You can read all of my posts about the Everest Base Camp trek here!
After hobbling into Phakding yesterday, I woke up today with my ankle and knees feeling much better. I had a restless night’s sleep with my ongoing cough keeping me up – unfortunately it was beginning to turn into a fully-fledged cold. We had a late start to our final day of the Everest Base Camp trek this morning for two reasons – we only had 3 hours of trekking to reach Lukla, and the huge Hindu festival of Dashain had been on last night which all of the staff had attended.
The village of Phakding had partied hard, with drumming and music going all night – it only stopped when I woke up at 5:30am! When we went in for breakfast, there were quite a few sore heads amongst the locals, and the teahouse chef was still drunk and very funny! Deepak told us that he had tried to put the chef to bed to sleep it off 4 times, even locking his door from the outside and he still kept turning up in the dining room!
After we had a leisurely breakfast, we were underway for the final leg of the Everest Base Camp trek. While I’d had an amazing time on the trek, I can’t say I was disappointed that it was almost over – my body was starting to break down and the sore throat that I had developed did not make for a pleasant day of trekking. Once I got onto uneven ground, my ankle started playing up again also, so I was very relieved when we finally arrived in Lukla. I’m sure my team were as well – they must have been sick of my whinging!
We checked in to the Paradise Lodge and met the lovely owner Mrs Dawa Phuti Sherpa, or as Deepak introduced her to us, Annie. Annie is quite well known amongst the community and many famous climbers have stayed with her. I found out later that her grandfather was one of the porters that assisted Sir Edmund Hillary on his 1953 summit of Mt Everest. Each room of the teahouse is named after a different famous climber. Deepak told us that every time Sir Edmund Hillary passed through Lukla, he used to stay at this very teahouse!
We had some lunch at the teahouse, and then headed into Lukla as we wanted to buy some clean clothes – we were a little sick of trekking clothes and didn’t have much leftover that was clean! We went back to the lodge, had a shower and got changed (it was so nice to put on clean clothes!), and then went out for a coffee.
The coffee place that we ended up at happened to have a pub downstairs, so we went down for a game of pool and our first celebratory beer of the trek – Everest brand of course! We headed back to the teahouse where Annie had been busy cooling some beer down for us so we could celebrate our successful trek with Deepak, Kabindra and Anjun. Annie even brought us out some popcorn and spicy fish as bar snacks.
We proceeded for the rest of the afternoon to build our very own Mt Everest out of Everest beer cans! I was a great afternoon laughing and joking with our trekking team, a fantastic bookend to the trip. After dinner, we decided to go out to the Waves Bar in Lukla for a couple of games of pool and some cocktails. Deepak joined us after putting Kabindra and Anjun to bed – they weren’t quite used to keeping up with our Aussie drinking pace!
We had a couple of drinks at Waves Bar, and a bit of a dance (BYO iPod and they’ll plug it into their sound system!), and then made our way back to the teahouse for a sleep – we were booked on the very first flight back to Kathmandu in the morning!