Saturday, 27 October 2012

Everest Trek - 26 days part 2

Wed. 3rd Oct. – Day 12 “On Top Of The World!” - part 2
Lungden – Renjo La Pass - Gokyo (4380m – 5360m – 4790m) – 8h

King Dancer with Mt. Everest in the background!
I finally stepped on the small plateau on the pass and OMG!!!! I couldn’t believe my eyes! That view was breathtaking, awesome, gorgeous, impressive and almost too good to be true!

Renjo La Pass 5360m - Mt. Everest + Gokyo Lake

There was only one Australian guy up there. I dropped my backpack and got my camera out! Can you believe it, this is the first time in my life I saw Everest!!!!

Yippie - Renjo La Pass!

Stunning! There were at least 10 other snow-capped peaks to the left and right side. I had a look at my watch- 9.58am!!!! Hehe, I made it! I was impressed and a little bit proud :) I was the first one today reaching the pass from this side. The Australian guy explained all the different peaks to me, which we were able to see like: Lhotse, Nuptse, Everest, Taboche, Cholatse, Makalu, Ngozumpa Glacier, Cho Oyu and I’m sure there were more.

Mt. Everest 8848m - Nuptse 7861m - Lhotse 8516m    

Cholatse 6335m - Ama Dablam 6814m

Chumbu 6853m - Khangchung 6103m - Changtse 7553m    

Khangtega 8885m - Thamserku

View onto the 2nd lake
Renjo La Pass - 5360m
I just couldn’t believe I was up there, almost no clouds, the stunning blue sky and these impressive mountains. 

Ready for a chocolate bar!

Just stunning!!!

The guide from the Americans had just arrived!

I felt like I was ON TOP OF THE WORLD!

I feel I can fly, I can feel I can touch the sky...!

I felt like I was gifted to be here and grateful to be able to see that breathtaking view! I had never seen anything more impressive or beautiful! It was worth all the visa trouble, the money I paid for it, living in Nepal during the monsoon, earning a Nepali salary and trekking for the last 12 days ;)
That view was worth a lot and I would have never liked to miss it by any means in my life!

Mt. Everest in all his beauty!

Renjo La Pass Panorama

Mt. Everest - 8848m

Mt. Everest 8848m - Nuptse 7861m - Lhotse 8516m    

Renjo La Pass - Here I am!

Mt. Everest 8848m - Nuptse 7861m - Lhotse 8516m

What a stunning scenery!
I stayed up on the pass for 2 hours, just to admire these stunning mountains in all its beauty, taking millions of pictures, chatting with other trekkers who came up and so on.

At noon I decided to make my way down. You could see Gokyo, one lake and the village from the pass, but the clouds started to roll in and I felt like it was better to go down.

On my way down to Gokyo!

The trail was full of gravel, sand and it was slippery. I even fell once on my bum, but nothing serious. But I didn’t like to go downhill.

I stopped once to built a little stone monument at a perfect spot. View onto Everest and Gokyo :) I thought about my dream and, said it out loud and thought at this beautiful location I hope it will come true!

My pile of stones on the right bottom corner!    

Lovely flowers above 5000m!
The trail finally levelled out and went around a ridge next to the lake. The colour of the water of the lake was turquoise. Gorgeous!

The start of Gokyo lake!

Gokyo village in the far distance

Clouds are rolling in over Gokyo lake

Finally I reached the end of the ridge and I just had to cross a river by hopping from one stone to the next to reach Gokyo!
I started to check out lodges and finally the 3rd one I took! A very cute lady runs it with her son & daughter. My room had a view onto the lake and the blanket she provided reminded me about my Granny’s house – lovely cute little flowers on it! I had a late lunch – a big portion of cheese macaroni! Mmmhh, I needed it after that pass!!! There were some other trekkers in the lodge from Canada and Switzerland and they were pretty chatty. The South African couple had arrived as well; their tent was just a few meters away at the neighbours lodge! So cool :)
I went over to them and we sat outside in the sun until she disappeared. We exchanged our trekking stories from the last 2 days and had a lovely time.

Then I went up the Namaste Lodge to check if the Russian guy Michael had arrived. His girlfriend was really worried and I got worried as well. It was already 5pm and he wasn’t here yet. Only one hour left until it would get dark. I stayed a while with her, looking at the ridge, but we couldn’t see him. Back in my lodge I watched the trail in the sunroom and there he was coming down! Unbelievable, almost 6pm, but glad he made it! I had cheese momo for dinner, so tasty! At 8.30pm it was bedtime! I was so exhausted and glad to lie down :)

Thu. 4th Oct. – Day 13 “The sacred lakes in Gokyo!”

Gokyo – The sacred lakes – Scoundrel’s viewpoint - Gokyo

(4790m – 5020m – 4790m) – 5h

Cho Oyu View Lodge                        toilett :|            food :)

I woke up a few times last night, but it was so cosy with that blanket, that I didn’t really mind so much! 

Gokyo Lake in the morning
 I had breakfast at 7am and the South African couple and myself started walking towards the 4th and 5th lake. We reached the first one pretty quickly after 30min or so and the moon was still visible.

The 4th lake

Impressive glacier

That glacier is unbelievably wide
4th lake
Very unusual scenery! On the right side the big moraine was visible.  I had never seen something like that!

We walked at least for another 1.5-2hours to reach the 5th lake called Ngozumpa Tsho 4980m. 

From there it was just a 5min walk up to the Soundrel’s Viewpoint 5020m! If you believe it or not, but this was my 2nd day seeing Everest!

Mt. Everest - 8848m

Not only that, I also saw Nuptse, Lhotse & Makalu again! I could feel the altitude today and walked slowly. My legs were fine but it was difficult to breathe!

