Everest Base Camp Trek
It was in April that I finally made it to Everest Base Camp Trek. I actually planned it in year 2014 as well but it did not work out. In fact, you make it to the base only when it is meant to be. The entire experience of this trek is just beyond words. To be at Kala Pathar and look at all those snowcapped peaks including the mighty Sagarmatha (or Everest) is simply magical.
I reached Kathmandu on an Air India flight and then straight to Thamel. At Thamel, my room was already booked and frankly, a decent room at a price of 1500/-. Thamel is where you will generally find all the trekkers staying so it is a great location to socialize as well. I went to eat at one of the café’s (Rosemary Kitchen and Coffee shop) in the busy streets of Thamel and beyond doubt, it was a great place. I made friends with Lester and Danny from NZ over drinks and we had a long night chatting. Both were trekkers from NZ and were staying Thamel for over a week. It was late night and went back to my hotel and crashed.
The following day, I managed to get my TIMS card. It is a must to enter the Sagarmatha national park. I suggest you keep a weekday for this work. I used the rest of the day to procure the rest of the supplies that I needed for the trek. By the way, you can also rent stuff from Thamel (right from shoes to just about anything). I went out and explore other cafes like Roadhouse Café and called it an early night.
The next morning, I had a flight to catch to Lukla. So I got up early and took the flight to Lulkla. Lukla is a small town but it was great to be in Lukla with the rest of the trekkers. We had to trek about 3 hours from here to Benkar. It did not take too long and in fact, it was an easy hike to Benkar, where after reaching we checked into our Teahouse and relaxed.
Next morning, we had to trek to Namche Bazar. Now, Namche Bazaar I was really looking forward to be at and explore. Through all the documentaries and movies I got to know so much about Namche Bazaar. And Namche was really a treat. We reached there and checked in. Namche also has the famous Irish Bar so that is where the evening was to be spent. With so many other fellow trekkers and adventure enthusiasts, it was an evening I will never forget.
Next morning, it was our rest day at Namche. While we relaxed and took a stroll around in the market, one can do the shopping here at local shops. In fact, at Namche one can get internet services. You can also go to the local spa centers and pamper your body as well.
Namche Bazaar to Tengboche is a walk of about 11 Kms. Tengboche is a small village and the white tea house of ours stood out. We were tired but made it in time so the evening was well spent talking about the mountains and the previous treks that everybody in group did. I knew this conversation will go on for next few days as well anyway We started early from Tengboche and started following our guides heading towards Dingboche.
Dingboche was about 11-12 kms as well so it was quite a long walk but surrounded with mighty peaks, it was definitely a day to remember. We reached Dingboche and checked into a small tea house which also had a sit-out area with wooden stools. We were offered tea (made by Kalyan) which definitely made us feel incredible. On a side note, whatever you get on such treks is just about awesome purely because you feel that to get “anything” in such remote villages is a blessing. Our night at Dinboche was an early one.
The following day at Dingboche was a rest day. Believe me, reaching Dingboche exhausts you enough and so this day was a must.
From Dingboche we started our trek to Lobuche. By now, the air is thin and you will start to feel the effort. It makes every step a challenge. Lobuche from Dingboche is at a distance for over 12 kms. It is because we started early and had a rest day at Dingboche, (though we felt the stress) that we made it to Lobuche in time. We had the evening to ourselves. Believe me, at such locations to get some “me time” is just amazing. I remember sitting outside alone for a while because it was just so beautiful. The stress is all gone within no time. The night here was really cold so I made sure I am covered before stepping out.
From Lobuche, it was going to be a long day. Our guides made us get up really early. From Lobuche to Gorakshep and from Gorakshep to Everest Base Camp and back to Gorakshep is about 17 Kms or more. The trek was definitely a steep one with a few ascents and descents and it took a long time for me to trek our way up to Gorakshep. I think the energy bars and water really helped me today. Once one spots the mighty Sagarmatha (or Everest) everything else is forgotten. We were also told that the view of Everest is actually so much better from Kala Pathar so we were looking forward to that as well. We reached back to Gorakshep. You can imagine what we all spoke about that night Don’t think it can be any different for anyone. But for me, to see and experience the Everest Base Camp was something I will always remember. The orange yellow domes simply stand out at the base location. It is simply incredible.
From Gorakshep also we started early. We were really excited to be at Kala Pathar. We knew we are going to get a closer and better view of Everest from Kalapathar. The group was all camera ready and we all spent more than 45 minutes at the Kalapathar before starting our trek for Pheriche. We reached Periche and we all had only one thing in our heads and hearts, Everest (Sagarmatha).
From Periche to Namche Bazaar is about 15 kms and takes about 8 hours so we started early from Periche Reaching back Namche Bazaar felt like home. We were looking forward to a hot water bath and some catching up.
Well, to summarize it all, there is no other trek or place like the Everest Base Camp and I suggest an attempt by every enthusiast.