Ride Overland With Kanchan & Nick

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February 1, 2012

Everest Base Camp Trek…On our way back down!… Part 4

The next day we decided, we were too tired and too congested to stay up any longer…we wanted to get back down.  It took us about 7 days to trek up and we were planning on 3 days down.  After we had reached EBC etc, we felt like we couldn’t take it anymore, we needed to get back down.  We were drained from no sleep and the cold.  The trek back was also tiring since we covered a lot of distance and trekked about 10 hours per day.  We were determined to get down ASAP!  I definitely found downhill much harder since I have this fear of falling (I did manage to slip countless of times and fall a couple of times!) and a lot of the dirt and rocks were very loose.  The first day down we went from Goruk Shep down to Dingboche.  The first part presented us with the same amount of ice and snow, ugh crossing that waterfall drove me crazy again!  Now I think it was the right choice for us to go to Pheriche coming up to EBC and Dingboche going down.  It was a mostly flat walk to Dingboche and the scenery was beautiful, very relaxing after a tough journey up.  We didn’t have to walk through much snow or ice and we passed beautiful mountains with grazing yaks and old stone houses (like those you see in Ladakh).  Reaching Dingboche was like heaven for us…the hotel had a comfy room and there was just a different feeling at night, not the gasping for breath kind!  After a restful sleep in Dingboche (Finally!) we decided to push it to Namche Bazaar.  This was probably one of the toughest days, it took us about 12 hours and we had to trek the last hour in the dark.  This was very difficult because there was ice and it was downhill once again.   Bhim had a flashlight as well as Nick, so I tried to stay one step ahead of Nick so my path would also be lit.  It felt like the neverending trek out of my nightmares!  It was so dark and the path kept moving up and down, rocky and loose.  We finally managed to get to Namche close to 6:30pm.  We were so determined to get back to Kathmandu that we also pushed it the next day and made it from Namche Bazaar to Lukla.  In the middle of the trek to Lukla, I changed my shoes from the rented trekking ones to my Merrell shoes.  As soon as I changed my shoes I felt like I could bounce downhill like all the Nepalis I saw running down with loads on their back.  But towards the end it was a mental and physical fight, Nick’s knee was stressed so I encouraged him to push on, we were almost there! We crossed the gate into Lukla and breathed a sigh of relief, we had made it back…I swear I could’ve heard the ‘Chariots of Fire’ theme when we reached Lukla haha!

Our flight was scheduled for the 19th and we arrived on the 17th.  We soon learned that no flights had gone out for 3-4 days due to weather on the Lukla side and Kathmandu side.  This was a huge bummer! We had wanted to change our tickets to the 18th but it didn’t look likely!  The next day we got ready by 6am hopeful that the weather would clear.  No luck!  We decided to take a walk outside to see what was goin on.  The airpot was basically a 3 minute walk from our lodge so we went to see what the deal was.  We were approached by two Italian guys with their Nepali porter that offered us to ride in a helicopter back to Lukla for $250 one way, but only if their contact in Kathmandu could find people there willing to pay $250 to come to Lukla.  We said we’d think about it.  But man those guys were running crazy, they were acting as if this was war time and those left behind would be defeated.  From 10am till around 3pm there were 11 rescue helicopters that flew between Lukla and Kathmandu. People were paying $600 to get back!  Other trekkers had told us to stop looking at the window, they had given up, we should’t get our hopes up.  In the meantime, the staff of the hotel turned on old 60’s rock music that sounds very The Doors-like…what was this?  Certainly not Vietnam!  Trekkers were whispering to their guides about deals they had heard and rumors about flights.  Quietly in our minds we were screaming, ‘Let us out of the cold!  We’re tired of bad food!  We’re tired of sleeping on two twin beds drawn together with one of us falling in the crack!  We want a shower!  We want butter chicken!  We want fast internet!  We’re tired of throwing away money on a mug of water to brush our teeth! ’ We decided that it’d be best to just hunker down and see what the scene was tomorrow…according to Accuweather it was sunny and clear on both sides!  But hey, in the mountains you never know!  In the meantime we kept warm by the oven, took a hot shower, and drank some rum to busy ourselves and keep our morale up!

Just as predicted, the weather turned out gorgeous the next day and we were able to fly back to Kathmandu…!  Bhim sent us away by giving us oranges and tying a Buddhist prayer scarf around our necks.  All the Koreans and Europeans were really excited and rushed on to the plane as if they didn’t have a seat.  It was a great trip…but we were ready to get back to the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu!

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