Back in Gokyo I decided to go back to the Namaste Lodge to have a Yak Burger! Yes, I felt like meat and I needed some :) The first time on this trek that I had meat! It was tasty, even when the bun was toast, which wasn’t toasted at all ;) But I got real potato chips and a salad with it.


Back at my lodge I did some laundry and had a stroll through the village after that. I bumped into Michael and his girlfriend again and it seems like we are taking the same route 2morrow. That’s nice :) I walked up the nearby hill, where I was able to look down onto the glacier again. You could see lots of ice this time and the glacier is massive. Apparently I need to cross it tomorrow!!!!

Clouds rolling in over the glacier
View onto the glacier
Gokyo Lake
The lodge was very quiet last night as we were only 6 guests. But that was meant to change this night as a big French group came in and now the lodge was packed! We got the news that no planes are flying in and out of Lukla since 5 days! Good for us, so there are less trekker up here ;) And EBC hopefully is quiet as well! Let’s wait and see :)

Beautiful Gokyo - 3rd lake

Fr. 5th Oct. – Day 14 “Stunning view & Crossing the glacier!”

Gokyo – Gokyo Ri - Dragnag

(4790m – 5360m – 4700m) – 1 1/2h + 2h

Tashi Friendship Lodge                        toilett :|            food :)

I couldn’t sleep last night! I was awake every hour and at some stage I even opened my window to get some fresh air and to be able to breathe better. The big French group got up at 4am to hike up to Gokyo Ri and woke the whole lodge up. Didn’t matter to me really, as I was awake anyway ;) I started walking up to Gokyo Ri at 7am. It was another steep climb, but I stopped several times to turn around and to enjoy the stunning view!
View on the way up

It got better and better and better...

Hike up to Gokyo Ri - View onto Everest already ;)
Soon I was able to see Everest again – the 3rd day in a row! Wow! I could get used to that ;) On the way up I met Michael, the Russian guy with his girlfriend again and after 1.5 hours I had reached the top!

Stunning panorama, similar like Renjo La pass.

I took so many pictures and some funny one’s as well! First I looked at the banner, which was up there to understand what beautiful mountains we were looking at.

Mt. Everest

View onto Gokyo

Mt. Everest - Nuptse - Lhotse
So happy!
Mt. Everest 
I could look at him for hours and don’t get bored :) 


Yes, I made it!

 We were able to see from left to right: Cho Oyo 8201m, Ghyachung Khang 7922m, Chumbu 6853m, Khangchung 6103m, Changtse 7553m, Everest 8848m, Nuptse 7861m, Lhotse 8516m, Makalu 8463m, Cholatse 6335m, Ama Dablam 6814m, Khangtega 6685m, Thamserku!

Mt. Everest!

Unbelievable beautiful! 

Awesome view onto Gokyo
After a little while Michael arrived and the SA couple as well. 

Colleen from South Africa


Stunning, Awesome, Beautiful

On Top Of The World...!!!

Yoga on Top of the World

Yes, I'm so happy!!!

I stayed up there on the top for 1.5 hours, as it was breathtaking. I felt like I never wanted to leave again!

On my way down

It was hard to leave this awesome place. 

Gokyo Lake

On my way down I met a couple from the Czech Republic and they are going over the pass tomorrow as well. Maybe I will meet them on the way. Down in Gokyo I had lunch and packed my stuff.

I left together with the SA couple (Collin and Arthur) towards Dragnag. We had to cross the massive glacier and it was a bit scary, but an adventure for sure! Glad we went together, felt much better so. 

Walking over the massive glacier

Impressive Glacier
We met quite a few trekkers coming towards Gokyo from the pass and they all looked pretty scattered and exhausted!

Trail on the glacier

We had finally crossed the massive glacier!

Overlooking the glacier

Crossing the glacier wasn’t too bad at all and we actually reached Dragnag already after 1.5 hours. There were four lodges in total, so I checked 3 of them and decided to stay in the last one! There were a group of Germans there, which will cross the pass tomorrow with a guide and porters. A little later a group of Spanish people arrived, who just came down from the path. Unfortunately their English was very limited and we couldn’t really communicate very well:(

Sat. 6th Oct. – Day 15 “Never believe everything ;)!”
Dragnag – Cho La Pass – Dzongla – Tukla – Lobuche
(4700m – 5420m – 4830m – 4620m - 4930m) – 9h
Lobuche National Park View Lodge                        toilett :|            food :)

For the first time since days I actually had a good night sleep! Yes, I couldn’t really believe it myself but it felt sooooo good! So happy, as it will be a big tough day today. Got up at 4.30am, breakfast at 5am and left with the German group at 5.30am. Unfortunately the group was so slow, that I had to walk ahead. But after a short while I reached the German porters and was able to walk with them :)

First the trail was good, a bit steep, but not too bad. However it got colder by the hour as we walked up in the shade and it was freezing! At one stage, I couldn’t feel my fingers or toes anymore!

We had to cross the glacier and then climb up an impressive steep wall! It was scary!!! I almost couldn’t believe that we would be able to climb up there. It reminded me of real Rock climbing on Tonsai beach earlier this year. But unfortunately there was no Simon who gave me any comfort in putting one foot up and then the next one! I also had an 8-10kg backpack on my back.

We crossed the glacier, which meant hopping over big rocks, but that was fine. The worst and scariest part was still to come – the impressive wall up to the pass. I followed the steps of the porters as well as I could and soon I was climbing with my hands and feet incl. my backpack and my wooden hiking stick up the scary rocks! I just tried to copy the porters, placing my feet at the same spot if possible. Halfway through I felt a bit more comfortable and confident and not so nervous and scared anymore.
But I can tell you; the feeling when I finally had reached the top was a great relief!

