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Everest Base Camp Trek - Part 1

From Kathmandu to our first view of Mount Everest

View Round-the-world-trip on samandmarta's travel map.

We landed back in Kathmandu on October 7th and spent another two nights in the Nepali capital. There, we visited the famous Kathmandu Durbar Square. Unfortunately, this historic area is still severely damaged by the earthquake, but some of the temples were open for visitors. Among them was Kumari Chok, the residence of the Kathmandu Kumari. The Kumari is a little girl, who is proclaimed to be a living goddess by Hindu priests. From that point onwards, the poor girl is no longer allowed to walk or live with her parents. Completely by accident, we managed to visit her residence exactly when she was about to make her daily appearance. For about half a minute, she was brought to the window and looked down on the excited crowd in her colorful costume and painted face, but with a sad face.


Our Everest adventure started with a flight to Lukla. Lukla airport is often called the most dangerous airport in the world, not because there would be many accidents, but because it is extremely difficult to start and land there. The runway is only 527 meters long and is angled upwards on a hill. Moreover, at the end of the runway a steep cliff rises up, making it impossible to abort a landing attempt. Only special planes and experienced pilots, trained especially for this airport, are allowed to land there. Flights to Lukla are also cancelled very often, because landing is only possible when visibility is clear and it is often cloudy around the airport. Luckily, everything went well with our flight and we had beautiful views of the Himalayas from our seats.


Our travel companions, a fun and exceptionally well travelled couple from Australia, and our guide were arriving with a later plane, so we had to wait in Lukla for a while before starting the first segment of our trek. This short segment brought us from Lukla to Phakding and was the only time we would be walking more downhill than uphill, as Phakding was located a good 200 meters below Lukla.


The next day, we hiked from Phakding up to Namche Bazaar, gaining around 800 meters in elevation. Along the way, we had to cross the same river 5 times across increasingly breathtaking bridges. Namche Bazaar is the largest town along the Everest Base Camp trek. There were many hotels, shops and restaurants. You could even eat Fondue or Raclette there.


From Namche Bazaar, we did the first acclimatization hike of the trekking. This means that we would hike to a higher elevation, but come back to the same place to sleep, thus helping the body to adjust to the higher altitudes. First, we hiked up to a monument of Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, the first man on Mount Everest (together with Sir Edmund Hillary). From there, we already got the first glimpse of where we were heading. Mount Everest could be seen in the distance behind the Nuptse ridge. We could also see Lhotse, the fourth-highest mountain on earth, and Ama Dablam, the Himalayan answer to the Matterhorn.


Ama Dablam (6812 meters high) was one of the most recognizable and impressive mountains during the trek. Its name is Nepali for “Mother Daughter”, in reference to the two steep peaks of this mountain.


After the monument, we went up further to the Everest View Hotel, located at 3880 meters above sea level. We rested for a while and enjoyed the view of Mount Everest with a cup of tea, before going back down to Namche Bazaar for the night.


Posted by samandmarta 18:30 Archived in Nepal

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