I have recently returned from the trip of a lifetime to Everest Base Camp with Evertrek (UK) and Amigo (Nepal) with my brother. Arrived in Kathmandu after a long trip from London via Delhi (Air India) to be met by our guide Kishor. He gave us a traditional Nepali welcome and off we went to the hotel. The traffic in Kathmandu is crazy (polluted) and finally arrived at our hotel. We were booked to stay at the Apsara but this was not available but was booked into the Hotel Buddy instead. I would recommend this hotel over the Apsara as it is in my opinion in a better location in Thamel just round the corner from the Garden of dreams which is well worth a visit away from the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu! The welcome dinner was lovely and we met our fellow trekkers Greg and Kerry for a meal of Dhal Bhat. Plenty of that throughout the trip in the mountains if you want it. The next day and we were taken on a city tour. This is a fairly long day that takes in Durbar Square and two Buddhist temples and a Hindu Burial Site. Possibly too much time is spent sat in traffic which is horrendous. We had a lovely lady guide whose name I cannot remember. Make sure you take money as you pay for entry to the temples and lunch. On return to our hotel, we had to pack a trekking kit (a trek bag) was given to us to pack and combined weight including our day sack of 15kgs to go onto the Lukla Flight. I would recommend just taking a couple of t-shirts, leggings/walking trousers, a down jacket, a hat, trekking poles, etc. I walked the whole way in Saloman trail trainers and did not suffer from any blisters at all. Don't forget water purification tablets as the price of bottled of water is about 400 rupees at Gorak Shep! Take a couple of toilet rolls as they are not supplied in lodges and wet wipes and showers are not readily available and as you get higher it's too cold anyway! :-)
So trek day arrives and Kishor arrived to take us to the domestic terminal. Unfortunately, there had been a mix-up with the names on the booking. Not sure where the confusion occurred between the UK office and Nepal but anyway Kishor managed to negotiate a name change of the flight manifest and we went through to departures with no problem. The flights to Lukla are dependent on the clouds and weather and we were delayed for several hours (we were lucky as sometimes it's days!). So we arrived in Lukla late afternoon met up with our porters Krisnah and Mehuish and walked for three hours to our first stop for the night Pankding. the lodges on the trek are basic and the bedrooms are not heated. Take a really good sleeping bag and down jacket (or hire in Thamel through Amigo).
Over the next 15 days, we traveled further into the Khumbu Valley experiencing fantastic views and meeting the nicest of Nepali people who would great us with a 'Namaste'. Namche Bazar was a favorite place for me which was also one of two acclimatization stops during the trek. Kishor advised us to complete an acclimatization walk (first glimpse of Everest too) which would prepare us for our next elevation on the trek. There is an ATM there and numerous bakeries which have free wifi. From there on the price of the internet is about 600 rupees for 200MB of data so make the most of Namche.
The hardest trekking days for me were the climb from Pankding to Namche was the hardest and the day you go to EBC is a long ten-hour walking day. Expect headaches and not a lot of sleep up at Gorak Shep. Kishor was always making sure we were fed and watered as he takes all the orders for your food and drink. We listened to all his advice as we all suffered from headaches to a certain degree. Drink about 4-5 liters a day too to try and help and the air is really dry up there. Also, take a good pair of sunglasses and buff your ears (protection from the wind/sun) and a decent sunblock as the sun is really powerful the higher you go! We took Diamox and I think this helped with the acclimatization process. The guides also carry O2 Pulse Oximeters so you can track your Oxygen saturation levels as you climb which is interesting!
Anyway, in summary, I can say that this trip is absolutely amazing. Somedays are tough going but just go slow and enjoy the breathtaking scenery and follow in the footsteps of Tenzing and Hillary. If this is on your bucket list then sign up now!
I am planning my next big adventure next year and I would recommend using Evertrek (Uk) and Amigo (Nepal) again. I would like to also recommend our guide Kishor. Knowledgable and friendly. When you are having a hard day Kishor's smile just makes you feel so much better. The well-being of his clients is so important to him. His English is better than mine and I am English! so he is such an asset, especially at Kathmandu/Lukla where his expertise came in really useful. Please request Kishor when you book your trek!
Thank you Evertrek and Amigo, and particularly to Kishor for making the trip so memorable, our porters Mehuish and Krishna who carried our bags for days! and finally, the man who oversees operations in Kathmandu, the one and only Mr. Tiker.
Here's to the next trip! Bring it on!
I recently had the incredible opportunity to embark on an unforgettable trekking adventure to Everest Base Camp Plus Gokyo through Chola Pass with