There were quiet a few people at the top, which came over the pass from the other side, and the French group was up there as well. I enjoyed the view onto snow, took some pictures and ate some Haribo wine gums with the porters, which I had carried all the way from Kathmandu.

What I hadn’t realized at that stage – there was another scary part to come! There was a really steep wall to go down to the other side – short but steep! I decided to follow the porters again to get down safely – which I did! But this altogether was enough adventure for today I though! On the other side of the pass was snow :) Beautiful and I really enjoyed stepping into the frozen snow!

I started to go down slowly following the French group. After half and hour we reached another stunning view point onto the valley and onto Ama Dablam.

Finally at 11.15am I reached the lunch place. It was about time so. I just ordered some plain chapatti and I had a piece of Yak cheese with it, which I got from the SA couple. So tasty!
From there I started my trek towards Lobuche. I had to walk around the ridge and there I met another porter who told me he will go to Lobuche, so I followed him! 

View onto Ama Dablam

Well, at some stage there were two trails, one upper and one lower one. I decided to follow the porter on the lower on! Big mistake as I discovered after half an hour that I did end up in Thukla at 4600m!!!  

Oh no, I couldn’t believe my eyes. After all that walking all day I took the wrong path and I need to climb up 300 altitude meters again??!!
I did ask some locals how long it would take to walk up to Lobuche and they told me 1.5hours. I almost died! After all the trekking today I had to climb another 300m. OMG, I hope I can make that! My back started to hurt, but my feet at least kept on going. Finally at 2.30pm I reached Lobuche!!! Not a great place really :(

I did ask for some room prices in different lodges and they were dear. On top of that were the people really unfriendly – one guy played cards and was reluctant to even show me a room. In another lodge the guy was listening to music and wasn’t interested either to show me any room! Unreal, you could really feel that we were in a touristy hot spot close to the Everest Base Camp. Made me a bit sad actually. Finally, somebody asked me on the street if I’m looking for a room and he brought me to a friendly lodge were I decided to stay! I even had my private toilet! After an hour the three Israeli brothers arrived, which I had met on the way from Jiri to Lukla. Later on the Czech couple came as well. We had a lovely chatty evening around the fireplace :) I had some filling Dal Bhat for dinner! The most expensive one on the trek – 600 Rp!
Unfortunately the night was freezing cold and the people upstairs were so noisy all night, that I couldn’t sleep! Happy to move on!

Sun. 7th Oct. – Day 16 “Everest Base Camp – Here I am!”
Lobuche – Gorak Shep – EBC – Gorak Shep (4930m – 5180m – 5364m – 5180m)– 2h + 5h
Buddha Lodge                        toilett :|            food :)

I got up and left without any breakfast at 6.30am, as it was apparently only 2 hours to Gorak Shep. 

I started trekking and soon I felt like I was on the Jiri to Lukla Trek as the trail went up & down and up & down! I felt really tired and I guess I could feel the hard day yesterday over the pass – I was moving like a snail.

Surprisingly I reached Gorak Shep after 2 hours!
I found a nice lodge and ordered finally some breakfast. I was starving! Then I dropped my heavy stuff in my room and walked with my light backpack towards the EBC!

The trail was leading over gravel and boulders alongside the glacier. 

It wasn’t a difficult walk, but I still took it easy, as I felt tired. On the way we had impressive views onto Nuptse, Everest, Puno Ri and Cho La. 

Then I could see tents in the far distance and that was already EBC! Wow, impressive!

Can you see the colourful tents? That's EBC!
The glacier was stunning, very different to the one we saw in Gokyo. 
There were many icebergs here rising out of the glacier.

The view onto the glacier down the valley

Crossing the glacier

To reach EBC you had to walk onto the glacier and cross it a bit until you reach the white banner! 

I couldn’t believe I was there!!!

Yippie! EBC - I made it!
The most impressive thing really was, that I had reception on my mobile phone for the 1st time in a week! Incredible! Very happy so ;)

After shooting some pictures I went onto the real Base Camp with the expeditions. 

There was a Japanese and a Nepali group there and they even had electricity up there as the generator was on.

It was a cool feeling to be in the EBC!

The toilet tent at the EBC!
I went back over the glacier to the banners where the Israelis had arrived. We chatted for a bit and then made our way back to Gorak Shep.

I stopped on the way for a break to enjoy the view onto Everest! Gorgeous!

The weather was still sunny, just the wind picked up and a few small clouds rolled in.
Back at my lodge I ordered some toast and I had the last bit of cheese with it!  Sooo delicious!
Sitting in the gorgeous sun with a view onto Pumo Ri! Can life be better?!

Later in the afternoon it got a bit chilly and we went inside the lodge where the oven was put on :) It was soon very cosy and warm. I ordered dinner and suddenly the door opened and the SA couple came in! OMG, what a lovely surprise! I was so happy! We had a lovely chat, exchanged experiences about our trek over the pass and decided to go up to Kala Patthar together 2morrow morning. Lovely!
Oh, I forgot to mention one sad thing. Actually one night before I arrived in Gorak Shep one French man had died because of altitude sickness in one of the neighbour lodges. Shocking, but some people don’t take the symptoms of altitude sickness seriously and it can actually be life threatening! 

Mo. 8th Oct. – Day 17 “Reaching Kala Patthar - 5545m! Wow!!!!”
Gorak Shep – Kala Patthar – Thulka - Dingboche (5180m – 5545m – 4620m – 4360m)– 1.5h + 4h
Snow Lion Lodge                        hot shower :)            food :)

I had another restless night with almost no sleep, but at least I was warm in my room and sleeping bag. During breakfast the lady owner gave us a small device to measure our Oxygen level – 88% it showed for me and I was very happy. Apparently anything over 80% up on 5000m is good! Made me feel more comfortable even if I wasn’t able to sleep at nighttime.
At 7.15am we started our climb up to Kala Patthar. It was freezing outside, -3degrees apparently but the sun came out already.

