October 28 Namche

The first part of today's walk is a gradual ascent up the river, then a few sharp up and downs to get past the narrows, and then a steady ascent of 1000 feet up to Namche.  Dave said at the organizing meeting that this might be the most challenging day for most of us.  That's great -- only 1000 feet of climbing.  Should be a piece of cake. 

Trail Through Fields and Villages

Originally we were scheduled to hike considerably farther the first day, another couple of hours.  I am glad we stopped when we did.  I was getting tired and impatient.  We will make it up today, and get to Namche all the same.


We passed through the park entrance, then continued along to the confluence of the Dudh Koshi and the Bhote Koshi.  The bridge there is perched way above the raging river, and the bridge is surrounded by impossibly steep and narrow stairs.  Quite exciting. 
Namche Straight Ahead

The climb up to Namche is not nearly as strenuous as I had expected.  We stop and rest every 100m elevation gain, so we don't really get that tired.  About half way up there is a spot where we can see Mt Everest.  It looks very close.  It is easy to make out the south summit and the Hillary step.  There are vendors on the trail selling oranges at the Everest view. 

First View of Everest

We continue to plod up the trail -- the first section that is not studded by villages.  Before long we enter the outskirts of Namche.  The campsite is all the way on the far side of Namche (it ALWAYS is as far away as possible) but we don't know that yet.  We still have to climb another half hour, through Namche and beyond, to get to our overnight spot.  The trail always goes through the middle of town.  What a relief to be in camp. 
After a few minutes rest, I set out to explore the adjacent area.  Just next to us is an army base, situated on a little hilltop with a 360 degree view of all the surrounding peaks.  As long as we stay on approved territory, the army guards do not bother us.

The light on the surrounding mountains at sunset is spectacular.
Sunset at Namche

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