Namche Bazaar (3420m) to Everest View Hotel (3880m) to Khumjung (3800m) and back to Namche
Today was an acclimatisation day. Its easy to gain altitude too quickly on the Gokyo trek and suffer from AMS (Acute Mountain sickness), so we will walk on a side trip and return to Namche to sleep at the same altitude, which helps your body to adjust. Today, we plan to visit the Everest view Hotel and a couple of Sherpa villages.
We climb up to 3800m and stopped for a cuppa at the Shjanboche hotel. There is a runway and airport outside the hotel but it doesn't get used. The local Sherpas protested about it saying everyone would arrive here rather than Lukla so the villages from Namche to Lukla would lose all the tourist business and suffer. We walked up to the expensive Everest view hotel where you can get a room for $135 per person with an extra charge for oxygen or a pressurised room. Out on the hotels verander, and on a clear day you can see Everest, but today was too cloudy.
We walked around to Khumjung, a well-to-do Sherpa village. The village was prospered recently into one of the wealthiest regions of Nepal, the locals make a lot of money from all the mountaineering expeditions. The word Sherpa comes from the name of the ethnic group who live here, and is their common surname. The word Sherpa has been mixed up with people who are employed for mountaineering expeditions, almost all of the Sherpas work as porters and guides because they are hard workers, and its believed there bodies have adapted over time to work more efficiently at a high altitude. There are stories about Sherpa's who suffer from AMS high in the mountains, but such is the shame on their name, amongst their peers, if they admit to it, they have continued to ascend and died.
Khumjung is also famous because it is the site of the first school built by Sir Edmund Hilary in 1960. We visited the school and talked to some of the kids coming out. Their English was excellent, and they wanted to be mountaineers when they were older. The average price for a client to be guided up Everest today is about $80,000 USD, so you can see why they are keen to get involved. They clearly like the Western style clothes, probably carried over from Tibet/China, jeans, trainers and hoodies were in.
We walked back down to Namche, just in time for our afternoon nap.
Love Dan & Kat