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My Travel Journal from Jiri to Lukla

NEPAL | Saturday, 7 May 2016 | Views [686]

Trekking in Nepal had always been in my bucket list. Mostly because of the things I had heard about the place from many other travel enthusiasts like me. And so to put an end to my anxious wait, I packed my bags and flew to Kathmandu - the capital city of Nepal, on 10th April 2016. And it was one of the best decision I had ever made.

Nepal had me falling in love with her even before I landed. Through the window of the flight, she looked spectacular. From the height above, I saw white peaks peeking through the clouds. It was like watching a trailer of an amazing movie. Like the mountains were calling to experience the better half of them that laid hidden under the thick canopy of clouds.

Upon arrival at the airport, I took as cab and headed towards the busiest street in the city called Thamel. Kathmandu is a pretty interesting place. It is really dusty but yet beautiful in its own way. You will spot several relaxing cow on the road making it difficult for the cars to easily pass. And yet they are not bothered by anyone. Once I reached the hotel, I freshened up and went around the city streets in rickshaw - a carriage like vehicle driven by a man on a cycle. The areas that the rickshaw took me had stores aligned all along the way. The streets were crowded with shoppers and tourists. 

The next day, I spent going around the city in cabs and buses. In the evening I shopped for few essentials for the trek. I had to do a lot of negotiations everywhere.


On the 12th, I had planned to leave for Jiri. I reached the bus stop by 5:30 am. It cost me only 300 Rs. The bus left only at 7 am. It was the longest wait of my life. It was a pretty gloomy day. The fog had covered most of hills I was told about. And it wasn’t long before I passed out. The overall drive was pretty pleasant watching people get on and off the local bus. Some of them even accommodated themselves on the roof.


The ten hours journey was already freaking me out. And above all the bus broke down twice. The third time it was serious and and we waited for a good 2 hrs until it got fixed. At 7pm I finally arrived at Jiri and were escorted by a man to a hostel. I had Dal-Bhaat for dinner, a Nepali dish served with rice, netils, vegetable curry and amazing meat curry I had never tasted anything like it before. And hence the walk began!


Day 1 - Jiri to Shivalaya

This was nice and short 3 hr walk. The trail wasn’t very clear. Pretty fogged up. I was being asked if I needed a guide by the locals as I asked them the direction. Mmm nope! I was doing fine without one. The people were really very helpful. I trekked my way up to Deurali and stopped there for lunch. Then I descended to Bhandar. I was chased by an old woman asking for money in one of the villages. It was really difficult to piss her off. Finally, I found Shivalaya. The village was small and lovely. There were so many cute little lodges costing only 50rs a night (about 50p).


Day 2 - Shivalaya to Bhandar

My day began early this day. I woke up at 6 am, had porridge and set out into the cold.

Day 3 - Bhandar to Sete

I continued down the valley and came across several school children wandering around the hills. They would ask me questions in english and I am pretty sure they didn't even know what most of it meant. They must have picked it up from other foreigners travelling across the same route. I was warmly greeted into a local restaurant I had halted to have lunch. There I met a Canadian couple who we going the same way. I got to learn a lot of things from them.

After lunch I headed to Sete and the climb to the place felt as if it would not cease to end. I found a pretty yellow guest house on the way. The were several baby goats in the courtyard was what caught my attention. I spent a lot of time playing with them and enjoyed my first Everest Beer. 

Day 4 - Sete to Junbesi

As always, I started my day with bread and porridge and started walking. I came across a Rhododendron forests and got my first glimpse of snow. I halted in a place for some lunch. The route further was steep and rocky. I came across many places that had prayers flags hung on a rope and tied across the trees. The best part of the route of the first perfect pass at a height of 3530m with a spectacular view of the white mountains. From the pass, the road descended steeply through a dense forest. As soon as I reached Junbesi, I checked into a tea house for some early supper.


Day 5 - Junbesi to Nunthala

Initially the route headed into a forest. I was then brought to an amazing view point of the Everest Range. But funnily I was unable to recognize the peak and had to ask the locals as to which one it was. It was as if the sky wore a garland of white peaks. The trail then descended down a hill to Ringmu wherein I had my lunch. From here, I reached the second magnificent pass. It wasn't as high as the earlier one but was as beautiful. Descending further, I reached Nunthala. This walk was indeed very long and tiring. I was beginning to feel the strain on my knees due to the steeply descending route. I headed for the shower as soon as I reached Nunthala. I wasn’t hungry but extremely tire. I forced some food down and immediately passed out on my bed.

Day 6 - Nunthala- Khari Khola

I woke up this morning with inadequate energy to even eat my breakfast. I was dreading at the thought of the walk that awaited me. I left my bed for breakfast and finally had the mood to actually notice how beautiful the village was. There were so many animals- Cows, yaks, donkeys, horses. I walked further down into a valley and came across a suspension bridge after crossing which I entered Jubing. I had a nice cup of black coffee with some cookies. I also came across the Pema Namding Gompa (monastery). The planned destination of this day was Bupsa. But I had no energy to walk up to it.  Instead I decided to spend the night in Khari Khola.

Day 7 - Khari Khola to Lukla

I woke up early this morning feeling much fresher than the other day. I set out as soon as possible because I had to make up for the other day’s walk. The route was amazing and led me into beautiful valleys. After about 10hrs of walk, I reached Lukla. It was already dark and I was exhausted to a level beyond explanation. I checked into the first guest house I found and freshened up for dinner. I ate a good amount of Dal- Bhaat and crashed for the night.

The next day, I spent it in Lukla. I woke up late that morning. I took my own time to freshen up and then I headed straight for lunch.

After lunch I went around exploring the city. The place had several markets. I didn't really buy anything but I had fun looking around. I stopped in a place for some late afternoon coffee. I also met a group of foreigners trekking to Everest Base Camp. We sat for hours talking and also had dinner together. After dinner we sat to drink Everest Beer. Drinking while trekking is not advisable so we did not exceed more than two bottles. I took off to bed that night feeling relaxed and contended.



Tags: everest, jiri, lukla, nepal, trekking

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