Base Camp. Day 11, Pangboche to Namche Bazar

Another early start this morning, breakfast at 7 and on the road for 8. The morning started off quite cold but rapidly heated up, which made selecting clothes a tricky proposition. I elected to go with a long sleeve merino base layer and long trousers, with a fleece for warmth. Pretty quickly I realised that I should have been in shorts and a short sleeve base layer.

The route in the morning consisted of a steep downhill section, very loose and dusty for extra slippery appeal. The path descends towards the river, with a lovely spot to stop at for lunch, actually the same place that we stopped on our journey up to Namche Bazar. We chose to eat inside after the helicopter incident last time we were here.

Lunch is selected from pretty much the same menu, no matter where you are on the route. No surprises here then, but the fried rice that I had was tasty and the canned mango juice is always a good choice.

After lunch we stepped outside to find that the clouds had rolled in and the temperature had dropped significantly. Which actually turned out to be pretty good for us, as the afternoon is pretty much all uphill, away from the river.

The afternoon’s walk is actually pretty tough going. Again, the trail is very dusty and rocky and also very steep in places. The 500m climb certainly feels much longer than the 1200m descent before lunch.

The trail rises through Tengboche, with the Monastery and then carries on uphill to Namche Bazar, which was a full day’s walk on the way towards base camp, but which only takes a section of the afternoon on the return journey.

After following the side of the mountain for, what feels like, a couple of hours, Namche Bazar finally appeared out of the mist, bringing with it a sense of respite from a hard day’s walking.

Of course, no visit to Namche is complete without a quick stop in the Irish bar for a hot chocolate (or something a bit harder, if you prefer) and a peek at your email on the free WiFi!