Phakding Elevation: 8,563 ft / 2,610 m
Namche Bazaar Elevation: 11,290 ft / 3,440 m
Total Trekking Distance: 7.4 km
Total Trekking Duration: 4 hours
Highlights of EBC Trek Day- 02: Phakding to Namche Bazaar
- The swinging Suspension Bridges
- A large waterfall en route
- Tenzing Hilary Suspension Bridge
- Sagarmatha National Park Entry Point
- The long ascent to Namche Bazaar
- Incredible view of Namche Bazaar and the Himalayas from there
Day three for me started pretty early, even before the mountains were awake. I woke up early on that day before it was 4 am. Waiting in the bed for the porter to wake up was hard. Lying under the blanket was getting hard; I’d rather go outside and walk around, I thought.
I went out watching the mountains and the Himalayas waking up. I returned back, took a hot shower and then sat for breakfast. For breakfast, I had a banana pancake and mint tea. After breakfast, it was finally time that we started our day trek to Namche Bazaar.
Until then, Phakding was busy. Hotels and shops en route were opening, there were herds of donkeys walking towards Lukla. The morning was fresh with radiant sun rays striking the snow peaks.
After around 15 minutes of walking, we encountered a suspension bridge. I stepped in the bridge and took fewer steps. The bridge started swinging, I said I don’t want to cross a suspension bridge ever again. But this wasn’t it! This was the first suspension bridge of the day. There were many others on the way Phakding to Namche.
Walking across the dusty trail alongside the streaming Dudh Kosi river was a beautiful experience. It was Spring when we trekked. Just like on the previous day (Lukla to Phakding), there were lots of Rhododendron trees with fresh blossoms of different colors en route.
I continually came along many groups of other trekkers and porters. Gundas Dai, my porter, he was singing the local folk songs at intervals. I once danced on his song. Afterward, when he sang, he was looking at me as if he was expecting me to dance again. But I had to save my energy for a long day.
At a point on the trail, there was a big waterfall. There was a herd of donkey behind us. All the donkeys, they walked to the waterfall to quench their thirst. The trail passes through stone stairs as well as some dusty parts with several ascents and descents.
Egg fried rice for lunch at Jhorsale, I can still taste it on the tip of my tongue. After hours of walking, having lunch was like the best thing that can ever happen in life.
After fueling your body, it’s time to burn some calories again. After a lunch break of around 45 minutes at the village, we set off on the ascending trekking trails. At Jorsale village, there was the official entrance into the Sagarmatha National Park. Gundas did all the formalities and I stood cluelessly at a distance.
After hiking for some time, there is a suspension bridge (i was like not again! enough for today). After crossing the Dudh Kosi river, Gundas and I hiked uphill into the forests. (there is a flat trail that is under maintenance, so we trek this way Gundas said).
After walking for nearly an hour, we reached the famous Tenzing-Hilary suspension bridge. The bridge is a long and a high bridge; in fact the highest and the longest bridge in Everest. Crossing the bridge was a ‘do or die’ for me. While I stood in the middle of the bridge, I was so frightened. Gundas was cheering me, “Don’t look down, walk like it’s nothing.”
Thank god! I won’t have to cross a suspension bride again, I said in a loud tone after reaching the other end. There were some trekkers who looked back and laughed, I smiled back.
We rested for some time there and started climbing uphill to Namche Bazaar. On this part of the trail, I was sweating quite a lot. On the trail, there were too many donkeys and their dungs smelling really bad.
Climbing the rugged uphill took us nearly two and a half hour. We reached a point from where we saw “Namche Bazaar”. It was exciting to finally see Namche after the long walk. There was a checkpoint where we verified our trekking permits.
I was really exciting thinking that we were at Namche once I saw the few houses. But it was quite disappointing to know that we had to hike a little farther from there to reach Namche Bazaar. I was counting my steps after I knew that I was so close to the head administrative town in Khumbu.
And finally! I was lying in a comfy bed at himalayan lodge Namche Bazaar.
The trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar wasn’t an ultra marathon. But, it was a tough challenge, I’d say. To some trekkers who want to do Lukla to Namche Bazaar in one day, you should take it slow. It isn’t just the altitude that is hard, but also a really long and tough walk.
If you are someone who has lots of previous trekking experiences in the Himalayas, you can continue with your idea of Lukla Namche bazaar trek.
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