Everest Base Camp The Journey

Everest Base Camp – Day 2

🎶 Daughtry – Torches



My night in Phakding (2610 meters) was interrupted for a few hours. I found myself awake around 1h am. I finally decided to get out of my bed and go hang out in the tea house kitchen. I was lucky because this was actually a good time to chat with my friends back home in Canada. I stayed up until 03h am. I was a little disappointed but not frustrated by the lack of sleep. I thought on this trip my sleep is likely to be disturb anyways due to the altitude sickness so mind as well go with the flow.


When you have good friends the distance becomes secondary. I feel so close to them while being here. It is quite interesting because they feel the same on their end. They are happy for me and I am so grateful to have them on this adventure with me (maybe that’s why my backpack feels heavy! Having all my friends so close to me on this journey! haha).


So we left around 08h for what we were told would be a challenging day. My motivation for today was slightly different than reaching base camp. I had a personal goal in mind…


When I attended my Buddhist course last week I met a monk at the monastery that comes from the Everest area. He as been a monk for 25 years here at the monastey but his sisters still live in the mountains. Later during the course, during a meditation, I had this sudden idea that maybe I could bring something to his family since I was heading up in that direction after the Buddhist course. I assume mail did not make it that far and he probably had rare opportunities to send them something. I did break the 2 days silence rule to tell him about my idea but I thought I was for a good cause so Buddha would forgive me ; )


So I told him my idea and on the last day of the course he gave me a pair of running shoes for his sister. She lived a few hours away from the route I was doing to base camp so he said to leave her shoes at a store in Namche Bazaar. I told him ‘shoes’ that’s it anything else? He showed me with his hands what would be a steep incline for the way to Namche Bazaar so he said ‘yes yes’. Leave the shoes at the North Face store he said. I said okay but what is your sister’s name. It’s okay he said. (My Canadian mind did not understand how I could drop shoes for someone that I did not know the name of but he seemed to know what he was doing. So I trusted him. We took a little picture before I left the monastery!).

I understood while I was climbing the many stairs to make it to Namche Bazaar. I was pretty happy that all I had was shoes! And I was looking forward to make my backpack a little lighter and drop them off.


It was so interesting. During the Buddhist course they talked about happiness and how you can make yourself happy by making others around you happy. I honestly did not think that further when I offered Lungrig to bring things to his sister but as I was walking my motivation was far beyond myself. It was not about reaching base camp but about bringing shoes to his sister. It was not about day 2 out of 12 days no today was the day that the journey for these shoes would see their destination. That made me happy and quite motivated. Thinking beyond your own self while hiking gave me energy.


The porters

Also while walking I came across many porters who were bringing equipment or food to different villages. Looking at the gear that porters had I was thinking that it must not be easy for locals to buy shoes in their own villages because the cost of things is so high for them due to tourism (also with the exchange rate that makes it almost impossible for them to buy things). You live in the mountain and are self sufficient therefore you don’t have a big income too.


Here I was climbing one step at a time. Porters were taking breaks. Looking at them made me feel grateful for the little weight I was carrying.

It’s all about perspective isn’t it? Easy to feel sorry for yourself but when you look up and around you all of a sudden I was feeling grateful for my backpack (although it was 10 years old) that had amazing padded straps while these porters had ropes to hold their heavy equipment they had to carry. And they were not complaining or comparing their gear to mine. No. They were hiking up and not complaining. Most of them had a band that went around their forehead to help them carry and balance the heavy weight. Just incredible what they do.


So back to today’s trekking. Well I had to move a few times out of the way due to a few bulls passing! (So during this trip I surprise myself hearing myself say sentences that I never thought I would be saying).

I remember visiting a temple a few days after my arrival in Nepal and being on the phone with my friend and telling her I had to move because the monkey beside me was making to much noise shaking the pole I was standing beside. haha than I thought; here is a sentence I never thought I would say! Anyways here I was moving out of the way for these bulls.


So first mountain rule: Move towards the mountains side when bulls, horses or donkeys are passing!

You never know in case they suddenly want to push you away at least they will push you against the hill side and not against the cliff. Sandess made sure I moved to the ‘good’ side everytime. Altough they all seem very use at sharing the road with humans ‘you never know’ Sandess said. (I always thought that would suck to die this way… hey did your friend make it to base camp? No she fell down a cliff cuz a bull pushed her. lol that would just suck!).

Than I had to hurry up on a bridge because bulls were coming. Here is another sentence I never thought I would say! haha

We stop half way for a little bite for me to eat and Sandess to have a smoke! haha he kills me laughing every time he smoked. For me it’s a desensitization of this trekking experience when I see him smoke. My mind wants to be cautious and prevent any health issues from happening and there he is taking it easy (without even trying! It’s just natural for him!). I smile every time.

So here is an example of little villages you can expect along the way! This little spot was very cute with a beautiful view (probably crazy busy during high season):

We than cross this beautiful bridge on the way to Namche Bazaar. Locals would tell you that this is also the indicator that the steep stuff is coming!

(One of my favorite picture)

That bridge is decorated with praying flags and is just beautiful. I find it represents the vision I have of Nepal. So colorful. Below you can see another bridge that was first build by people coming to do this trek. Impressive that it is still there. But it is not being use anymore. This trek can be challenging if you are afraid of heights. I never realized that but I appreciated the fact that I actually like heights. I remember someone telling me on a chairlift while skiing that their spouse did not ski because they were afraid of heights. Although I don’t like close space I am grateful to be okay with heights.


So I am not sure I have said that before but I don’t really hike. But I always believed in cross training. I always believed that you don’t have to hike for example to be a good hiker. While the steep incline was not giving up I thought this feels like when I trail run. My body than just started to surrender to the hill like I do when I run and look more a few meters in front of me instead of looking at the steep trail ahead. I always done that when running became hard. Focusing on the next step helped my mind to stay focus and not worry about what is coming. As trekker were letting out discouraging exhale at the look of the next corner I was looking down and smiling that life had somehow prepared me for this hike without me knowing it! When you look down the incline doesn’t look as steep. You can do the next step. Just like when life gets hard. It’s one step at a time. haha when my friend MJ from Quebec city told me that I had to do this hike I said to her: but I don’t hike. She said Val it’s one step in front of the other. haha where are you my dear friend so I can give you that look of really…. one step hey? lol how does that feel? haha Don’t you love friends like that?


So we eventually made it to Namche Bazaar after many breaks to catch our breath!

And… I drop the shoes off!!! The store worker did not seem to know what I was talking about when I said I had running shoes for someone (the canadian in me thought here we go I knew I should had asked for her name!). But when I shown her the picture of me and Lungrig and said ‘sister’ she said ‘okay I know her’ and she took the bag and put aside for her. I will call her she said. Oh that was suddenly very easy! Mission accomplish 👍! Nepal often feels like a small world where everyone knows everyone.

Day 2 was great !!

Guess who is going for a hot shower now 🚿😀!

Val 😀

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