Kathmandu – Lukla (2840m) – Phakding (2610m)
Our flight to Lukla was scheduled for 6.15am and as per the ticket instructions we were at Kathmandu airport at 4.15am. Of course the airport was closed when we arrived, so we waited patiently for the doors to open at 5am.
Checked in and ready to go we waited in the chaotic domestic departures lounge. There were no screens displaying flight information so we had to keep a sharp ear out for the crackly announcements. Soon we were ushered into a bus ready to board our tiny fixed wing plane.
The flight itself lasted 30 minutes and is somewhat terrifying – but even that’s half the fun. For a view of the Himalayas you have to grab a seat on the left. And out of no where the runway will appear literally on the side of a cliff.
After a scary, stomach taking landing we were in Lukla tucking into cinnamon buns before starting the first days walk to Phakding. Upon finding a lodge we spent the rest of day eating and napping (we had a very early start!) before heading to bed.
Phakding (2610m) – Namche Bazaar (3440m)
We made an early start, setting off not long after breakfast. The walk to Monjo was easy going where we stopped to purchase our conservation fee and show our TIMs card.
After Monjo the trail descends to a river which you walk along for around an hour. This was one of my favourite parts of the trek and the views are stunning.
After crossing the higher of the two suspension bridges we started the ascent to Namche. This was hard work, especially carrying our own packs. Although was a blessing in disguise. People with porters often rush up and find themselves with a nasty altitude headache in Namche. Our packs kept us slow and headache free!
Upon arriving in Namche we found a cosy tea house and tucked into a good Dal Bhat.
Namche Bazaar (Acclimatisation day)
We took the acclimatisation walk up to the Everest View Hotel but unfortunately Everest was hiding! Afterwards we spent the day relaxing in Namche. In Liquid bar we watched a film about Everest before heading to the bakery for some chocolate cake. Yum! We also took the opportunity to stock up on 50NPR snickers bars to see us through the trek.
Next post: Days 4 to 7 (Namche to Dingboche)