It only took 2.5 years in this beautiful country, to finally do my first trek …..wait for it……no laughing please, because it took about 5 hours (took my friends only 3). However proud to claim, that the trek took place in the Everest region of the Solukhumbu district, so first trek done in style.
Solukhumbu is a district, located in the Eastern of Nepal, about 132km from Kathmandu. Sherpa culture is predominant in the district, the birthplace of Tenzing Norgay.
Our friend Pemba, who grew up in the area, kindly made all the arrangements and was brave enough to go on a four day road trip with us six girls. That Sherpa courage!
Here’s some of the breathtaking scenery that we drove through
A twelve hour beautiful but sometimes scary journey – where the road suddenly ends, which meant driving though rivers and landslide remnants. Still lots of fun, with playlists galore and the requisite stops for not to my liking “chiya” milky sweet tea but with food a plenty, which kept me happy.
On our early evening arrival at Phalpu, the main airport town, we headed straight to Pemba’s uncle’s beautiful home and had a delicious chicken daal bhat cooked by the housekeeper.
Benefits of being an early riser, I got to see this unveiled.
Those who know me well, know I can rarely contain my excitement quietly, so managed to wake my room mates and we then ventured through the small town that led to the famous airport and smallest air strip I have ever seen.
The group then commenced our long awaited trek to Junbesi. Ok here’s where I get to understand the appeal of trekking. One gets to walk through sheer wilderness – forests; streams; small villages; rarely meeting people; perhaps a few villagers and monks and sometimes a gigantic, momo pan contraption carrier.
Five hours later and very muddy, we arrived at Junbesi, the Sherpa village. Here we stayed with another one of Pemba’s family. His hospitable great aunt, told us how lucky we were to have such clear weather, the previous days were rainy. We were fed a banquet and even taught how to make the tasty Nasturtium pickle.
The experienced trekkers went on after lunch to a monastery higher up the mountains but Shally and I stayed in the village, visited the local monastery and played with the children.
The reality of living in such beautiful surroundings hit home, when we saw a group carrying somebody in a stretcher through the village, they were taking the injured person to the nearest hospital, back toPhalpu, the long treacherous journey being made in the dark.
The next morning we were served apple pancakes with local honey and given an interesting family history lesson. The family bid us farewell with hugs and khada (ceremonial scarves) for each of us as we headed back to Phalpu.
This time the slow coaches were sent ahead and we were lucky enough to get a further adventure, with a hair raising ride on a local tractor on the last bit of the journey at the last. Sadly no pictures, far too traumatising a ride to remember to snap the experience.
A final night’s supper. After momos, feasting on wine and the famous Solukhumbu cheese, whilst watching the stars and full moon and an early wake up to head to a view point on the drive home to see Everest and boy how lucky were we!
And many thanks to Shally for compiling this great film of our epic road trip.