Today was our last day of hiking, our destination was Lukla, a town on top of a mountain/hill with the only commercial airport in the region. The weather was perfect today, maybe a touch hot, but the sun was shining and it was warm. This was welcomed after the cold and cloudy weather we’ve had. The hike from Monjo to Phakding was quite lovely; we walked through a variety of villages. We walked along the river for the first half of the hike, which allowed for a cool breeze of the river to help temper the hot sun. (Sidenote: I have developed some really awkward tan lines.) In Phakding we had lunch at the guest house we spend the first night. We sat outside and enjoyed the sun. After Phakding, it was off to Lukla. The first 1/3 of the hike was downhill then things go interesting and it was up hill to the village of Lukla. At this point my resources were 100% depleted. My body was exhausted. Somehow after 4 hours I made it to Lukla. The first words out of my mouth once I saw Tom, Alex, and Chhiri was “where is the clinic?”. Luckily Alex had already been to the clinic to grab some meds for Tom (Tom was picking up a cough and his knee was hurting). The clinic closed at 4pm, it was already 350pm. Alex ran ahead to ask them to stay open for me, and I slowly made my way to the clinic. I got to the “ER” and sat down and waited for the doctor. So it turns out I have bronchitis and a bacterial infection. Woo hoo! The doctor hooked me up with some new antibiotics, some cough and cold medicine, and very very very bad tasting cough syrup. When I took the cough medicine with the doctor and nurse, they all laughed when they saw my facial expression. I asked the flavor, the response was, “there is no flavor”. Ugh. But it works, so I keep taking it.
Our guest house in Luka was the Kumbu Resort and we got upgraded to rooms with private bathrooms and a “shower”. I used the shower, which only had luke warm water, to do a quick rinse. I really did not feel much cleaner.
Right before I headed up to dinner, the power went out. So we had most of our dinner my candle light. Quick note to those who traveled to France in November 2011, remember the dinner in Opera? Remember the French Onion Soup (Viola!)? Well I decided to order French Onion Soup for dinner and it was better than that dinner in Opera.
We had out final dinner with Chhiri, Pasang, and Kaji. And then the boys ordered some beers and introduced Chhiri, Pasang, and Kaji to good ole college drinking games. I was content with my tea. We all headed to bed “early”, due to an early start and our flight to Kathamndu.
Tom and I had a great hike today. Since Kaji was sick today, we ended up carrying one of the duffel bags. We just held one handle each and carried it the entire day. After a while our hands started hurting and Tom’s knee started irritating him also. We decided to just carry the duffel bag independently and switch off. We passed a guy from Australia and the UK after one of the bridges; they told us Lukla was only about 2 kilometers away. We got super excited and picked up the pace…this was a terrible idea, they were completely off! We were probably more like 5km away…it was all up hill and we got exhausted.
When we got to Lukla, we started looking for some ibuprofen for Tom’s knee. We stopped at a little bodega and asked for some “painkillers” they asked us if we wanted big or small. We said small. They brought us Pringles…we said “No” “Painkillers please” …they said, “okay, okay”…they walked away and brought us BBQ flavored Pringles…Ahhhh!!!! It was a very entertaining exchange. I ended up having to walk all the way across town to the hospital to buy Tom some cold medicine and ibuprofen.
After dinner, Tom and I had some celebratory beers with the porters and guide. We played some drinking games and then decided to walk around the city to find a bar. We found one pub that was open, we looked in and it was completely empty. Our lodge was going to lock us out at 9:30, so we decided to call it quits and head home. The street was almost completely empty and extremely dark. It was a little eerie. Power here is extremely unreliable.