Everest Gokyo Ri Trek - Hiking On to Namche
I woke up after an amazing 10 hours of sleep. I needed it. Before I went to bed, I was not feeling great. I think it was the stress, because today I felt great. We got up, packed early, ate breakfast and hit the trail. I was particularly fearful of today’s hike. It had tired me out quite a bit last time and really took its toll on Heather and Keri. I feared for Chuck, so we agreed to climb slow.
It was cloudy and a cool 40 degrees. Unfortunately no great views, except when we were crossing the bridges. We started at a nice pace, although the GPS couldn’t get a signal for a while. Then the trail started to climb. I figured we would take it in chunks of 750 feet of altitude. I got in a good rhythm, a little faster than Chuck, but not too bad. Chuck was able to match my pace and stay close. I stopped at 10,000 feet and was amazed how quickly we had ascended so much altitude. Chuck thought he was slow, but he really wasn’t. He was doing great.
We sucked down some Gookinaid and an energy bar and pushed on to 10,750 feet. With the clouds surrounding us, there really wasn’t much to stop and look at, so I pressed on at a moderate pace. Again I was surprised how quickly we got there. Had another drink and we started our final push. In about 5-10 minutes we saw Namche. I was completely befuddled at how short and easy it felt.
We rolled into Namche and headed to the lodge I stayed at last time. Warm showers, a sit down toilet, heat in the dining hall and electricity in the rooms were all very inviting lures to return to this lodge. We were going to hike around the area, but as it started to snow and visibility was minimal, we decided to relax and just walk around town.
We bought a small map as my photocopied map had vanished (of course found a few minutes after I bought a new map) and plotted the rest of our trip. Our plan was incredibly aggressive. However, if we are careful, we thought we could make it. If successful, it will let me see a lot of new stuff while allowing Chuck to see the highlights of my previous trip. The big variables would be how we adapt to the altitude and whether or not the snows made progress slow. Hopefully, we would know in three days if we could lick the altitude.
The snow continued most of the day. This is a little unsettling as the last time we barely saw a flurry. We hit an Internet café where it was 450 rupees for 30 minutes as opposed to 15 in Katmandu.
Another side note, what a difference to be on a trip with just men. Padam is quite the character telling all sorts of stories I wondered if he would tell with women present. We were chatting/teasing our porters though him. One was got married, via an arrangement of his parents, so we teased him about what would have happened if she were ugly, fat, or had one eye. While Padam translated, the man behind the counter laughed so hard at our conversation. Then I told the story of David from the bible, and how he was tricked into marrying the older sister. Padam piled on by telling the story of how his relative was tricked into marrying a women with a crooked eye that was called Auntie Tokyo – London by his kids because one eye looked to Tokyo and one looked to London.The rest of the day we relaxed in the lodge and I caught up on backing up my photos and transcribing my journal. After dinner, we decided to watch Rocky Balboa. Why? Because we could. Namche had electricity in the room. It was pretty awful and I am saying this knowing this was the last western entertainment of the trip.
The story continues...