We trekked from Lukla to Phakding, which was a pretty easy three hours down 230 meters. I know-confusing since our goal is to go UP! But remember it is a mountainous region here in the dreamy Himalayas so you can go up and down depending on your path. For reference, Kathmandu is ~1300m, Lukla is 2840, and Phakding is 2610m. We will climb to EBC at 5364m but to a maximum height at Kala Pathar at 5555m (where the view of Everest is spectacular).
We saw so many "hills" and mountains, the distinguishing feature of which is apparently a cutoff height of 6000m. The first so-called mountain was called Numri and next to it was Kongde Ri. A few kilometers later was Kusum Khangkaru (6367m), which is composed of four distinct peaks.
We arrived in Phakding around noon where we stopped in a quaint, not-very-fancy-looking guest house. We were served daal bhat and thakari (saac), and it totally fit the bill. Warmth and flavor. Combined with my hot lemon tea, day 1 was a great start!
Thereafter, we spent the evening playing cards and learned a Nepalese game called Dhumal. Why? Well, because we decided to trek in the Himalayas in February-March, and it was of course snowing all afternoon. Beautiful though. As our guide told the company manager, "If they don't mind it being a bit more adventurous, of course we can do the trek." So here we are cold but inspired. The best part? We have almost the entire path practically to ourselves. It's so quaint-just as I feel something so majestic should be. I am SO glad I didn't come in peak season.
Our daily stats:
Start Location: Lukla
Time Started: 9:15 AM
Time Reached: 12:15
Final Altitude: 2600 m
Total Distance: 8km
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