Glimpsing Tibetan culture as we head off towards Everest

Day 1 of Everest/ Gokyo trek – Lukla to Phakding

It was a relatively short start to the trek as on day 1 we flew straight into Lukla at 2,860 metres…

Having spent a week in the lush green Annapurna region, the terrain of the Everest trek was in stark contrast. It was instantly a lot more grey and stony but we were also getting our first real glimpses of Tibetan culture.

We walked past giant prayer wheels, turning them as we went in order to cleanse our souls, and stopped to admire the walls of intricately hand-painted mani stones. We navigated our way round yaks that were laden high with goods and crossed long suspension bridges over what looked like wide and powerful rivers far below us.

Our destination that night was Phakding, and after finding somewhere to stay for the night and enjoying a short burst of sunshine on the patio, we popped back over the river to the town’s ‘reggae bar’ we’d spotted on the way in. Needless to say there wasn’t any reggae playing but there was a pool table, beer and popcorn.

We got chatting to a group of people on their way down from doing the Everest/ Gokyo trek who were overjoyed at having had their first hot shower for a week. They told us there’d been a blizzard while they were up in Gokyo the week before and they’d had to spend an extra day and night there because the snow was so deep.

Their stories got us even more excited about what was to come…

 

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