The Trail to Tengboche – Day 7 – Phakding to Lukla
It was freezing cold when we arose for the last day’s trek from Phakding to Lukla and we all huddled around the log fire with our hot tea to get some warmth in us before heading out after breakfast. As we headed off down the trail out of Phakding we passed once again through the agriculturally rich area beside the Dudh Kosi River and the many small villages along the way.
We passed the many Mani stones, Buddhist stupas, small monasteries and brightly painted prayer wheels beside the trail, these colourful items providing some good photo opportunities.
The small villages and surrounding field were all neatly tended with vegetables and rice being grown. We stopped at a small shop to buy some water and the lady owner insisted on me photographing her and her baby which of course I duly complied with. Next to the shop a lady was busy laying out some chilli seeds to dry in the sun. There were again many large trains of donkeys heading down the trail this morning obviously to load back up with goods from Lukla.
After a dull start to the morning it became a pleasant day for the walk back down the valley. Beautiful white tree blossom and blue, alpine style flowers could be seen in the fields beside the trail and as we made our way through the small villages it was interesting to watch some of the locals working and the children playing. Everything is done by hand here and a group of men were busy mending a bridge supporting wall, chisseling large rocks by hand.
Soon we were getting close to Lukla and the end of our long trek and once again the trail started to ascend from the valley floor up towards Lukla. I was interested to watch a couple of local boys play table tennis outside their house. A small group of Nepalese policemen marched down the trail past me all dressed up in their smart uniforms – obviously rushing off to an incident of major Himalayan importance. The last section was steep but as we were in sight of the finish line we made Lukla in good time. It was a great feeling to cross under the arch at the edge of Lukla after 7 days of constant trekking over rough, steep trails. We reached our lodge and sat down for a late lunch and celebratory Everest beer and Everest burger. Our trusty porter, Gunga Rai, had been invaluable in carrying our gear in the rucksack and also he stuck very close to Suit Yoo the whole route assisting her over some difficult sections.
It was a great feeling to cross under the arch at the edge of Lukla marking the start/end of the trail after 7 days of constant trekking over rough, steep trails. We reached our lodge and sat down for a late lunch and celebratory Everest beer and Everest burger. Our trusty sherpa porter, Gunga Rai, had been invaluable in carrying all our gear in the rucksack and also sticking close to Suit Yoo like a shadow the whole route assisting her over some difficult sections. Suit Yoo had become quite attached to him and I was afraid I may have to buy him a ticket to Malaysia to continue to follow my wife everywhere!