We set off from Phaking after a good nights sleep and an, as usual, hearty breakfast that I think I’ll never manage but do!
We arrive at the gate to the Sagarmatha National Park and obtain our permits to enter and begin the slow trek through the valley being treated to some picture postcard views as we hike through the valley slowly upwards criss crossing back and forth across the river and through the forest, stopping at a tea house for some tea and noodles along the way before reaching our goal of Namche Bazaar at 3,440m, gaining around 800m of altitude along the way, where we will stay for the next two nights to acclimatise and rest.
Namche due to its prime location on the busiest trek up to Everest Base Camp is the most prosperous and largest town in the Khumbu and sits in a natural bowl, the normal hustle and bustle you would see is subdued this year due to covid but hopefully normality will resume soon and a town that relies so heavily on the trekkers and climbers to survive and prosper will once again.
After a fabulous lunch at the Sherpa Barista Cafe, I’m invited to be the first person to purchase/donate to getting a signed copy of Nimsdai’s book signed by Nims, Jimmy Chin and Conrad Ankers (and later in the day by Kenton Cool) as part of Nims and SherpaBaristaCafe charity initiative to raise funds for a porters lodge and towards Nims Big Mountain Clean Up campaign - both worthy and needed causes and I’m happy to donate.
A chilled afternoon to sort my backpack out and do some admin and then a team dinner in the hotel, there’s talk of going to the Irish Pub but by 8pm everyone is flagging a bit and its time for bed, my room (named Nimsdai after our now legendary leader) has no heating so its ‘chilly’ and I contemplate a shower but I’ve missed the hot water slot so postpone that until tomorrow but I’m treated to the luxury of a heated blanket which is a welcome touch.
Dogs seem to be roaming everywhere in Namche (an amazing amount of puppies for some reason, even the locals don't know why) and they are the equivalent of the cockerel I think with early morning barking that goes on and on and on.....bless ‘em!!!!