Back To The Lower Elevation
Gokyo was the last point for me to be standing in the high altitude during my walk on the Everest trek. After the climb to Gokyo Ri to see the clear view of all the 8000m peaks in the Everest region, I descended down to about 4400m in Machhermo. It is still quite high in elevation but I felt much better after descending more than 1000m altitude from Gokyo Ri on the same day. I could still feel the coldness biting the nerves on my skin especially when the clouds started to dominate the evening sky. There were many trekkers going towards the opposite direction… looking fresh since they havent get really high in the elevation yet. Things are much cheaper here in Machhermo compared to Gorakshep or Dzongla. Black tea is half the price and the room price here is much cheaper compared to the villages near the Everest basecamp. I felt relieved that things started to get normal again down here.
Machhermo is the last place for me to sleep at over 4000m altitude. The next morning after a late breakfast, me and my guide walked slowly leaving Machhermo, slowly descending below 4000m altitude into the tree lines. We walked for only an hour in the Himalayan tundra before we started to see small trees on the ground, telling us that we have now reach the normal elevation. Getting into the lower elevation, I started to feel the heat slowly. For the first time my walk in the Everest trek, the clouds were dominating the sky almost for the whole day. Under those clouds, rescue helicopters were flying once every few minutes from Lukla towards the north… saving lives of some trekkers who probably suffered from altitude sickness.
The longer I walked down the elevation, the trees were bigger and the earth was finally filled with greens… populated by the world of flora. No more ice and snow and instead of seeing rocks everywhere, the earth is now covered with carpets of grass. The path is easy and smooth from here. It feels so different here even though it was only a day walk from the high tundra. After a few hours of walk, I finally get back to the same road for the last few kilometers, only that this time I walked the opposite way, this time back towards Namche Baazar. The first thing I did when I reached Namche was to take a very long… hot shower. Then I pampered myself with good food since its much cheaper here compared to the villages on the trek. I also rushed to the ATM machine in Namche since I had no more cash… everything was spent in the high altitude villages during the walk.
The next day I trekked down to Lukla which sits at much lower elevation at about 2600m. It was an easy downhill walk with some river crossing… mostly the same way I took when I was going up towards Lukla from Kharikhola a few weeks before. The next morning I woke up early to say goodbye to my guide who has been like a good friend to me and to catch the flight back to Kathmandu. I felt quite nervous here to take the mountain flight from one of the most dangerous airport in the world, Tenzing-Hillary airport here in Lukla. The runway is very short and not even flat. When I first looked at it, I was wondering how the pilot could land and take off in such a short runway. I was at first wanted to just trek down back to Phaplu which will take another day and take the long 12 hours bus ride back to Kathmandu since I was quite phobia to take the mountain flight. But then again, I wanted to experience this at least once in my life. I started to have phobia on flying since the news of our MH370 a few years ago yet ironically, I flew so many times since then due to travelling.
Surprising the take off was very smooth… and the half an hour flight from Lukla to Kathmandu is actually one of the smoothest flight I have ever take… not a single turbulence… nothing. Once in Kathmandu, I stayed in the same hotel and get a good discount since the staffs already know me and Im already considered as a loyal customer here. I stayed a few days in Kathmandu taking a good rest, continue writing my travel diary, editing my film as usual and doing the thing that I hate the most… planning my next move. Im really bad at planning thing… it usually never happen as planned. So Im just reading to get more information on places that I intended to go soon after Kathmandu. At the same time I walked around Kathmandu to see the celebration of the Hindus… Deepavali, the festival of light. It is so colourful and its something really big in Nepal, people really celebrate it here. Firecrackers every few seconds and people are dancing everywhere on the street… so much fun to watch the happiness of the people here during the celebration.