Location: Namche Baazar
Local Time: 8pm, 27th May
Weather: Foggy and rainy, 10C
Hi everyone - Fiona here,
We've been walking all day having finally arrived back at Namche Baazar.
We're staying at Camp de Base - the same lodge that Chris and Bridget stayed
in on the way up - except there are some differences. For one thing, the
trekking season has finished so the price for a room with an ensuite is now
100 rupees instead of US$10. The other difference is that there is no
running water or electricity in Namche at the moment - so the ensuite is not
too much good and there is no heating or lights! Oh well. I guess it's best
that we're introduced to luxuries like these slowly.
After yesterday's walk and the climb down, we have all got various degrees
of sore feet and legs, so today's hike seemed like it would never end.
(Chris O - Mary says to thank you for the tip re tying her shoes.) Although
we are heading down, the trail is anything but just downhill. Today we had
two relatively big climbs to contend with.
The day started out foggy and then cleared until lunchtime. But it rained
pretty much all afternoon, causing us to put our heads down and focus on
walking. Some people are saying that the monsoon has already arrived. Sure
feels like it to us.
During the walk we enjoyed increasing amounts of vegetation, including
the rhododendron forests which are still at the end of their bloom. It's
great to see trees, flowers and grass again. Makes you realise how hostile
the basecamp environment is - all rock and ice. But the landscape has also
changed a lot since our trek in 2 months ago now.
It's already a lot warmer here. Even last night in Pheriche, we were all
amazed at how warm we were at night. We just realised that we are 2 vertical
kilometres lower than base camp here.
After only 2 days walking, it feels like we're already a world away from
base camp - but still a world away from home as well. I don't think any of
us will miss base camp, and especially not the icefall, but the mountain had
a majestic appeal that we are a bit sad to leave. As we walk down we wonder
if or when we'll be back again.
Tomorrow, we'll hike to Lukla from where we'll hopefully get a flight to
Kathmandu the next morning. (The flights only go in the mornings and are
prone to cancellation if it is raining or cloudy.) Once we get to Kathmandu,
we'll try to get onto the next flight to Melbourne (via Bankok). Hopefully
we'll also be able to catch up with some of our fellow climbers who left for
Kathmandu a few days ahead of us.
So now just one more day of hiking to get through without twisting an
ankle! Very much looking forward to catching up with our families and
friends when we return,
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