We transfer to The Royal Singi Hotel in the early evening. There will be a full trek briefing this evening
We take the short but spectacular mountain flight to Lukla (2800m.), and set off on the first leg of our trek, heading northwards up the valley of the Dudh Kosi (or 'milk river'). We descend from the small plateau down into the forested valley. The trail crosses several tributary streams and we have some tantalising views before reaching the small settlement of Phakding (2652m.).
We spend the day exploring the area around Phakding. Above the village is Rimijung Monastery offering great views of Thamserku and the energetic can hike even further up the hill behind the monastery. The villages of Sano and Thulo (little and large) Gumila are worth a visit. Red Panda and deer have been spotted in the forests around the lodge, so keep a look out.
Today is the hardest day of the trek. From Phakding we cross the Dudh Kosi by the first of several suspension bridges. The trail undulates through magnificent forests of rhododendron, giant fir and magnolia trees past the villages of Benkar and Chumoa before reaching Monzo. From here we enter the Everest National Park and descend to cross another suspension bridge to Jorsale (2,805m). The trail then climbs to cross the Bhote Kosi River, followed by a steep climb to Namche Bazaar (3,440m), administrative centre of the Khumbu region and headquarters for the Mount Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park. It is a prosperous Sherpa village and an important trading centre with a weekly market at which fresh foodstuffs brought up from lower villages are exchanged for the money which many Sherpa families earn from their work with trekking groups. The narrow streets are a mix of souvenir shops, some of the highest cyber cafes in the world and places where trekking equipment can be hired or purchased. Approx 5.5-6 hours walking.
We spend the day exploring the Sherpa capital and the villages around. There are various options for today. The energetic can walk up past the small airstrip at Shyangboche to the spectacularly situated Everest View Hotel. It's an ideal place to stop as the views of Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse and Ama Dablam are magnificent. Just beyond are the twin villages of Kunde and Khumjung, home to the Edmund Hillary hospital and school. Khumjung Monastery is well worth a visit too and for a small donation you can view the world’s only yeti skull! In Namche the National Park Museum and the Sherpa Culture Centre are both worth checking out and from the museum there is a grand view of Everest.
We will have some free time in the morning in Namche before we retrace our steps to Phakding.
From Phakding we leave the main trail and have a beautiful two hour walk through forest and villages following the Dudh Kosi. We cross the river by bridge and rejoin the main trail at Ghat for the final walk back to Lukla.
After our flight from Lukla to Kathmandu, our day is free for sightseeing.
Today is free in Kathmandu (it is also a spare day to allow for any delays in the flights to or from Lukla). You may wish to visit Durbar Square in the heart of the old city where the old Royal Palace, with its intricate woodcarving is located. Outside is Kumari Chowk, home of the Kumari, the young girl who is revered as a living goddess. The whole area is a maze of temples and images. Leading away from the square in all directions are narrow alleys, full of the most amazing variety of shops and stalls. Alternatively you may wish to visit the monkey temple at Swayambunath, one of the largest Buddhist Stupas in the world at Bodnath, or the most important Hindu temple in the valley at Pashupatinath. We off er a full range of sightseeing tours, which can be booked and paid for locally. Please see the Optional Excursions section or the Exodus notice board in the hotel in Kathmandu.
The trip ends after breakfast. Those on the group flight will leave for the airport after breakfast.