Gorak Shep (5164m) – Pheriche (4280m)
Today we began the arduous descent back down the valley. We had planned to climb Kala Patar for sunrise but the clouds would have made our efforts futile and my boyfriend was still feeling the altitude.
We descended quickly down to Pheriche and were there in time for lunch. Unfortunately we were feeling a bit lazy and weren’t selective over our tea house. We picked the first one we saw, which turned out to be a mistake as it was probably the worst we stayed in.
In hindsight we should have gone back via Dingboche, but the easy descent to Pheriche was too much of a temptation.
Pheriche (4280m) – Namche Bazaar (3440m)
This was a long old day and it seemed to take forever to get back to Namche. I had promised myself a hot shower and a gin and tonic once we made it down. But these simple luxuries made it seem all the further away.
The worst part had to be descending down to the river just to ascend right back up again. We heard many people muttering ‘why isn’t there a bridge?!’
I find it harder to motivate myself on the way back down. There’s no surprises with regard to the view and you’ve already reached your main goal. But I tried my best to stay positive and eventually we found ourselves in Namche. A gin and tonic never tasted so good!
Rest day in Namche
As our flight out of Lukla was booked for day 16 we had two options: walk to Phakding today and Lukla tomorrow, or have a rest day in Namche and walk all the way to Lukla on day 15. Feeling pretty shattered we went for the latter.
Spending the day drinking real coffee, watching Everest films and doing a bit of shopping was absolute bliss. Having done the trek to base camp (some parts of it twice!) we definitely deserved some relaxation time.
Namche (3440m) – Lukla (2840m)
This was actually the hardest day for me. The bulk of the trek was over and I just wanted to get back to some home comforts in Kathmandu (in other words a good Himalayan Java coffee and Fire & Ice pizza).
Eventually we got there. So relieved as we hunkered down in the last tea house with a view of the runway. Apparently Sir Ed had even stayed there himself!
Took the flight back to Kathmandu and ate my own weight in food! Done.