View going up - first glimpse onto Everest
The hike was steep, especially so early in the morning, but soon we were already able to see Everest!
I hiked with the couple from SA and I met the Polish guy on the way up, who stayed in my lodge.
After less than 1.5hours we reached the top.

Kala Patthar - 5545m!
It was different to Gokyo Ri as it felt more like a real peak!!!

The view from up there was breathtaking! What a panorama!

Pumo Ri

Mt. Everest - 8848m

My wooden hiking stick + backpack at 5545m!
We took lots of pictures and after a while the Israeli brothers came up and later on the Russian buy Michael with his girlfriend as well!

It was such a lovely atmosphere up there that I stayed there for over an hour.

I could have stayed longer but I had to go down, pack up my stuff and start my descent to Dingboche.
At around 11am I left Gorak Shep and the way towards Lobuche was exhausting. Climbing over all these rocks again and I just didn’t like that part of the trail.

Way to Thulka

The way to Thulka was a bit better, but I was just looking forward to stop for lunch. I was starving! I reached Tulka at 1.30pm and ate. Met a lovely Russian couple there from Moskau and we had a nice chat.

From there I walked towards Dingboche. Wow, I was pleasantly surprised! The trail was so nice to walk on, no rocks or gravel anymore, just lovely earth and easy to walk on surface. I met some Yaks on the way and porters, but no trekkers at all!

Dingboche was a pretty big village with 2 nice stupas and a lot of guesthouses. Difficult to know really, which one to pick! The decision was made in the end by the shower facility! Yes, I had a proper shower after 8 days!

I felt like I was newly born with my fresh hair and clean skin :) There were a lot of groups staying in that lodge and some Germans also. I was sitting next to a very nice chatty man. However it was shocking how many people in that group lost their appetite and didn’t finish their dinner! With these high prices and some hardly touched their food! What a waste :( I decided to have a fresh baked chocolate brownie for dinner :) So tasty! The food in that lodge was excellent. The tour guide from the German group could actually speak German fluently. He had studied at the Goethe Institute in Kathmandu. Very impressive I have to say, his German was pretty good. 1st Nepali I had met who can speak proper German!

Tue. 9th Oct. – Day 18 “What to do – up or down?!”
Dingboche – Tengboche – Khyangjuma (4360m – 3878m – 3550m)– 5h
Thamsherku Lodge                        toilet :/            food :)

I had a wonderful night sleep :) The 1st on in over a week! It felt so good! And today I’m taking it slowly – half rest day I decided. I had breakfast with the German group and after they left I had a stroll through Dingboche. The weather was unusual and a bit awkward. No sunshine, lots of clouds and a bit hazy!

I bought some more tea and went back to my guesthouse to pack up my stuff. The plan was to hike up to Chhukung and then maybe another day to the Island Peak Bace Camp. Then it suddenly started to snow! The owner of my lodge said it was very unusual, as it never snows in October. Oh well, here we go!
I decided to visit the local bakery to make up my mind what to do! The owner of the bakery told me that this weather would last for the next 2-3 days!!! If that is really true, there is no point in walking up to Chhukung as I wouldn’t have any view. I ate a croissant and bought some marble biscuits for the afternoon. Then I stepped outside and it was still snowing. Couldn’t decide what to do, walked 5min towards Chhukung, but then turned around as the view got worse and I finally decided to go down!!!
It was already 11am by the time, but apparently it’s only 3hours to Tengboche, where I wanted to stay tonight. It was a lovely walk along the river, the surface was earth and much nicer to walk on then the glaciers the last few days! I met a lot of tourists, who all came up, especially a lot of groups. I passed through a few villages on the way down, Pangboche and Dobuche and after a steep climb I arrived in Tengboche at 1.30pm! That was perfect timing I was thinking to get a room. It had stopped snowing, however there were many tourists on the street and in front of the monastery.

I decided to check out some lodges, but soon realized, that most of them are fully booked! I found two available rooms, but they were really basic and extremely expensive. I also didn’t like the owner, as they were really arrogant and the atmosphere in the village. It was all extremely touristy and lots of people were just here because of the famous monastery. There was a bakery in Tengboche, so I decided to go there to make up my mind what to do! In the meanwhile it started to drizzle! The prices were sky-high, so I decided to just look at my map and where to walk to from here! The bakery was packed with trekkers, at least 40 people! Tourist season had definitely started here!!!
Ok, I decided to walk down towards Namche and to stop on the way at a lodge somewhere. The rain got heavier and even more tourists came up! After a while I met the guide from the French group and he told me they are walking towards a village I had never heard of. I told him I would stop at the next lodge coming up. As it turned out there were no lodges for a while and the one we passed was very old and completely empty. Not a good sign so! I decided to walk with the French group instead; the guide was really nice and said there would be a room for me in their lodge. Good I thought, at least a place to sleep at! However it would be at least another 1.5hours until we would reach the place. Ok, that’s it then, not really a rest day at all!!! On top of all of that – we had to ascent another 300 meters – it was a steep climb and I could feel the weight of my backpack! The rain finally stopped and we reached the lodge by 4pm!

