Hiking in the Himalaya Mountains was a must-do destination when I brainstormed places where I wanted to go on my around the world trip. The day before heading to the Himalaya area, I arranged the hiking gear and booked the flight to Lukla. The trip started with landing at one of the most dangerous landing strips in the world. Read the first part of my detailed hiking story through the Himalaya Mountains before you continue on.
Weird dreams the first night
Today, I woke early at 6:30am to write my blog. Shay was still asleep so I focused on writing and waited until he got up around 8am – cheeky me, but otherwise I just never get the time to write. During my first night’s sleep I really have to tell you that I had weird and bizarre dreams. When I later spoke to Shay about it, he told me that he had weird dreams too, and other people we’ve met confirmed the same thing – I guess it’s the altitude.
We then packed our backpacks and had breakfast, I was smart and just ordered a mug of boiled water to use for my oats. It was pretty cheap and saves money in the mornings – but bear in mind that you are supposed to eat in the guesthouses, so you have to eat hidden, ha ha. We organised everything and left around 9:15am – quite late but we were ready for it.
Day 2 begins
It was a very beautiful day again today; we were very lucky and embarked on a very nice trail heading towards Namche Bazaar, crossing bridges above rivers surrounded by huge mountains – I absolutely loved it and felt so free.
While trekking, we have met a lot of other trekkers and today Shay and I decided to enjoy our trekking even more, so we are not going to rush it, rather enjoy it and take it slowly but steady. This is something I totally recommend because the landscape is just so amazing. Just enjoy the moment.
Unforgettable lunch break spot
For our lunch break, we had to climb down and get off the track for a bit, which Shay was not happy about at first (comfort zone Shay, huh ?) but he was soon convinced – good boy.
During our lunch break Shay introduced me to an Israeli dish (Tahini= sesame sauce), which we ate with bread – yummy, followed by a Snickers power bar – very good lunch break with amazing views.
There were more bridges to cross. The colored flags you see are prayer flags known as Lung ta, which hang along mountain paths. The 5 colors of prayer flags represent the 5 basic elements: yellow-earth, green–water, red-fire, white-air, blue- space. The views are just breathtaking. There was this moment of true freedom that actually made me get goose bumps.
First view to Mount Everest
Then there it was: the first view of Mount Everest near Namche Bazaar. I was so amazed and thought: yeah, that’s why I came all this way – love it. To get there it was very steep going uphill, but I made it even harder by going off the path (because I’m so cool – not) and climbed up in the forest. Shay took the path and thought I was crazy because what I was doing was quite dangerous, but I liked the feeling, ha ha. We stayed for a while, refilled our water bottles, met a German trekker group and a couple from Australia. They were on their way to the Mount Everest base camp like all the others, but the one thing I liked was that from the peak they were catching a helicopter to fly back to Kathmandu. When I asked why, the women responded: “Well, it already takes a lot of me to go up and that’s already enough.” What I liked the most about this was that they were really modest about it ! As for me, I was fairly happy with my adventure.
The journey continued and we were stopped at another checkpoint. They asked weird questions about how many cameras we had and what manufacturers they were. The last final stage before reaching Namche Bazaar was very steep and took a lot out of us, so we had to have a lot of breaks. This is very important and I realised that it was such a silly thing to run up the forest earlier, which cost me a lot of energy – energy I would probably need in the next couple of days for the stiff climb.
Arriving in Namche Bazaar at 3,440m
We arrived very exhausted in Namche Bazaar at a height of 3,440m above sea level, probably the biggest and most beautiful village in the Mount Everest region. A young girl welcomed us and asked for some chocolate, but when I tried to take a photo, she turned around and showed me her back ha ha – too cute. Then it was time to look for a guesthouse and by this time we had the feeling of going to sleep early again.
When looking around for a place to stay, we bumped into Devin (a guy from Canada) who joined us. We found another traditional place to stay called Kongde Lodge where we paid even less than last night (N50 Rupees (0,5 USD) / night which I bargained down from N200 Rupees (2 USD)).
Connecting with people from all around the world
We then headed back to the cafe where we knew Dorb was staying, a solo traveler from Israel who we met on the track today. We chilled there, had a good conversation and met more people from Israel and two girls from Australia, Ruby and Ingrid. Another good thing was that people who stayed there had free Wi-Fi and so I could give my family a sign that I was still alive. However, the electricity in the café cut off many times while there, which I didn’t mind at first and so they lit some candles, giving the whole atmosphere a feeling of relaxation. Plus the radiator was on so everyone felt cozy hanging out there. I loved it, especially being surrounded by so many nice people.
But there was a moment when I panicked: “Fuck, it’s my dad’s birthday !” I quickly checked the date and indeed it was the 10th, his birthday. So lucky I realised it. I prepared a message, tried to FaceTime but my dad was at work. It was still nice to speak to my mum until the electricity went off again. I waited until it turned back on and the message was sent, which made me really happy.
In the evening, we all had dinner together in our lodge – Dal Bhat again. Devin (the Canadian guy) is actually a pretty crazy hiker because he had trekked all the way from Jiri and bypassed all the checkpoints, which was smart and saved him N3,000 rupees (30 USD). Someone told him to do so – pretty good, no. I guess if I were by myself and knew I could do it, I would have probably done it as well. He also trekked all the way from Jiri to Namche Bazaar within five days, which is quite fast and normally takes people about 10 days. That day he hiked all the way from Lukla.
Meeting another unique character
We then met Renate Elisabeth, 67-years-old from Hamburg, Germany. She is actually a very amazing person and impressed all of us, as she has just climbed Island Peak at a height of 6,160m and was just on her way down. I think it is just incredible with her age, right ? She did it with a personal guide within three weeks’ time. It was her 6th time hiking in the Himalayas, so she had a lot stories to tell and also showed us all the places on the map that she has been to – damn, a lot of 7000-8000 m mountains. Funny part of it all was that her English wasn’t so great, which didn’t matter because she was so cute. She made me the translator. We were drinking tea in our cozy warm guesthouse, all enjoying the great stories, having a good time until the next thing happened. Shay stood up and said he had to go to hit the toilet. A conversation is excerpted below, lol:
Renate: “You have a stomach problem ?”
Shay: “No, no just regular !”
Renate: “You have to shit ?”
Ha ha, so funny, everyone cracked up and it actually made my day ! Time to sleep, good night.
I TRAVEL FOREVER’s VIEW & RECOMMENDATION
Wow, quite an incredible day two after having seen Mount Everest for the first time, and to my surprise it had already happened on day two from a distance. But it made me so happy to see it and tick it off my bucket list. I was also really happy that I met a lot of other people from around the world and was excited for another day in the Himalaya Mountains.