Everest Base Camp 07: The last day that went to plan…

We spent two leisurely days trekking from Chukkung to Thukla to Lobuche.

Icicle reindeer in the morning

It began with a quick 1 hour stroll downhill to Dingboche (again) where we stocked up on lip balm (Kent), a buff (me), and lollies (Sarah). Then it was up a short, steep hill, along a gradual incline and passed some abandoned homes to Thukla. We would travel the same route a week later in completely different conditions…

Little abandoned homes (at least they appeared to be abandoned!)
Just chillin’

Far below us, a braided river wound it’s way along the valley and past the small settlement of Pheriche.

Stone walls outline the paddocks
Map geeks again 🙂

Thukla (aka Dugla) has 1 hotel and 1 restaurant and was heaving at the seams when we arrived. It’s a popular lunchtime stop for trekkers going both up and down the mountain.

Thukla aka Dugla

We sat next to a bunch of Irish parolees and their parole officer…at least, that’s the story they told us. Paddy and Mick were very Irish, very friendly and full of information about what to expect further up the trail. It would have been easy to sit and chat all afternoon but lunch was soon over and they moved on.

The outside seating area was freezing in the wind so most people crammed inside

No sooner had they left, Lee, the artist from Montana staggered in looking ready to collapse. He had made it over the super-challenging Renjo-La Pass!!! I was wondering if we would need a doctor for him, but after a cup of tea and some food, he perked up and returned to his normal self. He was such an inspiration for me. We saw his guide a week later and found out later Lee had also completed the Cho-La and passes. Amazing guy!

Toilet

Now while we did do a lot of hours trekking, a big part of our day revolves around food! At dinner, we sat with Heather, a retired sheet-metal worker from San Francisco. She was one smart cookie and had lived a fascinating life. Back in the 1970s, she discovered that the trades (building, electrician etc) paid the best wages. So she sat all the exams, applied to all the trade boards and was finally accepted by the sheet-metal crowd. She was one of the first women in the industry and built a reputation as a smart, strong and capable woman. She was so full of life, enthusiasm and laughter – one of those people who was a real magnet for others. We bumped into her and her brother several times over the next few days. She always had a bright smile plastered on her face and a host of kind words and stories to tell.

Bed duvet covers always have funny pictures on them

The next day started with a steep climb up Lobuche Pass. At the top of the pass are a lot of stone memorials to mountaineers, climbers and trekkers who have lost their lives in the Mt Everest region. It was a somber occasion for me. So many monuments. So many lives lost. Both westerners and local Nepali people.

The prayer flags and mountains are so calming

 

 

Monuments are scattered all around this area
On the path to Lobuche

A short climb later, we reached Lobuche. It took 5 minutes to wander around town, 10 minutes to wash some clothes in the freezing river with horses, cows and crows drinking nearby (I nearly fell in…not a good feeling!), and 1.5 hours to have lunch.

The river/stream that ran through the village

 

 

 

Local wildlife
Kent doing his laundry

I spent the afternoon in the upstairs sunroom reading. The room had windows on 3 sides and was such a sun trap. Such a novelty to be wearing nothing more than a t-shirt, light trousers and be barefoot at 4900 metres and still be toasty warm!

Artwork on the surrounding hills

My bedroom was at the junction of the front door, the kitchen, the dining room and the stairs leading to the upper floors. Because the walls are made of paper-thin plywood, I could hear every bang, slam, thump, step, trip, cough, burp, yell, laugh, crash…you get the idea. It wasn’t quiet! But the noises quickly faded into the background later that night as sleep consumed me.

We didn’t have a shower, let alone a ‘Geezer’ shower at our lodge
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