The lady owner had a room for me for a reasonable price. I was so happy and relieved! What a day!!! Not according to plan at all! I unpacked my stuff and went up into the dining room. All the French had put up there wet clothes as the oven was on and the room was packed. It was nice and cosy! I brought up my clothes as well and set down on one of the tables. In the beginning the group was a bit reserved and reluctant to talk to me. The guy sitting next to me was really shy. Anyway, at some point they decided to start drinking rum and the whole atmosphere kept changing. The guide came over to me and we chatted for a while. Some of the French already started singing French songs and it seemed like we’re going to have a party tonight! We all had dinner and soon everybody danced to Nepali songs!!!! I had no alcohol, as I still don’t drink any since my Yoga Teacher training in February this year, but I enjoyed observing the atmosphere. The ice was broken and lots of French people started to talk to me! It was a lovely evening – very unexpected so!

Wed. 10th Oct. – Day 19 “Spoiling myself in Namche’s bakeries!”
Khyangjuma - Namche (3550m – 3440m)– 1h – Restday!!!
Shangri La Lodge                        toilet :)            food :)

I had a good night sleep and was looking forward to spend a day in Namche. I decided to skip breakfast and get something nice at the bakery in Namche instead. 

Only after one hour of walking I reached Namche! However I couldn’t believe how many people actually walked up and passed me. I’m not joking – there were at least 500 people coming up in less than an hour!!! OMG, I’m so glad that I’m on my way down :) Perfect timing, just when the major tourist season is starting!

I went back to my lodge, where I stayed on my way up, but he told me his guesthouse is full! The whole dining room was empty and I actually didn’t believe him. I think he didn’t like that I haven’t had lunch there the last time I stayed. Oh well, never mind! I went to look at two other lodges and found a nice room on the 3rd floor for a reasonable price with a Western toilet and a nice woman running it! I was even allowed to wash my clothes outside and dry it on the stones in the backyard! Perfect :)
Then I walked to the bakery and had some breakfast – Chocolate Danish! Mmhh, so tasty :) I was even sitting outside in the sun on the roof terrace. That’s what I call enjoying life!

View from the roof terrace

I bought a few more useful things incl. toilet paper, lip balm and chocolate bars! Came back to my guesthouse and the washing was almost all dry! Very pleased :) I also spoke to Caroline in Kathmandu and texted my parents. A little stroll around the village, bought some postcards and went back to the bakery for some marble cake + cafe latte! What a lovely relaxing day!
Met some really nice people in the bakery. First a group of Scottish people, with their lovely accent! Haven’t heard a Scottish accent for quite a while! Then a woman sat down next to me who was from Berlin. We had such a lovely chat; she was so funny and had interesting stories to tell ;) What an entertaining afternoon really! Back in the guesthouse I just had dinner and there were only groups there with guides and porters all going up!

Thu. 11th Oct. – Day 20 “Watching planes at Lukla airport!”
Namche - Lukla (3440m – 2800m)– 6h
Shangri La Airport Lodge                        toilet :)            food :)

It was still cold this morning, but blue sky and the sun came out! I left Namche and walked through the National Park. For the 1st hours I only met Nepali people, but then the tourist crowds came in! One group after the next – so glad I’m going the other direction ;) After the Nat. Park I passed through Jorsalle and some more cute villages on the way. 

It was a beautiful walk and as it got warmer I so enjoyed walking in shorts and T-Shirt again! I met a big Spanish group, which walked up and the guide was the guesthouse owner from Cheplung :) He recognized me straight away and we chatted a little bit. He was actually the guy, who recommended Renjo La Pass! So I thanked him and told him I loved this part of the trek. He was very happy to hear that :)

After 6hours I reached Lukla. I checked a few guesthouses and found a nice one just at the end of Lukla and a bit above the airport runway! My room had a straight view onto the runway! 

watching a plane taking off

on the way

up in the air

I watched a few planes coming in and flying out! OMG, what a short runway! Glad I decided to walk back to Jiri to take the bus ;)

It had started to rain and it didn’t seem like it would stop anytime soon. I made my way to the post office to send the postcards finally, but it was closed! That’s Nepal! Oh well, then I will carry them all the way back to Kathmandu ;)
I walked a bit through Lukla, but the locals were not friendly at all. One shop owner even shouted at me when I was asking for stamps. He must have had a bad day! I decided to go into a bakery, ordered café latte and an apple crumble! I met two women from Innsbruck, who just had finished their trek and who are going to fly out 2morrow. We had a lovely conversation and it was a perfect place to spend a rainy afternoon! Back at my guesthouse I had dinner and met a couple from Israel, who had just arrived in Lukla and a Swiss guy who had walked in from Jiri as well.

Fr. 12th Oct. – Day 21 “On my way back to Jiri!”
Lukla – Surkhe – Kari La Pass - Bupsa (2800m – 2290m – 3145m – 2360m)– 6.5h
Sundup Lodge                        toilet :)            food :)

This morning when I was on my way to have breakfast I figured out, that they actually had locked the lodge from the outside! So I was locked in! I had a look if some of the bedrooms downstairs were empty and unlocked! I found one, opened the window and climbed out onto the pavement to go over the dining room. What action at 6am!!!
When I told the girls from the lodge, they didn’t understand as their English was limited and my breakfast wasn’t ready either. Bit of a chaotic morning needless to say!

Helicopter landing at 6.30am
I had breakfast at last and went pass the German bakery to buy marble cake and some cookies. Now I was ready to descent!

Oh it was a long one, it seemed like never ending, but at least I was on the right trek!
Finally I reached Surkhe and from there it went only uphill until the pass – 800 meters! Oh it was steep, but I trekked with some mules and their keeper, which kept me nice company. The weather was sunny, but most of the trail was actually in the shade through the forest. I reached the pass at noon and met some other French trekkers.

