Nepal is an ideal destination for anyone who loves nature and the mountains. The Himalayas are a mountain range in Asia that cross several countries: Pakistan, India, Tibet (China), Bhutan and Nepal. Bordering Nepal and Tibet, with an altitude of 8848m above sea level, lies the highest mountain in the world: Mount Everest.
It truly was a dream come true to travel half way across the world to the Himalayas. A friend of ours has a project to hike the 14 highest mountains of the world (all above 8000m), with the objective to do so without supplementary oxygen (www.richardhidalgo.com). It was an honour to accompany him to the Everest base camp, located at 5400m.
When you arrive in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital city, you must take a flight to Lukla (FYI, the most dangerous airport in the world!!) and this is where you start walking. Normally, it takes approximately 11-14 days to go up to base camp and come back down. We took 10 days. The best season to hike is April and May, or in September and October. This also means that there are many tourist on the Everest Base Camp route. We started hiking in March, which was ideal to avoid the big crowds.
The journey has views that will simply take your breath away. The landscape changes along the way from forests and rivers to dryer, and higher climates. We walked through valleys surrounded by snow capped mountains, through small villages, Buddhist monasteries and “stupas” and “chortens” (Buddhist monuments). We had to cross high, hanging bridges, and everywhere we went, there were prayer flags decorating the way.
As we got higher and higher, we could feel the altitude. This is also why the route is so long: you need extra days in order to acclimatize properly. This is very important because if you get altitude sickness, you must immediately go down, and this could ruin your trek.
One highlight of the trip was reaching the summit of Kala Patthar mountain (5600m). From here, we enjoyed the panoramic view of nearby mountains and of Mount Everest. Most people go in the morning, however, we went in the late afternoon, to enjoy and absolutely beautiful sunset, although a little cold and windy.
Another highlight was to reach the Everest base camp. Here, we walked the whole length of the camp and we reached the Khumbu glacier. We also had tea and lunch before heading back down. That day was a long one, we walked until 8pm guided solely by the moonlight and enjoying the stars.
Taking walks in nature is a type of active meditation. It is an important moment during which your mind focuses on your bodily movements and your senses. You hear birds, you feel the wind, you smell the flowers, and see many beautiful things. All of this brings you directly into the present moment and allows you to connect with your inner self.
They say a trip occurs three times: when you dream it, when you live it, and when you remember it.
We have incredible memories for the rest of our lives.
I will soon be posting the details of our daily walks, and also packing recommendations for your trek to Everest Base Camp. Stay tuned!!