Wednesday, August 22

Wednesday 22nd, Namche Bazaar 3,440m

Amazingly after only a couple of days we are in Namche Bazaar. London - Doha, Doha - Kathmandu flights all fine except for having to return to Doha for two hours after some small technical hitch” after take-off. I think the landing with full tanks caused more problems than the original “hitch”. Kathmandu (KTM) has not changed. Great to have Kedar from Explore Himalaya ( at the airport to meet us. Always good to see his ever smiling face.
Stanhope Gardens was not as complete as I would have liked. Sorry to Claire! Also did not have a chance to say cheers to Mum & Dad in Swellendam. Only got to bed at 3:00 after installing (very badly the last of the kitchen base units) – Could not believe it when the taxi arrived to take me to Heathrow – time certainly flew.
We had rather optimistically booked our flights to Lukla for the next day after we had arrived at KTM. But amazingly the weather was clear (monsoon still very much around) and we flew out to Lukla on our first attempt! [Approx GPS reference for Google Earth at N27 41.280 E086 43.918] Our plan was to see how well we felt and if ok, reach Nanche Bazaar.

The weather was very warm with only a small amount of cloud. Great compared to the lovely British weather back home… Very green valleys with plenty of crops being harvested. A surprise was to have meant Gelbu at KTM at our hotel Marshyandi. He was the great cook I had last year while trekking up the Langtang valley. He was based at Kangin Gompa at the end of the trail. Anyway as we were thinking of getting a porter to carry some of the camping gear, and as he said he was keen, we asked Kedar to see if he could get Gelbu onto the same flight to Lukla we were on. No problems and half our cost – so before he knew it he was on his first ever flight, to a valley which he had never seen! Quite something if any of you have seen the runway at Lukla – in the middle of the mountains, short and sloping quite dramatically.
After about 8 hours on the trek, which consisted of approx. 4 hours resting and 4 hours walking, we reached Namche. The final part consists of a fairly steep climb up to the village, which is much like it was the last time I was here in 1998. Peter was fine and seemed to handle the trek very easily. At the lodge (Buddha) he immediately began planning the rest of the trip – I must say with his intentions would make a good leader on an SAS selection course… We will have to see how we feel to see what we can reasonably achieve.

I had to be quite insistent on staying at Namche today (Wednesday). We had climbed quite a bit from Lukla yesterday and as Namche is at 3,440m, we certainly have to take into consideration a good acclimitisation plan. I seemed to be in need of masses of sleep, probably due to the last week in London, flights and planning/packing required before our flight, but now can say I’m starting to feel a little more human.
As I don’t want to overextend myself this early in the trip we have organized another porter to join us for another two days. Tomorrow we leave for Thame and this will probably be the last frequently visited lodge along our route – hence why we are carrying our camping gear and food etc. All not necessary on the more frequented routes due to the very good lodge infrastructure.
Thanks for the donations to
Post note….Gromit I have not really forgot you – Mrs H, please courier out to Kedar of Explore Himalaya, who else will remember the matches…


  1. Anonymous5:45 pm

    HM, good luck. Enjoy the mountains. dries

  2. Reading the previous comment quickly, it looks like: "Enjoy the mountain dries". Noting all the floods in China, its possible the mountain might be a bit wet. So, I too hope it dries!
    This is just a forerunner comment. Have been busy, hope to catch up and make good! Raymond E aka Fourstones

  3. Battling a bit with a variety of usernames so, just doing a bit of checking. Glad to make Sat Phone contact. Think we succeeded by dialling Thuraya from blogsite instead of directly from Internet Explorer. Ciao

  4. raymonde.midships1:53 am

    Welcome - Gromit

  5. Hi,

    My name is Angel and I came across your blog while on a base camp, google search for my upcoming trip.

    May I ask, how long did it take you to trek from Lukla to Base Camp? I only have 10 days in the region and wondered if it is even possible. I was shocked to see you made it from Lukla to Namche Bazar in 8 hours, is that normal.

    Thanks for your blog.



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