Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Day 22 - Namche to Lukla
The three day walk out from EBC (17,500 ft.) to Lukla (9,800 ft.) and 35 miles is done. Today was 7.25 hours including a laid back hour and a half at Phakding over lunch and sunning. And who doesn't enjoy Phakding? (or have I overplayed that pun?)
It was a quick trip down the hill from Namche at 8am and then on a casual decline to river valley. Tracking the river the day's trek reached a low point of 8,700 ft. before steadily climbing back up to Lukla at 9,800 ft.
I prepared for the day by making best use of the deluxe accommodations at Namche with the included bathroom to shower, shave, and change into the clean underwear that I have been saving since they were washed at base camp for this very day.
From about Monjo where I checked out of the National Park to Phukding where I had lunch, I played trail leap frog with a lone, saddleless horse who was headed in the same direction as me. He would pass me and then I would pass him. I finally made my way around him which was good because I was getting sick of smelling horse ass. I didn't hear any similar complaints from the horse when I was leading. I attribute that to the shower and the clean undies.
Regarding yesterday's comment: today was, in fact, easier. With today's again great weather, the time on the trail just flew by. Arriving at 3:15pm, I checked into the Namaste lodge, confirmed my 9am flight to Karhmandu, and enjoyed a litter of cold water.
A good priming of the pump. I headed down the "Irish Pub" for happy hour. I was hoping to catch some highlights of the Man U match but all they showed was Man City! I hung out with two Australian dudes that had just come off Mera Peak, the most popular "trekking peak" in the region, ahead of Island Peak. Pretty funny guys that were quite interested in the latest in west coast music and sports. We exchanged band names and I promised to check out "My Morning Jacket" while I persuaded the bartender to jack-in my iPhone and blast "Dog Scratched Ear" by "Henry's Funeral Shoe". I do believe the Aussies liked it. They certainly enjoyed my story of the Fiat 500 Arbath TV commercial featuring the song and Charlie Sheen. Of course we were well into happy hour at that point after a month's hiatus from al-kee-haul. Good times.
I found my way back to the Namaste Lodge for a late dinner of momos and chicken curry with rice. Ready for bed now with breakfast and flight to KTM awaiting in the AM.