Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Nepal Trek Day Fourteen: Namche - Lukla

Over the next three weeks, I'm taking a trip down memory lane with a look back at our trip to Nepal last December. For all of the entries about our trek, click here.

Today marked the final day of our trek -- well, at least the final day of actual trekking, anyway. Today we would walk from Namche all the way back to Lukla. Following breakfast, we hit the trail around 9a. The coolest sight of the day was spotting an impeyan pheasant - the brightly-plumaged national bird of Nepal. A second interesting sight of the day was watching porters carrying HUGE loads of empty plastic bottles up to a bottled-water facility in Namche -- particularly as they attempted to navigate the steep turn to get up on a suspension bridge. At one point, a few people helped to push one porter along as his giant load got caught in the rocks. Craziness! 

We stopped for lunch around 1p at the same lodge in Phakding where we had spent our first night. While the trail from Namche to Phakding had been mostly downhill, the trail to Lukla featured a slow slog upward. We finally arrived in Lukla around 4:45p. On our way back through town I took a photo of the Lukla "Starbucks" -- really just an Internet cafe, I think. (It was closed for the season.) We wound our way through town to our lodge for the evening, which was located near the airport. This evening our fully-furnished room featured a private bathroom with a hot shower! D opted to shower while I decided to hold off one more day until our arrival back in Kathmandu (the lack of towels and cold air being the deciding factor for me). 

During dinner, the lodge owner showed a vintage 1950s-era documentary about Edmund Hillary's expedition to summit Mt. Everest. All of my travails during our trek paled in comparison to what those porters and climbers faced!

{leaving Namche}

{impeyan pheasant - national bird of Nepal}

{last view of Mt Everest}

{porter loaded down with a huge load of water bottles}

{agrarian view on our back to Lukla}

{Lukla Starbucks -- not really}

{our lodge in Lukla}

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