3/28/17 & 3/29/17: From Phakding to Namche

This was our first day with a significant altitude gain.  Phakding is at approximately 8,560 ft whereas Namche is at 11,290 ft.

Namche is a surprisingly major accumulation of colorful houses that are built along steep slopes.  It’s a rather touristy place with many trekkers stopping by.  There are countless hotels and stores that sell pretty much anything one would possibly need.

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Approaching Namche

It was a strenuous hike getting there.  The first time at a higher altitude is always exhausting, but the trails are in fantastic shape.  The suspension bridges that we had to cross on our way up were an absolute highlight.  They swing, they bounce, and there is a whole lot of empty space right under your feet – definitely took some time to get used to it.

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One of the numerous suspension bridges we crossed.  We used the upper bridge.  The lower bridge no longer appeared to be in use.

 

The villages that we’re going to visit on our trek to base camp can only exist thanks to this amazing infrastructure.  Everything that’s needed up there is hauled on the back of yaks or mules, or by porters because there are no roads, and helicopters are not widely used either.

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Load-carrying mules

The next day, we did a short acclimatization hike in the vicinity of the village.  There was this magical moment when I saw the summit of Everest for the very first time.  It was cloudy and foggy, but then, for only a few seconds, there was a small gap in the clouds.

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Everest summit in the horizon

I also experienced my first episode of food poisoning.  It was rather violent, but fortunately did not last very long.  Yet, I am a bit exhausted today.  I’m planning to use the rest of the day to recover.