Woke up well rested again today and had a decadent breakfast of porridge and cheese on toast (Note: the porridge was seperate from the cheese on toast, otherwise the breakfast would not have been decadent, it would just have been foul).
After these delights it was time for a short (2 hour) walk to Gokyo. Our walk was mainly over the Ngozumba (pronounced Nawgawzoomba) Glacier, from which we had views of Cho Oyu and some smaller peaks. After climbing up out of the glacier, (after a short period of very fast walking to clear a section of falling rocks) about 5 minutes of walking on flat grassy land we looked down over Gokyo, hands down winner of the “prettiest place we have visited so far” award.
OK, not quite our first view of Gokyo, but still, what a location.
As you can see, it’s fairly amazing (Note – I hope the Gokyo tourist board will be sending me a large cheque soon). It’s surrounded by mountains, (surprise surprise) and overlooking a (by March) partially frozen lake, the unfrozen bit is a bright turquoise in colour, pretty amazing.
On with the trekking story, after some tasty hot powdered mango juice and a small rest Mike, David, Dawa and I set off to climb Gokyo Ri. Helene and Eric were feeling a bit under the weather today so decided not to do the hike uphill. Talking of weather, it seems to have been fairly predictible up here in the Khumbu region usually. Only one day so far hasn’t started in bright sunshine, and eveno on that day it brigtened up quickly (after we had started off kitted up in full waterproof gear). It is usually bright in the morning and then around 3pm the clouds come and and sometimes there is a little snow, it gets windier in the afternoon too. But anyway, I digress, Gokyo Ri, it’s around 5300m (with the village being at around 4800m). It was quite a steep climb up, I really struggled for breath walking near the top, but it was well worth the extra effort for the stunning views, both on the way and from the top.
Insert “stunning view” picture here
After some photies and seeing a couple of sparrow type birds and also Dawa making a few phone calls. The locals seem to get signal everywhere here, but the network Orange use in Nepal must be a bit crap as the only time I’ve had signal on trek has been at Everest Base Camp.
After these delights it was time to head back down to the teahouse for lunch, and it was the perennial favourite, Sherpa Stew, with the added bonus of cheese and fried SPAM. Top. After that we went and looked at our room, the best so far, only missing a bin. It has the extra bonus of
It also wins the room with a view competition as it looks right out over the lake
As I said, Gokyo Tourist board, cheque please
After a wee bit of sitting around, Mike and I decided to walk around the lake. As we started, we found ourselves walking with a small group of Nepalese Army soldiers who were quite friendly really. We soon turned to go round the lake as they headed straight on in the direction of Namche. The walk around was quite nice covering all types of terrain, including snow tracks, a section of the ice on the lake itself (which was well checked beforehand), some bog, and even a beach.
Sadly, I hadn’t packed my bucket and spade
There was even a wee shrine beside the lake. After we had walked round, it was time for some tea and biscuits back at the teahouse. We even ordered a cake for later tonight, we decided a celebration was in order (for no apparent reason whatsoever), good times.
In other news, our plans have changed slightly. We were meant to be staying here in Gokyo for two nights. Walking here one day and hiking up Gokyo Ri the next, but after checking the weather forecast Phur has decided it’s a better plan to cross Renzo La pass tomorrow as the weather won’t be as good the next day. The extra day will be spent in khumjung visiting a monastery where they keep a yeti scalp and also the five star everest view hotel, apparently the highest hotel in the world. Exciting eh?