There Are Signs Everywhere Part 2 – Into the Khumbu

From the 2013 Travel Journal – The WMS CME Trek to Everest Base Camp

Part 2 of There Are Signs Everywhere

The trek along the Khumbu is beautiful and loaded with quaint tea houses and lodges. We covered acclimatization yesterday in the airport while waiting for a safe time to fly in to Lukla.  Only about 50 percent of the scheduled flights actually leave because of the weather in the mountains you’re flying into.  It was an exhilarating ride to say the least! The landing was phenomenal!

That was our plane

That was our plane

Sam Mackenzie giving in to the moment

Sam Mackenzie giving in to the moment

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The descent into Lukla as seen from the plane

The one and only Lukla Runway is so short, the planes dip down before they lift up

The one and only Lukla Runway is so short the planes dip down before they lift up

Day one we actually trekked down with a net loss of 150 m elevation into Phakding. We passed Mani Stones and crossed harrowing suspension bridges into the majestic Himalaya.

Flexing and ready for 18 days on the Khumbu

Flexing and ready for 18 days on the Khumbu

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Prayer Wheel (always spin to the left) and Mani Stone seen frequently on the trail.

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Stupa, Mani Stone and porters carrying heavy loads. Multiple cases of Everest Beer were spotted in some of those baskets! Many porters wear sandals or walk barefoot.

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Phakding accommodation.

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Phakding bathroom accommodation. It was much nicer than any of us anticipated. This came in particularly handy when my roommate became the first victim of Traveler’s Diarrhea.

Other toilet accommodations on the trail (actually nicer than some actual toilets...)

Other toilet accommodations on the trail (actually nicer than some actual toilets…)

Trekking from Phakding to Namche. The sun shines such gorgeous colors on the pine, rhododendron and mountains. The pine smells just like the pines in the Sierras.File0236

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A gorgeous day in the Khumbu

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These yaks carried our duffels so that we could trek with day packs only, making this high-altitude ascent a little nicer for the lungs and muscles (and brains).

One of our Trekkers stayed behind today in Phakding with Traveler’s Diarrhea. Eighty percent of the time this bug is bacterial (she happened to be my roommate at the tea house, and I seemed to be ok). She improved after some odansetron, rehydration fluids and antibiotics, but caught us a day later in Namche. Her illness inspired an impromptu discussion at breakfast about hygiene around food as most Traveler’s Diarrhea is transmitted via the “fecal-oral” route. The most common symptoms are nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, as well as abdominal cramping and less commonly, fever. Our UK friends call the symptoms “D & V,” which actually sounds quite pleasant with a Scottish accent! Lots of hand sanatizer going around at this point, and we learned how to share hygienically:

Suggested method of sharing snacks. This snack - Glenergy Bars.

Suggested method of sharing snacks. This snack – Glenergy Bars.

The group was bonding nicely, and we enjoyed sharing everything. So we had to lay down the law about “safe sharing practices” (see last photo). We would get to views of Everest the next day! Namaste and hugs.

To read the trip summary: WMS Everest Experience

 

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