What have I done?!
What was I thinking to sign up for a walk to Everest Base Camp?
If you have followed my blog for a while, you may recall that I don’t mind a bit of a stroll. This has translated into around 2 500km across Spain and Portugal, and just over 1 000km through Italy last year.
Often when I return from one of these adventures, people will comment “Well, you’ll be taking on the Kokoda Trail next” or “When is your assault on Everest?” I have always pooh-poohed these ideas as, even though I don’t mind walking +30km each day, I do like a ‘real’ bed under a solid roof at night and a shower of some sort. Don’t ask me to camp in a flimsy tent and scavenge bits of a luke-warm meal out of a teetering camp stove.
In my mind, Kokoda/Everest-type walks have always been off limits as they wouldn’t provide even the smallest degree of comfort at the end of each walking day. It turns out I was wrong.
One day when I was standing at my desk, minding my own business, an e-news from TripaDeal leapt into my Inbox, complete with stunning photos of snow-capped mountains and other breathtaking vistas.
Dancing across the screen was the special-not-to-be-missed-once-in-a-lifetime-never-to-be-repeated offer of $2899.00 per person, pretty much all-inclusive.
How could I not click on the link?
The more I read, the more it tweaked my interest and my imagination ran wild. I just had to print up the trip notes and wave them under The Husband’s nose. Perhaps, if I got him in a weak moment, he would like to join me on this epic adventure?
To my delight and amazement, he said “Yes”. Now this is starting to sound like a wedding proposal!
So, we are off!!
We have booked a tour starting in late March 2020. I am guessing it will still be pretty cold then, but hopefully we will have good walking temperatures during the daytime. Apparently April is peak hiking season, so perhaps we will miss some of the crowds too? Is my Eternal-Optimist kicking in already and am I kidding myself??
The plan is to:
Day 1: fly to Kathmandu, Nepal (1 345m)
Day 2: sightseeing in Kathmandu.
Day 3: Fly Kathmandu to Lukla, hike to Phakding (2 610m)
Day 4. Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3 440m)
Day 5. REST DAY
Day 6. Namche Bazaar to Tengboche (3 867m)
Day 7. Tengboche to Dingboche (4 260m)
Day 8. REST DAY
Day 9. Dingboche to Lobuche (4 930m)
Day 10. Lobuche to Everest Base Camp and return to Gorak Shep (5 160m)
Day 11. Gorak Shep to Kala Patthar (5 545m) to Pheriche (4 243m)
Day 12. Pheriche to Namche Bazaar (3 441m)
Day 13. Namche Bazaar to Lukla (2 886m)
Day 14. Fly Lukla to Kathmandu
Day 15. REST DAY
Day 16. Depart Kathmandu
Day 17. Arrive Sydney, Australia.
I was pleased to see the itinerary included a couple of days to acclimatise as we ascend. I am guessing I am going to need every rest stop I can get! Of course since booking, further research and chatting to people far more experienced than myself, has shown that 15 days is the recommended time frame for walking to Everest Base Camp, not 11 days! Oh well, we will have to double our focus on training and be sure to take it slow and steady when we get there. If am an expert at anything, I am an expert at ‘slow and steady’!
The thing that appealed to me with this trip is that during the hike we stay in mountain lodges and we only need to walk with a day pack as our larger packs are carried by porters. I have no illusions that the mountain lodges will be 5-star, but as long as I am out of the elements and relatively safe and dry, I will be fine. Apparently there is the chance that we will have to pay for hot water and electricity to charge our cameras etc, but that is fine and a small price to pay for a tad more comfort and completely acceptable considering the remoteness.
The never-to-be-repeated price (which I now find is readily available to all and sundry, 24×7) includes flights, airport transfers, four nights hotel accommodation + breakfast, 11 nights in mountain lodges, all meals during the trek, plus porters who will carry our backpacks. In my book that’s a pretty good deal.
And now I am left to wonder. “What the hell have I committed to??” I cannot imagine how I am ever going to be fit enough to hike through the Himalayas, but I guess it is just a matter of training, training, and more training. The fitter I am when I leave Australia, the more enjoyable it will be. Good theory??
So, over to you now. Hit me with all your tips, tricks and training ideas.
What should I pack?
How should I prepare?
What the hell have I done??
What: A 17-day tour to Nepal including an 11-day trek to Everest Base Camp. After all the media coverage of late showing the eye-opening traffic jams on Everest, I am expecting the walking paths to be busy too.
Where: After flying into Kathmandu, we transfer to Lukla and start our trek from there.
When: March 2020 and early Spring in Nepal. Looking at the historical weather records it states that the temperature averages range from 5°C to 22°C. Although apparently this year they experienced record lows and record snow falls! How will I pack every item of warm clothing I possess within the prescribed 10kg weight limit?
Why: Because it will be breathtaking and memorable and the closest to Everest I will ever get.
How: By foot, car, plane, bus, foot, bus, plane, foot, foot, foot, foot, foot, etc, plane, bus, plane, car, foot.
Who: Myself and The Husband.
Related Posts: For a little Nepal taster, check out my post about my 2017 visit to Kathmandu.
Related Blogs: For some great insight into what it takes to trek to Everest Base Camp have a look at this fabulous blog – The Year I Touched My Toes. Lots of handy information for would-be trekkers there.
Read About it: Prefer an armchair adventure to Everest Base Camp? Then strap on your crampons, take a deep breath and open Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. An astounding first-hand account of what it takes to climb Everest. Available from Book Depository.
#travelinspo #everestbasecamp #bucketlist #adventurebeforedementia