© Copyright: Stefan Burkhardt

Kathmandu To Phakding

Last Day September 27th 2008
Start: Lukla, 2780 m, 11:00
Arrival: Phakding, 2600 m, 16:15
Duration: 5:15
Breaks: 1:40 in Phakding, 10 minutes at Monastery
Estimated climb: 300 m
Estimated descent: 480 m
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We got up at 5:30 and took a taxi to Tribuvhan airport at 6:00. Our flight was scheduled for 7:45 but we only took off at 8:20.
The flight took about 30 minutes, we got very lucky with our seats, sitting on the left side of the plane with great views of the mountains. The weather was perfect.
Around 8:50 we landed in Lukla. I was in the first seat behind the cockpit and got a glimpse of the tiny airstrip through the front window.
After we landed, we went to the Khumbu Lodge to meet our guide, Bhim Rai. After some breakfast, we left two sacks in the lodge and booked a room for the night before our return flight.
Around 11:00 we started our hike to Phakding. There is a checkpoint in Lukla where we had to show our passports and hiking permits (TIPS-card). The hike first descends from Lukla into the Dudh Koshi valley reaching a low point of about 2550 meters before climbing slightly to Phakding.
This was our first large stupa with a great view of the valley and many mani stones.
Another stupa in Nurning Ghat. We arrived in Phakding a little later, around 13:10 and Bimh took us to the Green Village Lodge. We had a very good lunch (fried noodles with vegetables) served by the adorable young girl of the house who later took off to do her homework in the dining room.
We met a very nice couple from Israel, Ruth and Muki, in the lodge and chatted with them over lunch. They were also heading to Namche the next day so we hoped we would see them again. Muki had been in Nepal before and told us about Renjo La, the pass leading to Gokyo from the west. I had not heard of it before, but we decided to make this detour to Gokyo.
After lunch we decided to hike up to the Rimjung monastery which is situated on the west side of the valley, about 200 meters above Phakding.
We did not encounter any monks, but the monastery was in very good condition and we took a few pictures before heading back down to our lodge.
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