We have been in Nepal for nearly a month and by reading this you will find out some of the best places to stay at and visit when trekking.
I would recommend walking to Namche Bazaar in four days with children, two days with an adult and maybe three days with a big group. Good places to stay at would be Tok Tok (with its cozy guesthouse and pretty views of the forest and a river). Chheplung would also be a nice place place to stay. It’s very close to Lukla if you have booked a flight the next day or something like that. In Benkar, there is a waterfall which is great for your children to play in.
Namche itself has a lot of lovely bakeries. I recommend Herman Helmer’s Bakery. It has great apple pie, beautiful pizza but very small sandwiches that aren’t worth the money. The pizza has nak cheese on (it’s nak cheese not yak cheese because yaks are boys and naks are girls). If you want to write a diary or something like that then Herman Helmer’s is often a quiet place to sit. The Everest Bakery is also very nice and it does pasta which Herman’s does not. Apple pie at Everest is more cinnamony that Herman’s.
In Pangboche, they have a Herman’s Bakery (different to Herman Helmer’s Bakery) which does the best chocolate cake I have ever tasted. It was called chocolate trefoil and was proper English chocolate.
At Gokyo, it all quite expensive and I would recommend taking a down jacket which you can hire in Namche Bazaar. You cannot hire children’s down jackets.
Gokyo Ri is nearly always worth the climb to the top except when it is cloudy. The view is undoubtedly the best one I have ever seen. You can see a glacier from above. It’s amazing.
In Tengboche, you can go and see an amazing monastery but you have to be very quiet. In the monastery, you can pay Rs. 25 to light a butter lamp even if you are a child. A butter lamp is a sort of little candle and if you light one, Buddhists believe that Buddha will pray for you. There was a bakery right next to the monastery.
To keep safe, you must always get out of the way of yaks which you often meet on the way to Gokyo. You must also get out of the way of donkeys. If you didn’t, you could get pushed off the edge of a mountain!
If you want to go to Gokyo, then you have to go upwards most of the way and downwards most of the way back. There is not very much flat land in the Khumbu region (the region Mount Everest is in).
It is extremely beautiful once you get to Gokyo. There are lots of flowers of interesting colours. They are called “alpine flowers”. There are three lakes on the way and you can go to the fourth one or the fifth one without having to camp, whereas if you want to go the sixth lake, you have to camp because you cannot get back to Gokyo in one day.
The lakes are emerald green. They are surrounded by mountains. It snowed when we arrived and on the day when we climbed Gokyo Ri.
Gokyo Ri is a mountain that is quite hard to climb, in fact there were some grown-ups climbing it who gave up but we got to the top. It gets cloudy during the day so if you want to climb Gokyo Ri, you have to leave very early. We got up at 5 o’clock!
I didn’t want to leave Gokyo because it was beautiful, even though I did get an altitude headache.
On the way down, it is much easier. It took ten days to get there and nine days to get back because we took a detour round Pangboche and Tengboche. You cannot go too far in a day on the way up because you might get an altitude headache like I did at Gokyo. Mummy got it much more than me and my sisters didn’t get it at all.
Today we saw Mount Everest for the first time in all of our lives. It was a really amazing feeling as it’s basically the only thing I had on any kind of ‘tick list’ for the trip. We were really lucky with the weather, we got up early and walked to the viewpoint and there it was! Sadly, I cannot post all the pictures we took of it right now (you know, me and Mt Everest, the kids and Mt Everest, Ferg and Mt Everest…all very predictable) as the camera ran out of battery – luckily just after we’d taken the pictures…that could have been very upsetting.
The kids loved it…for about 2 mins then lost interest and wondered off into a military zone to the alarm of our porter-guide, and had to be fetched back and reprimanded. Ah well, I hope one day they’ll realise they were luck to be there.