Day 5

12 March

(Day 2 of trekking)

“Day 2 started out at Phakding with brisk temperatures and a great breakfast, boiling water and filling of water bottles, one of the team leaning on an outside deck handrail only to find it disintegrate under her, and all the other final checks and rechecks.
We headed off for Namche Bazaar, today’s destination with much of the journey following and crossing multiple times the Dhudh Kosi River.
It wasn’t long until we crossed the Phakding suspension bridge giving us even more breathtaking views of the river. Other bridges included the Benkar-Manjo Bridge, Jordalles Suspension Bridge and the amazing Hillary Suspension Bridge that sits 169m above the river and another suspension bridge directly below.
We passed through a number of small villages stopping at some of them for coffee, snacks and water.
Following a terrific lunch it was off to pass through the Sagamartha National Park Gate, and after the obligatory photos it was on to the most difficult leg of our journey today. With a total trek distance of 13.5k and an ascent of 800m this really tested out our overall preparedness and cardio-vascular capacity.
Thinking I was going OK on this extremely steep section of the trek, I was soon reminded of my vulnerabilities being repeatedly passed by mule and Jopkya (interbred cows and yaks) teams. Despite this, the scenery and people were as always sensational.
Probably the most amazing thing that happened so far was a loud and thunderous crack that we thought was a lightening bolt, only to realise that it was a mountain glacier avalanche on the mountain directly across from us. Some of us were fortunate enough to see the avalanche occur, even though it took me a minute or so to realise that it was ice and snow and not cloud.
We arrived at Namche with an elevation of +/- 3,450m at around 4.00pm local time and were straight into the hot black tea (with a little rum😉), before heading to our rooms for a while before dinner. Another great meal followed and the team closed the evening with a few card games.
It was terrific to see everyone make it to this significant point, the air is much thinner and some of us are starting to feel the effects of it. We started with 26, we want 26 to make it to base camp and we want 26 to come home safely.”
– Tony