Everest Base Camp Trek: Day 4 – Namche Bazaar to Khunde/Khumjung
Trekking time: 3h
Altitude change: +1,312 ft
Namche Bazaar: 11,286 ft
Khunde: 12,598 ft
Khumjung: 12,401 ft
Average daytime temperature: 63 F mid day, although windy and chilly at times
AmaDablam View Hotel (Khumjung)
Hot shower: yes
Blankets and pillows: yes
Wifi: Good. 500 rupees for 1 day although I didn’t get it as I’d just paid for it the day before.
Bedtime Room Temperature: 53 F
Morning Room Temperature: 44 F
I woke up at 6:50am today for a 7:30 breakfast. There was again no hot water this morning so I wiped off with a body wipe, which is better than nothing, although certainly no where near a shower. I packed my duffel, set it out in the hall for the porters to pick up and headed off to breakfast. After breakfast I went and bought some orange and grape Tang and a few Snickers. I’d start adding Tang to the water in my Nalgene bottle, but not my water bladder as I didn’t know if I could get it clean well enough. Snickers were 50 rupees here, which was cheap. The small bags of Tang which were plenty for the rest of the trip were 300 rupees each. It was a nice alternative to drinking plain water.
It was a beautiful morning and most of us were quickly down to shorts and t-shirts after the steep hike out of Namche. We made it up to Syangboche, site of the world’s highest airport, err, airstrip. Its really just an unpaved airstrip up at 12,402 ft. It was starting to get windy up there so most of us put on long pants and sleeves. We made it up past that to the Everest View Hotel at 12,779 ft where we of course had no view of Everest because of the clouds.
After some a rest stop for some tea, hot chocolate and maybe a little food at the Everest View Hotel we had a few more hours of hiking to get to Kunde and Khumjung where we would be staying for the night. It was a nice hike down into town. The building authority in town (is there such a thing?) seems to have governed that all of the buildings have the same green/blue color to them. It really does look pretty.
As I was walking through the town towards our hotel I was panning around taking some video with my little camera. I got one of the local girls who seemed to be maybe 7 years old in my shot and she immediately started yelling at me apparently demanding money for her leading role in my motion picture. Some kids were happy to have pictures taken, some didn’t want any part of it and then there are a few who have apparently found a capitalistic side to it and have apparently made some money posing for pictures.
We arrived at the AmaDablam View Hotel. It was pretty standard as far as they go – dining room, standard rooms with a single small ceiling light. I had a single room with just one bed. This place had the best shower of all of the tea houses. It was in a small enough room that the steam heated it up. It had great water pressure and I was one of the few times on the trek that I shaved because there was a useful mirror in the shower.
After we got settled in we took a walk back over to Kunde to go see the Kunde Hospital. Its a small 3 room clinic with some x-ray capabilities. We met one of the doctors that works there and he gave us a tour. The clinic is funded by the Hillary Foundation and is free for locals. They get some travelers that come through there and I think they charge them about $50 for the visit. They have 2 doctors that work there full time along with some ancillary staff.
On the way back to our hotel we stopped in the monastery where they have a yeti skull, or so they claim. The llamas were in there sitting and praying and chanting aloud and didn’t seem to mind us coming in to take a look around. For a 50 rupee donation they opened the case with the famed yeti skull and allowed us to take pictures.
The remainder of the day was fairly uneventful. We went back to our teahouse, had a lecture after which I took perhaps the best shower (especially for a tea house) on our trip. It was a small room with great water pressure and even a mirror for one of the few times on the trek that I shaved. We had dinner and were off to an early bedtime as usual.