The day started with real good coffee from our lodge at Kyangjuma. We weren’t sure about how today’s trek would be, except that we will be heading downhill after Namche. As we set off, we stopped a few meters from the lodge just to take photos of the sun shining behind a mountain. I took that as a sign that the day would be a good day.
We were off to a good walk, again marveling at how much faster we were going and thinking how cool it would have been if we felt that way when we were ascending. But at this stage, it was all done and in the past, time to move on. And downwards.
The trail back to Namche was easy. Winding around mountains, quite wide and well, “smooth”. That is, no big or broken rocks in the way. Eventually, we reached the spot where we had our first glimpse of Mt. Everest. It seemed only fitting that we stop, take more photos and say our goodbyes. We had traveled far just to be close to Mt. Everest and we don’t know if we will ever be able to see it again, er, “in the flesh”.
Allan and I were in such good spirits that at one point we started playing around with the camera’s video and stick pic. We also decided to stop at Namche for an early and long lunch. It was also the perfect excuse to have one more slice of Apple pie from Everest Bakery.
As we headed downhill, we had to face trekker traffic. We had to stop more than once to let other groups (mostly those heading up) and sometimes, djopkes, pass. At one point, someone from behind breezed past us and we discovered he was carrying a female on his back, seated from a seat fashioned from the same material the locals use to carry all the heavy load. She must be suffering severely from AMS for them to decide to bring her down.
Eventually we reached the bottom of the “steps” from Namche and enjoyed a more gradual series of ups and downs to Monjo, our destination for the day. It was a long trek, but we did get there early enough that we had time to wander around the village and take photos. Ang Dawa even convinced us to try one of the secrets of the locals to keep them warm — a local brand of Rum mixed with hot water. He was so eager for us to try it that he bought the rum himself, so eager that we had to give in even though we weren’t really in the mood for alcohol. So we had a bit of Rum Thattu Phanni (Nepali for Hot Water) — as Allan and I call it — with Ang Dawa, while Dil settled for a canned juice drink as he didn’t drink any alcohol at all. I learned from Ang Dawa informed me that Nepali women would not have any as well and I suppose this is where he was coming from when he let me decline another glass. Allan was not excused however and he had another one (which I helped him finish btw). Dinner came shortly after the drinks and we tucked into our customary Dhal Bhat, and then it was off to bed. The rum made sure we retired early (although we typically do anyway). Tomorrow was our final long walk and it would be a long one.