Day 2 – Phakding (2650m) to Namche Bazar (3440m)
Our day started with a wake-up call at 7am – quite civilised given that we went to bed by 9pm last night. Breakfast was good and filling, I had omelette and Stef had apple pancake. We set off on the trail at 0815, heading alongside the river on relatively gentle gradients (the term “nepalese flat” is used to describe the undulating trails, which are never really flat for any more than one pace). We crossed the river on one of the many steel cable bridges to Jorsale (2700m) for lunch around 10.45, in time to have a leisurely long lunch for about 1.5 hrs. Then we set out on the hardest part of our day – the 700m+ climb up to Namche. After about 30 mins and two more river crossings we hit the steep gradient and it was really tough with the altitude – particularly the last hour where leg-burn and breathlessness really kicked in. But we arrived in Namche by 2.15pm and found our lodge another 15 mins up the hill at the back of the village.
Again the facilities here are good.. We have a corner room that was nicely catching the afternoon sun and so was even warm when we got here. And the dining room is warm all afternoon too. And I even took a shower (costs 300 rupees – around $4). So again we are glad for the relaxation time.
We spend two nights here because tomorrow is an acclimitisation day (required as we ascended to sleep more than 300m above our previous sleeping altitude). We also need to buy various items such as gloves, windproof overtrousers and other clothing that we will need as we get to higher altitudes (our guide told us in Kathmandu to leave these items until Namche as they are cheaper here as they bring them over the border from China). In addition there is a planned acclimitisation hike to the Everest View Hotel, around 400m elevation above Namche.
Our first view towards Namche village
View from Namche.. The snow-capped mountain in the background is arouns the same height as Island Peak!
Namche Bazaar see from the trail at the bottom of town:
Our lodge overlooking Namche Village – the white streak down the mountain is a frozen waterfall:
The dining room has lots of windows with a great view over the village and the mountains beyond: