for about 3 hours before reaching the Jorsalle Entrance Gate of Sagarmatha National Park. This is the actual entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park and your permits (that should be purchased before the hike) will be checked in here. We walked another 20 minutes down the road to the village of Jorsalle, where we stopped for our lunch break.
The flat land continued for another hour after lunch before we reached our fifth suspension bridge, which was the highest and as a matter of fact, due to the strong wind, the scariest bridge crossing on that day. “Only when I say go, we go. Sometimes, donkeys will cross when we are crossing and it makes the bridge very shaky and dangerous,” Deepak warned us as we were busy taking photographs of the bridge. An old decommissioned bridge can be seen below the higher suspension bridge. Due to the fact that it has aged quite a bit, trekkers are advised to use the new suspension bridge instead of the new one.
Crossing the last bridge felt like a very long time. On a normal day, it would be sturdy and stable but at the time of our crossing, the strong wind swept over us. The bridge became shaky and the whole experience turned rather “adventurous”. Steps are taken slowly as we exercised precaution and controlled our fear. A minute later we are at the other end of the bridge, looking back at a wobbling suspension bridge. Adventurous indeed.
The following two hours was an incline of almost 60° uphill across the Deodar forests. If you have not been in a deodar forest, this will be quite a remarkable experience despite the fatigue on your body. Deodar forests are forests dominated Cedrus Deodara and are found in the Western Himalayas from Gandak river in central Nepal to Hindukush in Afghanistan. The deodar cedar is native to the Himalayan Mountains where its local name is deodar, which translates from the original Sanskrit as “timber of the gods”.
The wind at this gets stronger as you are at a higher elevation so you might want to prepare your windbreaker. Walking at a constant pace will also generate enough body heat to keep your body warm. You will usually feel cold when you are resting, not when you are walking. We reached Namche Bazaar at around 3pm. The sight of Namche Town itself is captivating. The village of Namche is a historic trading post where Nepalese and Tibetan traders exchange salt, dried meat and textiles. Besides being a superb place to shop for traditional crafts, Namche remains the central trading post in the Khumbu, attracting Himalayan and lowland merchants
Built on the different level of a terraced mountain, Namche has everything you will need. There are cafes, bookshops, grocery shops, cyber cafes, hiking stores, pubs among many others. If you want to call home, this will be the best opportunity to do so. For a small fee of Rs30 per minute, you can make an international call to anywhere in the world from this place.
We were fortunate enough to be given a room with hot shower facility thanks to Nepal Hiking Team‘s connection but Deepak advised us to bath as soon as we can because the hot water is limited and will be finished by the time everyone starts using it. The rest of the days was spent exploring Namche Bazaar so here’s some picture of the place:
Next is day 3 of our trek! Here’s the link: Day 3 [ Everest Base Camp ] – Acclimatization at Namche Bazaar