Everest base camp, day 3: Phakding to Namche Bazaar

October 2014

It was a difficult night at Phakding. For some reason I had headache and that prevented me from having a good sleep. At 8400 feet, there was very little chance of Altitude sickness. But still it did not give me a nice feeling.

I felt better in the morning. It was good as we had a tough day ahead.  The climb from Phakding to Namche Bazaar is considered as the most difficult part of the trek. We will be experiencing it today. At 7:30AM we were all set for the walk.

The initial part of the trek was pleasant. While crossing a stream I decided to take a photograph of myself. It would my first photo in this trip. Well, for now it was just a shadow of me!!

A small but a beautiful waterfall made its appearance on the way.

The first snow clad mountain made its appearance as we walked. It was Thamserku at the elevation of 21, 680 feet.

All along the way we crossed yaks and mules carrying loads.

Another waterfall made its appearance which was more serene and beautiful. Shortly afterwards we reached a village called Benkar. A picturesque village. Instead of Phakding one can also stay here. It is more beautiful and reduces the pain of second day’s walk by 1.5 hours!!

Still we haven’t gained any altitude. We crossed Dudh Kosi River several times over hanging bridges. After Benkar was Monjo village. Here was the check post for TIMS card. As mentioned earlier we had not taken TIMS card at Kathmandu. That was not an issue as the TIMS card was also issued here. All we needed was two photographs and a passport copy. We paid INR 375 per head for the TIMS card.

The so called climb of Namche Bazaar had not yet begun but we had entered Sagarmatha National Park. We had to pay the NPR 1500 per head for National Park Permits. This was one of the places where they accepted only Nepali currency.

Sagarmatha National Park entry
We had walked for three hours but had not gained but altitude. That did not mean that it was a plain walk. We were constantly climbing up and then down without gaining any altitude!! We did not like it. After National park entry, we were again extremely disappointed when we again had to go down to the base of Dudh Kosi River.

Somewhere we saw a board that it was the last restaurant before Namche Bazaar. But it was still 10:30AM and we were not hungry enough to have lunch.

Finally, after nearly three hours of trekking we were at the place where the steep climb to Namche Bazaar begins. It was an astonishing sight to see two hanging bridges one above the other at a great height. We had to cross using the top bridge.

The climb was very steep with series of switchbacks. We trudged silently thinking about the “rest day” (Acclimatization day) in Namche Bazaar. That gave us lot of energy. The walk was long and it drained all our energy. I was now hungry and that made me even more tired. After about ¾ of the climb was a rest point. We rested for a while and filled water bottles.

We had to show our permits at a check point. It was an indication that Namche Bazaar was nearby. On the way we found a hotel that claimed free Wi-Fi and charging. Both were premium in this trek and we barged in!! Namche Bazaar was still few minutes away but we were hungry.

Finally at 2PM we reached Namche Bazaar. We took a room at the entrance of the town. The total journey was 13 km with a gain of 2800 feet altitude.

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