Sunrise: Namche Bazaar to viewpoint
Our Everest Base Camp day four starts early with a slow plod up a rocky track. Yak trains carrying our luggage pass by as we quickly step to the side. After around 25 minutes of laboured breathing, we spot a colourful archway welcoming us to Sagarmatha National Park. We pass through the gate to sights of a memorial dedicated to Tenzing Norgay.
Beyond is the most incredible view I’ve ever seen. Everest is finally within my sight! Surprisingly, the mountain looks smaller than many of the surrounding mountains. Ama Dablam (6814m), Lhotse (8501m) and Nuptse (7879m) all look bigger. Don’t be deceived, however, as Everest is simply further away. Ama Dablam has a dramatic cliff face and we stand in awe taking in the breathtaking beauty in front of us.
Darkness gradually fades, replaced by shades of orange and pink as the sun rises. On the other side of the plateau, the valley descends to Lukla. Dense cloud cover hides any sight of the settlement and planes are grounded again! After enjoying the incredible view we return to the Hotel Sherpaland for our breakfast of porridge, eggs, potatoes, and toast.
Morning Namche Bazaar to Zambala restaurant
After breakfast, we once again ascend from Namche Bazaar to join a cliffside trail which snakes around the side of the mountain. It is a sheer drop off down to the valley below and the views are majestic. In the distance, we catch glimpses of Everest, Ama Dablam and Lhotse glistening in the sun. A Buddhist stupa sits on a corner high above the valley its prayer flags dancing in the sun. This is the easy part of the day with undulating trails and glorious mountain and woodland views.
Occasional yak trains hurtle through, their owners herding them away from the trekkers. I’m quite concerned when I see one almost tight rope walking along the edge. I ask one Sherpa if they ever fall over. ‘Yes,’ he calmly replies but doesn’t seem overly concerned.
They pass by laden with gas cans, trekker bags and all manner of other goods. Locals also pass by with baskets loaded full of bamboo and other items. At one point, we even pass a sherpa with a door on his back. Whilst they practically scamper around the mountains, we shuffle along, one small footstep at a time, often struggling for breath.
Lunch at Zambala restaurant
We eventually reach our lunch stop and feast on vegetable rice and lemon tea (my new favourite). I’ve been having some friction on my feet so need to take a trip to doctor Daisy to get strapped up before we continue.
Afternoon: Zambala restaurant to Tengboche
The afternoon is a long slog uphill with little respite. We climb for almost three hours, stopping for the occasional rest and snack. I’ve literally never eaten so much chocolate! Our Sherpas remain faithfully with those who are lagging at the back (i.e me!). They chat away as we concentrate on putting one foot in front of another, ignoring the trail stretching away in front of us. Goldie and Daisy keep up the stream of positive encouragement, commending us on how far we’ve come. Goldie even offers to carry our bags but I need my water and am desperate to do this on my own (although I may not be saying that in a few days!)
Eventually, we reach the top and see the golden spire of a stupa and the whitewashed buildings of Tengboche monastery. We pass a monk in burgundy red robes and head to the entrance. After the obligatory pose by the entrance, the nearby bakery tempts us and we indulge in a well-earned treat of a brownie. The accompanying latte has to be one of the best I’ve experienced.
Evening: Tengboche to Deboche
We descend to Deboche for a welcoming lemon tea and stay at the Ravinelli Inn.
Namche Bazaar (3,443) to Tengboche (3,875m) to Deboche (3,820m)
Ravinelli Inn with basic rooms and shared bathrooms with both western-style toilets and squat toilets. You will need your own toilet roll.
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Why Everest Base camp?
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Our day four route
Here is the route we followed on day four.