Everest Base Camp Trek – Day 12
Date: 23 November 2017
Walked to: Lukla
Distance: 8 miles
Altitude: Sleeping at 2,800m
As the old wallpaper advert of the 1980s proclaimed, ‘what goes up must come down’. And lo, so did I – even if a lot of today actually involved gaining height rather than losing it, as we made our way to the tea house by the side of the startlingly short and sloped airport runway at Lukla in readiness for catching our flight back to Kathmandu first thing tomorrow morning.
Today was blissfully easy walking as my lungs cruised along at under 3,000m. Climbing was almost fun again. I could move at a fair old clip. It was like walking normally is when you aren’t wandering along at altitudes higher than some planes fly at (like our flight tomorrow, for example…). The ‘highway’ was full of school children and donkeys today, as well as the porters carrying their unbearably heavy looking loads up the mountains. When there’s only one road up/down, and that road happens to be a rocky and precarious hillside path interspersed with swaying chain metal suspension bridges, it can get jam packed at times.
The final walk into Lukla was an assault on the senses, as we suddenly hit a concentration of housing, shops, so-called bars and even a pool hall clustered along the mountainside, the footpath full of recalcitrant yaks and donkeys… and people; what felt like lots of people. Time to end this adventure – and start plotting the next (half) gap year adventure. Watch this space!