Tag Archives: hiking

Everest Base Camp: Day by day route

I decided to share the break down of each day during our trek. I have included where we went, stayed, acclimatized and the altitude of each one. In the brackets [] you will see the total amount of kilometres we walked each day. I think this will help you prepare (physically and mentally) for your Everest Base Camp experience.

I cannot stress enough the importance of physically preparing for this trek. We saw many people struggling during the first two days, which are the easiest because you walk less and you slowly go up in altitude.

If you have never been in altitude before, i would recommend trying to go to higher mountains (Andes, the Alps, or anything nearby that is higher than 2000m). However, keep in mind that the altitude is felt much more in the Himalayas.

Our route was 10 days in total, but we did one day less on the way down, so you can have shorter days if you need/prefer.

So my recommendation is, get on that treadmill, run up and down the stairs, train at the gym and get in shape as much as possible.

Our trekking route: 

Day 1: [8km] Lukla (2840m) to Phakding (2610m)

Day 2:  [10km] Phakding (2610m) to Namche Bazar (3440m)

Day 3: acclimatize in Namche Bazar (3440m)

Day 4:  [14km] Namche Bazar (3440m) to Pangboche (3930m)

Day 5: [8km] Pangboche (3930m) to Dingboche (4410m)

Day 6: acclimatize in Dingboche. You can also take short walks to help acclimatize. We went to Imja Tsho, a Laguna located at 5010m [total of 20km return]

Day 7:  [17km] Dingboche (4410m) to Gorakshep (5164m) + sunset at Kala Patthar (5545m)

Day 8: [21km] Gorakshep (5164m) to Everest Base Camp(5364) to Pangboche (3930m)

Day 9:  [14km] Pangboche (3930m) to Namche Bazar (3440m)

Day 10: [18km] Namche Bazar (3440m) to Lukla (2840m)

I’ll meet you at the Cape

Anyone who has been to Cape Town will tell you that the drive on the coast is absolutely beautiful: they are right! Rent a car, and drive the coast, stop and enjoy the beaches, and beware of the baboons!

It takes about 2 hours to reach the southernmost point of the African continent. Once you arrive at the main parking lot, you will find a restaurant, small shops, and a cable car that takes you to the lighthouse.

I highly recommend hiking, since it is not difficult, you get to enjoy the air and nature, and it will not take you that much time either. There are several routes and paths you can take. The main ones are:

  • Cape Point (cable car+walking)
  • Cape of Good Hope (the second time we went to the National park, we noticed there is another road and parking that is closer to this point. We took a 1.5h hike to reach it from the main parking lot).

The shops are the classic, tourist shops that are not necessarily worth it. However the restaurant has a magnificent view, good seafood, and a long balcony where you can sit outside and enjoy a glass of South African wine. Also, if you go on a Sunday, everything closes early! The first time we went, everything was closed by the time we finished our hike, and you must be out of the park at a certain hour.

What you should bring:

  • Hat
  • Windbreaker
  • Sunscreen/sunglasses
  • Comfortable shoes, or hiking boots
  • Snacks and Water

Cape of Gd Hope Cape Point1 Southernmost Africa

Two must-do activities in Cape Town

Hiking Table Mountain and Lion’s Head.

You can take a cable car up Table Mountain, but it is really not worth the price. The hike takes about 90mins to do and is a nice moment to connect with nature. The view you get of Cape Town is beautiful. Pick a nice sunny day, but make sure to bring water, snacks, and sunblock.

Lion’s Head is not too far from Table Mountain. If you are in shape and really want to, you can hike both mountains in the same day. (We did this). Lion’s Head is less busy than Table Mountain, probably because the only way up is by foot. There are a few parts where you must actually use your hands and climb up using either chains or metal bars they put into the rock. I was really proud of myself for doing that, I thought it was a little scary.

View of Cape Town

Old Biscuit Mill

This was one of our favourite activities to do on a Saturday (between 10am-2pm): Old Biscuit Mill Market. The little shops, antique stores, and food that you can find here are all really great. South African artisans sell their clothes, jewelry, choose, leather books, etc. and local restaurants have food stands where you can enjoy anything from falafel to fresh oysters. Also, you can taste different types of local beers and wines, and our personal favourite: ginger beer! This is an absolute must if you are in Cape Town on a saturday!

Old Biscuit Mill Market

Kilimanjaro Hiking Tips

Hiking to the summit of Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, is something anyone can do: if you are prepared.  It is honestly one of the most beautiful experiences I have had, and it is worth every step. The sunrise on the last day is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen, the glaciers at the summit are astonishing, and the overall experience is memorable.

There are various routes you can take, but my experience hiking the Machame route is the recommend one that will allow you to properly adjust to the altitude in 6 nights/7days (total of 62kms). Also, make sure to check the best times to go. We went right before the rain season starts (hiking from Oct 5th-12th) and had two days of rain.

Here are some tips if you are thinking of, or going to hike Kilimanjaro:

  • If you have never been at altitudes higher than 2000-3000m, do not try to take a shorter route than Machame. You do not know how your body will deal with high altitudes, and shorter routes will give you less time to adjust.
  • Get in shape! Go to the gym, do some yoga, go running, eat healthy, get strong. There are also training masks you can get that simulate different altitudes, these can also come in handy during your physical preparation. But do physically prepare to hike Kilimanjaro because in the end, you will enjoy the journey much more.
  • As far as malaria pills go, I do not believe they were necessary for us during the time we hiked. I am usually the one mosquitoes love to bite and I did not get one single bite. Do bring repellent, just in case.
  • A proper thermarest mattress: ESSENTIAL! I was so thankful to have my own, self-inflating mattress on this hike.
  • If you do not know if you like camping, get outdoors before you go on your Kilimanjaro hike: you will be camping every day, will have one bucket of water per day to wash, and will go to the bathroom in places that are smelly and very basic.
  • Bring proper gloves for the last day as well as warm socks. I unfortunately underestimated the cold on the last day and wish I would have brought much better gloves than those I had. Keep your extremities warm and you will be fine.
  • Bring ugg boots, or slippers for the campsite. We were so happy to have something warm and easy to put on after our days of trekking.
  • Make sure you have a RAINproof jacket, a bag to cover your bags and backpack, or a good poncho.

Sunrise at summit Glaciers at Kili summit Camping

El Avila, a beautiful day hike

So you would think Caracas is only a big city on the Caribbean coast, right?

IMG_3787IMG_0434WRONG.

Caracas also has its natural escapes within the city. One of these is The Avila National Park. It is a great way to escape from the noise and craziness of the big capital. There is a Gondola that can bring you up and down the mountain, BUT the best part is to HIKE up! The highest point is at 2740m above sea level, so you only go up and up and up! It is not only a great workout, but has wonderful views and once you are at the top, you can see all Caracas, as well as the turquoise water of the Caribbean.

There are also campsites and you can take a few days to hike around. However, if camping, bring A LOT of water because there are some points where you cannot find any.

We did one day, about 18km and 8h30mins to the top. There were butterflies everywhere and many different types of birds. We took the gondola back down and soon enough the noise of cars and the city were back. It really was a beautiful escape and it felt like we had been there more than just a day!

Also, it is recommended to go to the National Park with someone who has already been or who knows the way. There are no indications or routes or arrows to show the way, and so it would be very easy to get lost.