I think overall I had met at least 30 trekkers going up today, so even on the Jiri trek the tourists are increasing ;) I decided to walk down to Bupsa and have lunch there and to stay in the same lovely lodge as on my way up. The woman did recognize me straight away and I got one of the lovely rooms upstairs. I was pleased and the 1st thing I did was having a lovely shower in that place! It felt incredible. I really value small things ;) After washing some clothes I had lunch and just sat down in the garden in the lovely sunshine and relaxed. Soon three men arrived and stayed in the same lodge, 2 guys from the US, 1 from the UK. It was good to have company. They were a funny bunch of guys, very chatty, funny and entertaining! They shared a beer and we chatted away.  All of them were 65 years old and they had 2 porters with them. All of them seemed pretty fit! I also played a little bit with Sandup, the son from the lodge owner before we had dinner.

Sa. 13th Oct. – Day 22 “A lodge to remember!”
Bupsa – Jubing – Nunthala – Trakshindu La Pass - Ringmo (2360m – 1680m – 2220m – 3071m – 2720m) – 8h
Sherpa Lodge                        toilet :/            food :/

I started off walking downhill to Khari Khola.

Monastery in Khari Khola

Had a quick look at the monastery and made my way down to the beautiful village of Jubing. These flowers and colours are just gorgeous looking! Then I had to climb up to Nunthala, which was a long way to go. Surprisingly I did reach Nunthala at around 11 already and that meant I have to hike up even further to go over the pass today! I had known, that this was another 800m ascent, but I pushed on!

100m before the pass I met another single trekker, a guy from the US who is actually walking back to Jiri as well! The 1st one I met ;) We chatted a little bit and he actually taught English in South Korea. Soon we had reached the pass and I stopped to have lunch there as I was starving! From there it was only a short walk down to Ringmo. I was so happy to be there until I discovered that the lodges were charging unrealistic prices for their rooms! It actually pissed me off, as it was my 22nd day on my trek and this was actually a joke. They were trying to charge more than up at 5100m!!! Insane!

View from my lodge in Ringmo
So I decided to stop at a farm – really small but the woman was open to negotiate. Finally! The room was very basic, but I didn’t care. She even had a hot shower for 50Rp! That was lovely! One night will do :) It felt like staying with a real Nepali family on a farm. They had chicken, a dog and her husband just cleaned a lot of Yak meat. I decided to order Dal Bhat for dinner, as this might be the safest and easiest option! I was starving but at 7.30pm we finally had dinner. It was an unusual Dal Bhat so, but the vegetables were really tasty including fresh mushrooms :) Wow, so cool! I love fresh mushrooms! 

Later this evening I almost couldn’t believe my eyes when I opened the wooden door towards the toilet! I had never seen such a toilet in real life, just in movies. There were 3 main wooden planks and some space left between them and underneath, maybe 1.5 meter lower were a lot of chipped wood. Oh well, that’s what it is then!

It was pretty chilly in the evening so I was sitting in the kitchen with the family, the husband was still cleaning the fresh Yak meat and the blood was flowing over the wooden floor boards – that was real Nepali life I guess ;)

Sun. 14th Oct. – Day 23 “Back at the best lodge ever!”
Ringmo – Phurten – Junbesi – Thubten Chholing (Tibetan monastery) - Junbesi  (2720m – 2900m – 2680m – 3000m – 2680m) – 3h + 2.5h
Apple Garden Lodge                        warm shower :)            food :)

I had a good night sleep, even when the barking dog woke me up at 2am. It took him a while to come down, but then I fell asleep again. At 7am I started trekking towards Junbesi. I had decided to take it easy today and have a half rest day. It took me less than 2 hours to reach Phurteng, with the impressive viewpoint onto the Himalaya’s.

Unfortunately this time there were a lot of clouds, so not the best view, but the sun was out and I rested there for a little while. I reached Junbesi already at 10am and went straight into “my” old guesthouse The Apple Garden Lodge”! The lady owner recognized me straight away and she told me that I could have a room upstairs. I was very happy, that lodge was such a nice place to be in! I dropped my stuff and washed some clothes as the sun was out.

At 11am I made my way towards the well-known Tibetan monastery “Thubten Chholing”. A dog followed me all the way – he was so cute! It was a nice trail up towards the monastery, crossed bridges and one massive stupa.

Then I met three nuns and they invited me to walk with them. One of them spoke a little English and so we were able to have a little conversation. They told me that they were 300 nuns and 200 monks up there in the monastery. Wow, pretty big I thought! We finally reached the steps leading to the monastery. 

Two more nuns joined us walking up to the main gompa. One of the nuns showed me the way and invited me to come in. In front of the stupa were a lot of Western people all waiting. Lots of shoes everywhere so I took mine of and suddenly one monk came out and gave some holy water to each of us as well as a plain white shawl. Seconds later we were able to go into the gompa and I was completely amazed and taken by what I saw!

The whole gompa was filled with monks and nuns dressed in red, some had orange hats on and they were chanting. I sat in the back of the room and just watched the ceremony, the other tourists sitting right and left from me. After a few minutes we all had to stand up and walked towards the front to one monk who put the shawl around our neck and then we walked around three altars and it was impressive to look at the room filled with all these monks and nuns! What an unexpected experience!

I stayed a bit longer at the back of the room before I left. It seemed like the ceremony was over as so many monks and nuns came out when I put on my trekking shoes again. 

Outside I saw that group of tourists posing for a picture with some monks. I went down the steps where I saw a Western woman dressed in red robes as well. I asked her if she stayed here and she told me, yes for 10 days. Cool, I was thinking to myself – that’s something I could do as well at some point in my life.

