Trek back to Kathmandu
Having completed the double-glazing of the new school building and the
fitting out of the old teachers accommodation as a telecommunications room
(as yet unused due to the lack of electricity in the village) , the group set
out on an adventurous trek to the Gokyo Valley which culminated in the
successful summating of Gokyo Ri (5400 meters) in time to see the sunrise
over Everest. It sounds very cliched but it was a truly and memorable
experience, it feels good to say I’ve been there. On our return we tidied up
a few loose ends and handed over the use and repair of the buildings to the
village committees that would oversee what happened to them.
The trek back to Kathmandu was begun with a lovely ceremony performed by
Panuru’s wife Pasang Dikki Sherpa as she gave us all beautiful golden silk scarves
and then bid us farewell and a safe journey. We were sad to be leaving what
had become our home for the last few weeks but pleased that we had managed
to achieve so much in our stay in Phortse. The trip back would have
highlights as well as sadness, as we were travelling by a different route and
there would be the opportunity to see the ancient monastery at Tengboche.
The scenery on the journey to Tengboche is truly spectacular with views of
towering mountains and ice-blue rushing rivers several hundreds of feet of
below. The trails wind around the mountains and are often no more than a
couple of feet of wide. The monastery village of Tengboche afforded us the
awe-inspiring sight of the bulk of Everest side by side with Ama Dablam.
Everest is so close it feels as if you could simply reach out and touch it.
The next day’s trek was back to Namche Bazar where we had stayed at the
beginning of our adventure. We were able to indulge in baked bread for the
first time in 3 weeks and we utilised the opportunity to log in at the world
’s highest Internet café and send messages home. For some there was also the
first taste of yak meat - until then we had simply shooed them off the
paths, this time we got our own back!!
From Namche to Lukla was the probably the saddest part of the trek for all
of us - we were retracing our steps and we were getting closer to going
home - our adventure of a lifetime was drawing to a close. The trek was a
very long day and we all arrived in Lukla dispirited and downhearted.
We faced the rather tricky proposition the next day of actually boarding the
‘plane. There had been a couple of cancellations and some people we met at
the airport had been waiting a couple of days to get a seat on the plane and
believe me, Lukla is not a place you’d want to hang around in by choice!
Luckily (?) we made it onto the plane to Kathmandu relatively early in the
day and were in our designated hotel by lunchtime. The sights, smells and
atmosphere of Kathmandu did much to lift our somewhat sagging spirits.
Trek To Phortse |
Gokyo Peak |