Day 4, 18th November 2018
Our trek towards Gokyo started from Namche at 8 in the morning. We packed few of our unwanted cloths in a bag and left it at hotel. Looking at Mr. Ajay condition yesterday, we were not sure if he can manage to walk for hours. Still we planned to stay at Dole today which is situated at 4230 meters.
Walking trails from Namche till Kyangjuma was wide enough to walk and nicely paved, thorough the trail we could see the beauty Mount Ama Dablam. It took almost 2 hours to reach Kyangjuma where we had tea and took short break. When returning back I made up my mind that I will stay here to do my night photography.
From Kyangjuma the trekking trails to Mong Danda was uphill and narrow. After an hours walk, we reached Mong and it too had a spectacular view of Mount Ama Dablam. I kept this place also in my list from where I want to have a night sky photography. We had a tea break here. Ajay still looked fresh, so we set our destination for tonight at Dole.
After a short break at Mong, we headed towards Phorsthe Thanga. It was a downhill trail from Mong. After few minute walk Ajay asked me to use my walking stick. I asked him to take it out form my bag and hand me. I fixed the height and started my walk.
Throughout the trail we could see Phorste village. I was busy taking picture of this beautiful village. At one place I lost my balance and slipped. I saw my camera got hit on the rock. I did not had any injury from the slip, so we continue our journey. After 40 minutes’ walk, we reach Phorsthe Thanga and had our lunch. While waiting for lunch, I felt some pain on my wrist, since I did not carry any bandage , I request a guide whom we met at Phakding, he gave me one bandage which I used on my wrist.
After lunch, it was 2 hours uphill to Dole. The weather got bad after here. It was cold and foggy. On the way there were water falls but frozen. I took few picture. At this point I realize that there is something wrong with my camera. Lower 1/3 part was dark.
At first I could not relate it with the accident I had before, though some technical problem. After taking continuous picture the result was same. When I check the camera, I found out the fault. My camera mirror was not rolling up full. And it was due to the camera body landed on rock when I slip.
I reached dole and waited for my friend at Alpine Lodge, since it was cold the hotel owner offer me hot lemon tea and we had a brief introduction. After tea I tried to examine my Camera. The hotel owner was curious at me as I was looking furious and the way I was looking at my camera. She came to me and asked me what the problem was. I told her whole story and how mad I am at that moment. All my dreams of taking night photography, beautiful landscape and a panoramic view of Himalayas from Gokyo Ri was gone. I said “I don’t think I can make such trip again just for photography”, she replied me “by profession you are Orthotist and Prosthetist and you make disable people walk, how can you say you cannot make a trek to here again, you should come again here”, her words were quiet encouraging.
Ajay and Dil came almost 2 hour later than me. This day was the coldest one we felt till now. We stayed around fire place and had our dinner. Around 9 pm we went to bed.
Day 5, 19th November 2018
After Breakfast we started our trek to our next destination Maccherma which is situated at 4470 meters. This section of the trek was quiet easy, not straight up hill or downhill. In 3 hours’ time we reach maccherma.
At maccherma we stayed at Hotel Inn Maccherma. The owner of the hotel Mr. Lopsan used to be a mountaineer till 2012. He too have a passion towards photography and saw few of his photographs hanging on the walls of the dining hall. He gave us some tips as we were unaware of the weather condition there. He suggested not to go too early in the morning to Gokyo Ri as it is freezing cold at Gokyo lake at the time and it might take 3 hours to reach Gokyo Ri form Gokyo lake III.
Day 6, 20th November 2018
Today also our trek is not for long hours, as our porter Dil told us that it’s similar from Dole to Maccherma. As usual we started out trek at 8 am in the morning after light breakfast.
At first we had to go little uphill for like 40 minutes, then the trails were wide and easy. I didn’t wrote down the name of places we came across. At our right-hand side Doodh Koshi river was flowing. As we got closer, we descend to the river bank before climbing upwards.
It is a steep climb up and we see a stream flowing from first lake which gets into the river. After a short walk we reached the second lake. We spent some time here taking picture (my friends and porter) I still tried if I can fix my camera.
The reflection of Mount Cho Oyu was on the lake. The lake had started to get frozen. As some part at the banks were frozen. Finally, after 4 hours walks and some much needed rest on the way, we reached Gokyo III lake.
While having a lunch at hotel, had a talk with other trekkers and guide. One of the guide told me its better to go now as the weather is clear and during sun set it’s really amazing to see the mountains. In the morning there will be anti-light. He also said for last 2 days the weather was not clear.
Few of the other trekker and guide said they will go at 3 pm and asked me to join them. Ajay gave up and said it’s was enough for him. Reaching Gokyo lake is his final destination.
At 3 we start our climb to Gokyo Ri, Dil was with me. I took my camera too so that at least upper 2/3 of the area of my camera will capture picture. It was steep up climb, at some places I was losing my balance. Still Dil was asking me to go and saying “you can do it”.
