Monjo - Namche Bazaar (3450m asl)
Day 9. 11.12.22

A high and long suspension bridge over the Dudh Kosi was a moderately terrifying start to the mornings’ trek as we made our way towards Namche Bazaar, a Sherpa regional centre. This was followed by a long haul up to Namche where we arrived around midday passing quite a few trekkers with some going our way so late in the season and the start of winter. Up till now, this has been our aiming point and the start to a direct route to Gokyo Lakes. The main entrance to Namche was impressive with its large water-driven prayer wheels and wide stone steps leading up into the village. Namche sits in a huge bowl surrounded by mountains and the impressive face of one of its biggest, Kongde. Namche is more like a hill resort with its many lodges, cafes and shops selling mostly trekking gear and Buddhist paraphernalia. But it was eerily empty and their could not have been more than 50 trekkers here, either having the mandatory rest day to aid in acclimatization or having come back from Gokyo or Everest Base Camp (EBC). By an unlikely coincidence, we met Tek, our former Nepali porter, who looked after me when oo and Mia (just 7 years old at the time) and myself were in the Annapurna’s in 2015 just prior to the devastating earthquake. Tek is now a qualified guide and he was accompanying a Belfast engineer named David who were on their way to EBC. I learned later that they took a helicopter directly back from EBC to Kathmandu instead of retracing their steps and walking out.