Distance Traveled for the Day – Est Steps: 15,112, Distance: 11.3km
Namche Bazaar (elev. 3,480m} Oxygen Content -13.6% / 21%
This is the day that you hear the most is the trek into Namche Bazaa. It is infamous for it’s long consistent steep inclines uphill. There is another reason that I became aware of quickly into the day and that is the number of very high suspension bridges that you need to cross throughout the day. Not being that fond of heights myself, this was a bit of a challenge. Just keep the head up and keep moving across the bridge.
The path to Namche is very well traveled so you’l continually come across locals, other tourists and then the continual traffice of yaks and porters. Along the way you’ll discover many traditional huts as well as the many new buildings that are being built to accommodate the ever increasing and booming tourist trade.
Many of the locals also put their wares out for sale along the path to drum up some trade from the tourists traveling past. Really who could resist a Nepalese yak bell.
Road sign advertising – Nepalese style
There are many large prayer wheels along the trails. These are often protected by a small wooden shelter that is covered with very detailed and colourful artwork dedicated to buddha. REmember alwasy goodluck to pass to the left and give them a good spin, clockwise of course.
The trail before lunch is pretty steady heading uphill coming across again magnificent views and sights that you need to take a minute to stop and really soak in.
The locals seem to have a strange sense of humour sometimes and it comes through in the signs they put up around the place like the sign below. Seems our walk is much slower then the locals, so depends on a lot…
There are huge efforts to educate the local children and establish formal schools. The children embrace this and love to practice their English with tourists along the trail. They often shout “chocolate” hoping to get chocolate from passing hikers. It is much appreciated to give crayons , stickers, colouring books and pencils to the children.
In the afternoon you start the climb into Namche Bazaar. The best advice the guides give is bsatari bsatari, or steady, steady. This is the first real challenge of the trek and deserves it reputation to some extent. It is a great detox sweat and we felt all the good western living be sweated out as continued the climb up hill
There are always amazing feats of human endurance you hear of through out the year however this one seems to have slipped past the medias attention. The event I am referring to is the ultra marathon (60km) run through the mountains in the region. This year it was won in a time of 7 hrs and 24 minutes by Pemba Sherpa.
As you enter the Beyul Khumbu park which is considered a sacred area of the Sherpa’s there is a great sign with 5 rules of the park which are also good rules to live your life by.
Finally we arrived into Namche Bazaar adn suddenly the group had a new lease of energy and a great sense of accomplishment for the day. It was no ultra marathon however it was a tough challenge that we had all conquered.
Namche is a great town with numerous little stores with locals selling a numerous range of items from souvenirs to trekking gear to general groceries. There are also a number of restaurants, coffee shops and bars to check out as well. So even though you may feel a little wary from the day it is well worth a walk around the town, browse the numerous stores and stock up on any supplies you may need.