I slept very well on the second night at Gorak Shep. The next day, after a cup of hot coffee and water refill, I started my trek back towards Namche Bazaar at 7 am. The weather was not good, it was overcast and it appeared to be snowing at a distance towards the Everest Base camp.
A cold morning with no sun and strong winds were making trekking difficult. I kept moving and ensured that I am warm enough.
I reached Periche at 10:30 am and had breakfast. I had been lucky and there was no snowfall so far. It took more than 1 hour to get breakfast as the place was not expecting guests. I was 45 minutes behind on the schedule. I wanted to be at Namche Bazaar before dark.
I reached Tengboche Monastery around 2:30 pm. Here I was an hour later than planned. I believe that the last 4 days exertion was catching up. But the weather was good now. The sun was out and it was warm too.
From here, it was 3 km downhill (600 mt) and then 6 km uphill towards Namche Bazar, a total of 9 km. I could foresee difficulty going up with a backpack.
I kept going and finally reached Namche Bazaar at 5:40 pm, just when it got dark. I stayed at the same hotel 'Kamal'.
At Namche Bazaar, the 4G signal is good. I changed my flight from Lukla to Kathmandu on 3rd Jan and bought a ticket from Kathmandu to Delhi.
So fingers were crossed that I would get my Lukla-Kathmandu flight on time and will be home in a week after spending the new year at the Everest Base Camp.
Tonight the bed was super luxurious as compared to the previous 3 nights.
Started towards Namche Bazaar, the weather was not good but took a calculated risk...
Everest behind those clouds
Trek close to Gorakshep. I did not take a picture while coming in due to time pressure and cold.
I slept like a log and woke up fresh. The sun was out. It was a beautiful day but still cold. I planned to take it easy today because there was enough time to reach Lukla.
After having a good breakfast of Tibetan bread, jam, and butter with a cup of tea, I started my journey back to Lukla at 10 am.
It was going to be my last day on the Everest base camp trail.
There is a steep incline/decline near Namche called Namche steps. It has its own challenges while going up or down. Going up on these steps is very tough & tiring and going down had risk to slip. Any kind of injury is bad on this trek.
As I was approaching Lukla, dark clouds were gathering, and soon (at 3 pm) it started snowing. My concern was tomorrow’s flight from Lukla to Kathmandu which is known for unpredictable delays during bad weather.
I decided to stay near the airport at “The Nest”. It is a decent place to stay with good food. As soon as I entered The Nest, it started snowing heavily. My worries about tomorrow’s flight were growing. Anyway, It was a beautiful view out there with hot coffee in hand, sitting next to Bukhari.
After dinner, I went to bed hoping there would be a flight tomorrow.
Snowing had stopped at night and the weather seems to be clearing. Or maybe I was imagining due to 5 days of fatigue and hoping to be home soon.
My prayers were answered the next day. There were no clouds in the sky and the runway was black. It looks that most likely flight should be operating today.
Around 7 am, I heard a flight landing at the airport. The runway was just 2 minutes walk from The Nest. I walked to the airport and checked-in for the 9 am flight.
I would be home this evening. At that time I had a very strange feeling which was the satisfaction of completing the EBC trek fast enough without issue and leaving this place so soon.
You leave a place to come back again.
Everything worked well after that. I reached Kathmandu around 9:30 am and waited at the airport for my Delhi flight at 1 pm.
I reached home at 5 pm after going through all the Delhi traffic, noise, and smog smell. All the way I was thinking about where I was at this time yesterday, the day before yesterday, and on new year's eve.