Gokyo Trek -Namche-Lukla- DAY 15

This was the end of our 15 Day Trek to Mount Everest Base Camp Trek and Gokyo Ri. We trekked over 130 km (80 miles) in 15 days in the Himalayas. This was an incredible journey that we are happy to share with you. Click here to start from the beginning of our journey.

This trip was part of our seven month journey around the world which began in Flores, Guatemala. See a summary of the destinations we traveled to over our seven months here: link. 
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DAY 15: Namche Bazar to Lukla (5/19)

Trip Duration: 8 hours

Elevation at Namche Bazar: 3,440 meters (11,286 feet)

Elevation at Lukla: 2,860 meters (9,383 feet)

Elevation loss: 598 meters (1,903 feet)

Distance: 19 km (11.8 miles)

Our last day of trekking! This was a long day; but thankfully we were continuing to descend with any AMS (acute mountain sickness) symptoms long gone.

The aerial map of our route from Namche Bazar to Lukla (Fatmap.com)

On the morning of our departure from Namche Bazar we spent time walking around town and snapping shots of the beautiful prayer wheels, stupas, and views from the edge of town.

Himalayas 101: Be sure to spin prayer wheels (or mani wheels) in a clockwise direction (that of the movement of the sun across the sky)for good luck. 
The incredible town of Namche
Large prayer wheels in the city of Namche
One of the many ornate prayer wheels, be sure to spin in a clockwise direction
One of the biggest stupas in the city of Namche
For being so high in elevation they sure did manicure the town well, there is even a water fountain

After saying our goodbyes to Namche, we began our hike to Lukla. Our last day was approaching faster than we wanted!

Terraces along the route

About two and a half hours into the trek we came across the famous Hillary Bridge, the highest suspension bridge along the Everest Base Camp route. Swaying at 125 meters (410 feet) high it is the only path down (that we know of).

At the top of the Hillary Suspension Bridge
The view of the Hillary Bridge (top bridge in distance) from low-ground
Crossing another bridge over the lovely turquoise Dudh Khosi river
Incredible view of the river. We enjoyed seeing it this much as we did the last time we crossed it at the beginning of our journey
We caught a glimpse of this waterfall cascading down the rockface
One final farewell from the friendly Yaks! Goodbye!
Himalayas 101: It is customary to walk on the left side (the way in which the earth and universe revolve) of any mani(prayer) stones or wheels.
Passing intricate Tibetan writings
Looks like this massive cliff is being held up by a pile of stones
Always nice to spot a waterfall
The ever-continuing Dudh Khosi River

And that’s all folks. Back to the same spot we were standing 15 days earlier, in front of the Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Memorial in Lukla.

A memorial for Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, the first Nepalese woman to climb the summit of Mount Everest. May she rest in peace. This memorial is the start of the EBC path.

Accommodation

Our final teahouse in the Himalayas

We stayed at the Khumbu Lodge and Restaurant in Lukla. This was a bittersweet day, it was our last day with Govinda.

Thank you Govinda for an extraordinary journey
Our final goodbye
We were looking forward to cleaning up and getting some well-deserved rest

DAY 16: Lukla to Kathmandu (5/20)(Departure Day)

The next day we were greeted with a special visit from our sherpa’s (Govinda) brother. He came down just for us. Why, you ask? Well, we forgot all of our souvenirs in Namche and he quickly brought them down in a quarter of the time it took us. Thank you!

Govinda’s brother who saved the day

We said our farewells and then headed over to the airport. Lukla airport is well known for flight delays and cancelations so we made sure to book the first flight of the morning. (We also had built in some cushion days in case flights got canceled so it wouldn’t mess up our next flight to Norway a few days later).

Aerial view of the cliffside town of Lukla and its narrow runway strip (Fatmap.com)

The weather is best and most predictable in the morning, so the later the day goes the less the chances are of leaving that day. We wearingly remembered our flight into Lukla 15 days prior when all flights were cancelled and hopped for the best. Unfortunately, the flights kept getting pushed back as the cloud coverage was prevalent all morning. We were praying to get out.

The morning of our flight
The airstrip at Lukla
Our trusty small fixed-wing propellor plane that will be taking off over 9,000 feet of mountainous land

After hours lof pacing back and forth, praying, and watching select planes leave Lukla, we managed to get out. 

Time to get comfortable
First class, right behind the captain, then again with less than 15 passengers, we were all first class
Taking off at Lukla Airport, one of the world’s most dangerous airports

The journey time from Lukla to Kathmandu is only 45 minutes. So after a quick scenic flight and cab ride back into Kathmandu we went in search of our favorite eateries.

Accommodation

We stayed at an “okay” hotel in Kathmandu, which it didn’t matter the quality of the place at this point. We were looking forward to some normalcy. It was quite a treat to take a warm shower and relax in a bed with air conditioning and not have to sleep in a sleeping bag freezing our butts off.

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