The location of this monastery is particularly beautiful, on that mountain with a gorgeous view down the valley! I saw the kitchen windows and suddenly recognized one of the five nuns I met beforehand. She waved at me and another nun appeared in the window, this was the one I was chatting with on my way up! They made some signs that I should wait, which I did. A few seconds later they had a yellow pack in their hands and mimed to throw it to me. They did, I caught it and these were lovely butter biscuits! Mmhh! They were so genuine and nice! I was smitten! I thanked them a few times, shouting “Dhanyabaad” and walked down the stairs. I met another nun, where I offered a biscuit to and she smiled at me and took it. On my way down to Junbesi I met a bunch of kids, which I shared my biscuits with. They were very cute :)

The last few minutes into Junbesi it started to rain. Oh no, all my washing hanging outside! I walked faster and reached my guesthouse, but all the washing was gone. The guesthouse owner was so kind to take them in for me :) I was so happy as these were my clothes, which I’m wearing in the evening. Now I was ready to have a shower :) In the Dining room I bumped into the American guy, which I had met yesterday. He had just arrived and stayed here as well. Lovely coincidence. I decided to have some tea with an apple momo + custard! It was as tasty as two weeks ago and I enjoyed every single bite! In the eve we were a few more trekkers, a French guy with Indian parents and a couple from Netherlands/UK! It was a lovely evening and we exchanged traveller stories and so on!
Before going to be, the lady owner showed me her prayer room to give me a blanket. Wow, it was beautiful! 

Mo. 15th Oct. – Day 24 “The longest day ever – 2 in 1!”
Junbesi – Lamjura Pass – Kinja - Bhandar (2680m – 3560m – 1630m–2200m)– 10h
Ang Dawa Guesthouse                        warm shower :)            food :)

After a good night sleep and some tasty apple momo I started my trek. I had known that it would be a long day so I left at 6.30am. I walked towards the pass in the lovely sunshine, past another monastery and lots of small local houses until I finally reached the forest before the pass.

I met a few local Nepali guys and when I had almost reached the pass two tourists came towards me and we had a quick chat. I was on the top of the pass at 9.15am and was pleased with that. Then I followed some locals down the trail and bumped into a lot of tourists going up! I had reached Sete at 11.15am and stopped at the Sunshine Lodge where I had stayed on my way up. The woman recognized me straight away and we chatted for a while about my trek. She’s really a lovely lady! Then I made my way down to Kinja. I met lots of trekkers going up and I recommended the lodge in Sete Hope the woman got some business out of it! I finally reached Kinja at around 1ish and had lunch, lovely pasta!

There were quite a few tourists at that lunch place and we had some lovely trekker chats before I decided to go on to hopefully reach Bhandar! The trekkers gave me a tip about a lodge in Bhandar. That felt good, as I might arrive late there. I had my first small bottle of Coke again – the first time after 3 weeks! So tasty! The Coke was so expensive further up that I didn’t get one.

At 2pm I started to trek uphill, quite steep, but the scenery was so stunning: green and lash, lots of flowers, banana-, lemon- and orange trees! Beautiful!!! Then it started to drizzle and the sun was shining as well. It actually felt good to feel some rain drops on my skin! It was really hot beforehand and the sun was blazing down! I met a few more independent trekkers and we chatted for a bit. After another hour I finally had reached Bhandar!!!

The village was kind of divided in an upper and lower part and I still had to walk to the upper one! More ascending to do! Finally I reached the stupa and I looked for the guesthouse the UK guy had recommended. I found the lodge and it was exactly next to the monastery.

Ang Dawa Guesthouse - Bhandar 2220m

Stupa and Monastery in Bandar

I walked in and saw two little kids in the kitchen. They called their Dad and he showed me a room. It was pretty spacious and had a double bed in it.

I told him, that I worked in Kathmandu and we agreed a lovely price. He asked me where I was from today and I told him from Junbesi! His eyes got bigger and he said I would walk like a Nepali! You are so strong he told me ;) He was actually a trekking guide! Nice compliment.

In my room there were two posters up on the wall - one from Pokhara on the left and one from Sydney on the right! Well, I'm not sure what that means exactly, but it seems like that could be my two future locations really ;)

The first thing I had – have a guess?! A shower ;) Oh that felt so good! Then two French arrived, father and son and stayed in the room next to me. I went downstairs and chatted a little with the lodge owner. He is such a lovely man and they have 4 kids. One is just 4 month old! I did hold the baby for a while and entertained it a little while drinking a hot chocolate. Oh, so tasty!

The owner even arranged a bus ticket for me for Wednesday and I also called the guesthouse in Kathmandu to reserve a room for me. Seems like all is getting sorted! All the trekkers had Dal Bhat for dinner. It was a big portion and tasty! The kids were watching comics on the computer – Tom & Jerry! So nice, reminded me about my childhood really. The kids were so cute!

Tue. 16th Oct. – Day 25 “Adventure until the last minute!”
Bhandar – Deurali - Shivalaya - Jiri (2200m – 2705m – 1790m – 1995m) – 6h
Everest Guesthouse                        warm shower :)            food :/

The owner told me this morning during breakfast that he has bought a buffalo this year, 8 years old for 90.000Rp (US$100). The buffalo gives 10 litres of milk every day. He sells 5l at the market and keeps the other 5l for his family and guesthouse. He was a trekking guide for 12 years previously, but now with the small little baby they rented the guesthouse since July.  I really hope he will be successful; he’s such a kind man!

I started my last trekking day at 7am. It went uphill to Deurali for one hour and then all downhill for 1000m! I met a lot of locals on the way and the scenery was so enjoyable, lots of greenery and cute houses.

 I reached Shivalaya at 10am! Very pleased!

Walking through the village the owner from the guesthouse where I had lunch previously waved at me! He recognized me immediately! So I decided to have a break there and a Coke! We chatted along for 20 min about my trek and his business. He was a lovely man!

