Lukla to Namche Bazaar: Day 2-3
25 - Nov 15, 1998
We walked from Lukla to Phakding it was a two and half hour walk lightly sloping up and
down through the beautiful Everest valley over cable and steel suspension bridges that
spanned the dudhkoshi river. We walked passed waterfalls, stupas(Hindu temples),
sherpas(Nepalese mountain people), porters(hired sherpas to carry cargo), yaks,
naks(female yaks), and yows(our name for the hybrid of a yak and cow)
Although we had read and heard about the dangerous of altitude sickness or AMS(acute
mountain sickness) it was here in Phakding were the reality began to set it. We met some
Canadian woman who told of a girl who ascended to quickly and died at the base camp of
Mount Amadablam. We also learned from them about another lethal mountain hazard, a sherpa
man had been gored and killed by a runaway yak!!!!
Here we stayed at the Namaste Lodge and had our first experience with no electricity in
our room. And outside squatters (toilets.)
it was another beautiful day just warm enough to allow shorts and cool enough to keep the
sweat to the minimum. The peaks that surrounded us were covered in light clouds but the
valley in which we walked was sunny and warm. We were feeling pretty good about ourselves
in shape and ready to go. Day 2 had been no problem so why worry?
We walked for about three hours into the Sagarmatha National Park where we checked in
with local park police. Here they took careful records of everyone entering the park. (in
the official log book Jeff was known as Jeffrey, B.S. and Waldman as Michael, H.W.
Obviously they would have no problem locating us or anyone in the hundreds of miles of
park land to come.) We thought if we feel like this everyday well be just fine. We
crossed a huge suspension bridge hundreds of feet above the glacial river below, where we
witnessed a very elderly Tibetan woman be united with family in the middle of the bridge.
She had just completed what was probably a 5-10 day walk over from Tibet!.
That was when we hit the Namche Wall. The wall was a path about 3-4 hours
of switchbacks not straying more then 5 meters in either direction STRAiGHT UP!!!! We were
dying. And praying that around each bend we would see Namche Bazaar, but instead around
every bend we saw people walking slowly, and painfully higher. When we finally saw the
town we had to rejoice, a little prematurely.
As we turned the corner to walk into town there were about 60 stone steps climbing even
higher. We didnt think we could make it. Then to make matters worse we couldnt
find the lodge that had been recommended to us. And to make things worse Jeff insisted on
finding the Thamserku view lodge and Mike decided to take a shortcut to get us
there. Which led over a fence to a dead end scaling up two 6 foot stone walls and down a
path that led us back to were we started and our 30 pound packs on our backs didnt
make it any easier! Finally we asked a shop keeper where the lodge was and of course it
was right around the corner.
After two huge meals, a shower, and 12 hours sleep we felt much better. We decided we
would stay for 2 days to acclimate here(3440 m) and then head higher. First Sanboche and
then Kumjung which was to be a beautiful town where many wealthy Nepalese people own land.