The adventure has begun. After a majestic, if slightly hairy flight through the Himalayas in a plane that resembled a flying minibus, we flew into Lukla airport, which has a VERY short runway built between a precipitous drop and a mountainside. Helpfully to prevent planes overshooting the runway and hitting the mountain they have built a concrete wall in front of the mountain...thus making the runway shorter! The short trek afterwards was a beautiful meander through little villages set in a wooded valley followed by a stay at the Beer Garden hostel in Phakding;. We never did find the garden!. Everyone is in high spirits and not talking about the 800 m climb we’ve got tomorrow.
Day 2 - Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3440 m)
Long day today. Ascended 800 m to finish at Namche Bazaar, 3440 m. Namche is the major town in the Everest region. Three of us are somewhat nervous of crossing Nepali bridges. Today we crossed one of the highest, accompanied by packhorse and yak trains, the only freight transport up here. OK when they're going your way, but tricky when they're coming toward you.
Day 3 - Namche Bazaar
Acclimatisation day in Namche Bazaar. The others have gone for a walk 400 m ascent up a local mountain to get a view of Everest. I'm having a chill out day, in the hope that Everest will still be there later in the week. Despite (or because of) the hard climb yesterday everyone is feeling good and excited about the days to come.
Day 4 - Namche Bazaar to Tengboche (3960 m)
One of our party was not well last night, suffering from altitude sickness, but Bev recovered and was able to trek today. The weather today was very sunny and warm and the views of the mountains as we left Namche were marvellous. In the morning we trekked north stopping at Phunki Thanga after crossing the suspension bridge. Lunch was a very sunny occasion with everyone putting on sun cream before the 700 m climb to the World Heritage Monastery at Tengboche where Tenzing Norgay was placed as a child before running away to pursue his dream of climbing Everest. We arrived at our hotel at Tengboche in mid afternoon after a welcome downhill walk. The weather then changed and it is now cold. However we are safe and warm in the hotel. Everyone is in good spirits although some have a little altitude sickness; this is to be expected at 4000 m. Tomorrow should be a little easier!