Day 186: E.B.C. trek day 12, Namche Bazaar to Lukla (2800m)

Lukla Travel Blog

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Final glimpse of Everest

Thanks to the people I met here and/or travelled with: John (Scotland), Dan (Scotland) & Tom (UK)

The walk from Namche to Lukla was pretty gruesome. By this time I was absolutely knackered from 11 days walking (the last three days being particularly tough) and the beers we consumed last night might have had their effect as well.

I knew that the walk from Monjo up to Namche had been tough last week, but in opposite direction it was almost worst. The steep downhill part wasn't too bad. In fact, in the bright sun it was quite a pleasant walk, and we even caught a few more last glimpses of Everest in the distance.

We were shocked at the amount of people coming up.

Heavy traffic on the track
There were several reasons for this. Today is Friday, that means that tomorrow there's the weekly bazaar in Namche, and locals from the foothills have been walking for days with their produce to sell at the Namche Bazaar. Then there had been a few days when flights to Lukla had been cancelled, so today several extra planes carrying tourists had arrived. But above all, high season had started. I was really glad I had started my trek the day I did and not gone for the originally planned start date, 4 October. I mean, during my trek it had been busy, but not unbearable. There had been plenty of days that I felt as if I was all alone on the trek.
Today the trek seemed like a highway, full of tourists, porters and yaks.

But above all I was thankful to Hem for convincing me to do the trek on my own. These past 11 days I had been able to walk on my own pace and met tons of nice people on the way.
Sherpa carrying his kid up the mountain
I wouldn't want to think of having to walk in one of those huge groups we saw coming up. One of those groups had people all walking with name tags (Americans, obviously), which not only bore a name, but also a number. One of them was number 57! Can you imagine? A group of 57 people, walking up to EBC? Yes, I was very very glad I had done the trek at the time I did and in the way I did.

Once we reached the bottom of the valley, it was another gruesome 20-odd undulating kilometres to Lukla. It was just a never ending climbing and ascending until we finally reached Lukla at a little after 3 PM. Even the guides and porters were pretty knackered by the time we arrived there.
Just before Lukla I stopped at a small shrine erected to commemorate the German tourists who died in the plane crash in 2008. It was quite shocking, they were still building this shrine when another plane crashed, carrying 14 tourists, in August this year.
Starbucks Lukla, despite being fake, this was the best place in the whole town
I wonder if next year there will be a second shrine next to this one.

Finally, Lukla. We checked in to the guest house which was by far the nicest of all guest houses on the trek. A nice room, a very comfy bed and best of all, shower and toilet in my room!
So I was able to enjoy my second shower in two weeks. Wonderful! I must have spent at least half an hour standing under the hot stream of water.

Lukla is the place where most people spend their last night of the trek, so there are plenty of bars in town, offering happy hours. If you plan it right you can move from happy hour to happy from 14:00 to 21:00. There's even a Starbucks! Although... not an official one. The owner just recreated the Starbucks logo for his coffee place. Not that it matters. I don't particularly like Starbucks coffee, but the coffee at this place was excellent!

John and I ended up playing pool in the Irish pub below Starbucks, with Sanjeev and Rabin.
The streets of Lukla at night
We were later joined by Dan and Tom.
After a few rounds of pool we walked around town and checked out some of the other pubs. Most of them were rather deserted though, so we headed back to the guest house for some food instead. The beer was not doing the trick quick enough according to the Brits so John bought a few bottles of Everest Whisky. This is a blend of some locally produced whisky, mixed with what seems to be the scrapings of the barrels of the Bowmore distillery in Scotland. The result is surprisingly tasty! I have to get myself a few bottles of this stuff before I go home.

After dinner we went back to the Irish pub for some more pool, but we didn't make it too late because we had an early flight to catch tomorrow morning. As we were all booked on different flights we made sure to arrange to meet up in Kathmandu tomorrow for a proper end of trek party.

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Final glimpse of Everest
Final glimpse of Everest
Heavy traffic on the track
Heavy traffic on the track
Sherpa carrying his kid up the mou…
Sherpa carrying his kid up the mo…
Starbucks Lukla, despite being fak…
Starbucks Lukla, despite being fa…
The streets of Lukla at night
The streets of Lukla at night
Porters carrying an unbelievable l…
Porters carrying an unbelievable …
Crossing another bridge
Crossing another bridge
This is why you shouldnt be eatin…
This is why you shouldn't be eati…
Me crossing one of the many bridge…
Me crossing one of the many bridg…
passing some houses
passing some houses
Bye bye beautiful Himalayas
Bye bye beautiful Himalayas
Small stream on the way down to Lu…
Small stream on the way down to L…
Memorial for the 2008 plane crash
Memorial for the 2008 plane crash
The names of the victims of the 20…
The names of the victims of the 2…
Back in civilization: time to cele…
Back in civilization: time to cel…
My room - the most comfortable roo…
My room - the most comfortable ro…
The streets of Lukla
The streets of Lukla
photo by: halilee