After more than hour walk we almost reach 5000 meters. At this point I again lost my balance and stopped for some time. Took some picture of Gokyo Lake.
After here I really felt like exhausted and some kind of fear which was stopping me from going up. Dil also told me if you are not feeling good then let’s abandon and go back.
I said sorry to myself and started descending down slowly. After reaching hotel people were there who made me feel good saying that making up to 5000 meters is also a good achievement, there are some trekker who even don’t make up to here.
I saw people getting down in dark with torch light later. Few of them were the guys with whom I had talked earlier during lunch. One of them was photography enthusiast. When they reached hotel, I saw few of their pictures and had short photography talk and knowledge sharing.
At the beginning of our trek, I had plan to stay 2 nights at Gokyo lake and go to 5th lake also or do 2 time Gokyo Ri in the morning as well as evening, but broken camera changed all my plans.
Day 7, 21 st November 2018
Our trekking destination was till Gokyo Lake, so today we are retuning back. My ultimate destination for today walk was to reach Mong Danda. The way back in trekking is always been fast and easy. Most of the way we walk downhill.
In 2 hours walk we reach Maccherma, we had our lunch here. In another 2 hours we reached Dole. I reached 30 minutes earlier than my friends, so I got extra time to relax. We rested for some time and had a cup of tea.
From dole to Phorsthe thanga was downhill, it was an easy walk for me as it did not take long time for me to reach Phorsthe thanga. But Ajay walk to slow. I had to wait him for almost 1 hour. When he reached there he was exhausted already. Dil requested me to go ahead to Mong and stay there so that I can do some night photography. He will stay with Ajay at Phorsthe Thanga.
Ajay was bit confused, at time he said he will stay here or call for a rescue Helicopter. To get a rescue helicopter was expensive and at that time it was not possible also.
I was about to start my trek around 3 o clock to Mong, Ajay said he will also come to Mong slowly. For me, it took about an hour form Phosrte thanga to reach Mong.
I reached the place where I slipped and was wondering, how it happened. Had a thought why I did not keep my camera in bag while walking.
It was already late evening and was getting little dark, sun was almost ready to set, meanwhile I wanted to see the amazing Ama Dablam on the way and there was something about the moment, the moon has just came out and it was on the side of the mount Ama Dablam. How can I miss this opportunity to capture this majestic natural beauty.
Still my camera can capture upper 2/3 of the sensor, so I thought I can crop the image and still can use it.
Finally around 5 o clock I reach Mong Danda. I had to wait for Ajay and Dil. When they reached it was almost dark. I felt sorry for Ajay as he was very tired. But he was happy that he could did it.
Ajay got permission from me and Dil for the first time in our trek to have a beer. He was happy to have beer and talk to his family back in Hyderabad. Though he had hard tome to reach there but he has a smile on this evening.
Around 4 am I wake Dil and we went out to capture some night sky and Ama Dablam. We could see mountaineer climbing Ama Dablam. I did not sleep after that.
8th day, 22nd November 2018
At around 8 we started our trek for next destination. Most probably I wanted to reach Jorsale. It was a comfort walk for me, we reached Namche bazar around 12 and had lunch. Ajay was still thinking to fly back to Lukla from Namche. There were no helicopter flying to that area that at time. He said he will make it to Jorsale and asked me to move on.
After 2 and half hours walk from Nacmhe bazar I reached Jorsale. Ajay and Dil arrived almost around 5 pm. Ajay was tired but looked happy. May be he felt he did it. He reached Gokyo lake and was back to Jorsale. He know from Jorsale he will make it to Lukla. He even partied with the hotel staff and Dil that night.
9th day 23rd November 2018
As usual after breakfast, we started out trek. I was ahead of Ajay as usual. On the way met many trekkers and Porter donkeys. These porter Donkey were making my pace slow. In 3 hours’ time I reached Phakding had my lunch and waited Ajay. After Ajay arrived, he asked me to move on and check with the airline office at Lukla to change out return date for tomorrow.
This time while getting to lukla from Phakding, I felt little stress and exhausted. I was moving slowly and it was up hill too. After 3 hours walk I reach Lukla and went to airlines office to change our return date.
I checked in to Mr. Bibhusan hotel. Met other Nepali trekkers who has returned from Base camp. Ajay arrived late evening and he too joined with the Nepali group. We had drinks and shared our trekking experience.
10th say, 24th November 2018
We reached at the airport around 8:30 as our flight was at 9 o clock. But only first flight had taken off and all other flight were on hold. We flew around 2 pm from Lukla and finally reached home.
This trekking was full of experience for me. I was happy that the person who was about to return from Namche Bazar made it to Gokyo lake with me. I really need to thank Mr. Dil Tamang who was another force he helped Ajay to make it.
I support Local Empowerment. So, I’m sharing this Everest Base Camp Trek to promote a new way of trekking where trekkers can empower the local service providers like lodges, guides and porters by booking services directly through them. #empoweringthehimalayas #freetriptoeverest