Then I trekked the last kilometres to Jiri. I wasn’t sure if I will find the right way, but well let’s see. In the beginning it was a steep uphill climb and I met a few trekkers on the way. I remembered the way so far. 

Finally I reached the schoolhouse, where the local woman was teaching, which I had met on my way up. But then I reached a kind of junction and there were two big roads. One leading uphill, the other downhill! There was nobody around to ask so I went for downhill!
I saw a few locals later on and they told me, that’s the way to Jiri. I had known by then that this wasn’t the way I came up 3.5 weeks ago, but well ;)

I met a local woman with buffalos and she showed me the way downhill to Jiri. It looked like a real local small path, but well I used it. It didn’t take too long and I met a lot of locals coming up. I did ask a few of them and they all confirmed to me that’s this is the way to Jiri. It was actually a much nicer trail then the one we took on the 1st day! More locals came up and this was definitely the Nepali trail and not a tourist one! But well, it didn’t matter! Finally I saw Jiri :)

Oh, so glad I’m almost there :) I was starving! I found the Everest Guesthouse where I could pick up my bus ticket. Long negotiations about the room price, but then we somehow agreed. It could be that I’ll even get a private car back to Kathmandu ;) OMG! I had a shower, which was one of the worst I had, but well at least I felt better afterwards. 
I walked through Jiri, bought a Coke and crisps! Yes, that’s what I needed now and it was affordable! I went up to the stupa, sat down in the lovely sunshine and enjoyed just to be. Some local teenage girls sat down and I shared my Pringles with them.
Wow, 25 days of trekking and now I'm back in Jiri! I'm looking forward to see my friends in Kathmandu tomorrow and to have some fresh vegetables.
In the evening a private Toyota Corolla arrived to drop one trekker and I will be able to drive back with him tomorrow :)

Wed. 17th Oct. – Day 26 “Private car ride to Kathmandu!”
Jiri – Kathmandu – 7h
Fair View Guesthouse

We left Jiri at 6.30am and I was really the only passenger in the Toyota Corolla ;) So lucky! The drive was a bit scary, but I asked the young Nepali if it would be possible to slow down, so I could reach Kathmandu alive and he did! Thank god! The scenery and valleys we drove through were beautiful and I would have never been able to see all that in a bus ride. So very grateful, that I was able to go back in a private car for a normal bus fare!

In the early afternoon we arrived in Kathmandu and the first hick-up was the guesthouse. Mine was fully booked as they owner made a mistake to double-book it. Oh well, I went over to the guesthouse across the road and they had a room for me ;) So I moved all my stuff incl. my box. I spoke to Caroline and we arranged to meet up for dinner. I grabbed my laptop and headed to my favourite bakery in Kathmandu - "Pumpernickel"! Spoiled myself with a cafe latte and brown bread sandwich. I uploaded all the pictures from the trek and I couldn't believe how beautiful they turned out!


I'm still absolutely smitten by the experience I had in the Everest Region! This trek couldn't have been any better. The weather was stunning, no injuries, I met lovely people and everything went smooth!
The views I had onto these Himalaya's will stay in my mind forever! I'm very grateful, that I was able to go onto this trek, to have this awesome experience! I love Nepal and these stunning mountains :) This trek was fulfilling, inspiring and made me so happy!

In 10 days a new chapter in my life will open up. I will be leaving Nepal and flying into Australia! Yes,  my dream will come true to finally visit Down Under! Fingers crossed, hopefully I will be even able to work there :) 

Thanks Nepal, for 7 beautiful months! 

Hello Australia - I'm on my way :)


  1. Hi Kestin, what a fantastic experience. The photo's are amazing and the blog is great, well done on getting out there and living the dream. Des

    1. Thanks Des :) It was awesome and never to be forgotten! Memories will stay forever :) K.

  2. Liebe Kerstin,
    ich war ja 2010 selbst in Nepal (Manaslu-Trek) und bewundere Deinen Mut, alleine zu gehen. Gleichzeitig bin ich ein bißchen neidisch, denn in einer Gruppe zu gehen, heißt sich dem Bergführer zu unterwerfen und meiner hat mein Nepal-Erlebnis sehr getrübt. Deine wunderbaren Fotos haben aber trotzdem auch schöne Erinnerungen aufleben lassen.
    Ich bin froh, daß Du alles gut überstanden hast und eine wundervolle Erfahrung sammeln konntest. Schick Dir liebe Grüße, Susanne

    1. Ganz lieben Dank Susanne! Der Manaslu Trek war sicherlich auch wunderschön. Ja, das mit den guides ist immer so ein Gluecksspiel leider. Man kann supernette erwischen, aber auch leider ein bissl reinfallen. Aber zum Glück sind auch schöne Erinnerungen zurückgekommen! Danke fuer den comment! Bis bald. Kerstin

  3. Namaste your blog for Everest parts 1 and 2...great blog posting and photos but to me more impressive was your attitude and willingness to tackle that trek completely independently and to be to complete it physically too....great job! I did the 3 passes trek from Chhukung to Lungen, counterclockwise in late March, 2013...lots of snow, lakes hidden/iced over...seems like your timing was actually better for the trails..

    Hopefully your experience will help convince a friend of mine that she can do it too!


    1. Namaste Roger :) Thanks a million for posting a comment here and it is good to hear that you did the 3 passes trek counterclockwise. I can imagine that it must have been a way colder in March. The locals advised me to wait until End of Sept after the rainy season. So I guess I was lucky!
      You know I had spend a few months in Nepal and I had experienced the culture there through teaching. I did 2 treks before the big one so I think it is easier to know what to expect.
      I was never scared not to make it, more excited about what to experience.
      If your friend ever wants to drop me an email or get in contact she is more than welcome. It always helps to share experiences and hopefully get inspired by them.