Nepal - Gokyo valley and Everest Base Camp trek
Day 3 - A rest and acclimatization day in and around Namche Bazar
The town of Namche Bazar is the obvious place for a rest day. Not that you'd need a rest after only two days walking but you certainly need some acclimatizing time before considering going any higher.
Namche is the business capital of the Khumbu (and therefore Sherpa)
region. Tibetans bring goods from China over the Nangpa La and of course
Namche nowadays catches all the trekkers and expeditions to the Everest
region and has become a flourishing trekker's mecca with plenty of lodges,
eating places and dozens of shops selling cheap (fake) trekking gear.
So it's also a good place to stock up on things that you might have forgotten.
The best way to acclimatize to altitude is not to sit around doing nothing but should involve gentle physical activity so beside visiting Namche (there is a great museum on the hill) a gentle walk in the region is a good idea.
If you are really up to it you could walk to the village of Thame, on the trail towards the Nangpa La but it is a long way away, around 4 hours walking time each way. Another alternative is to only go to Thamo (on the same trail). It's a gentle walk in a forested area, without any significant climbs and only takes about 3 hours return, leaving you plenty of time for some last minute shopping in Namche.
On the way out of Namche you can take a look at the small gompa (Buddhist
monastery) located on the path just above town. It is not always open
as there is only one monk staying there.
Short comment to the photos on the right (from top left to bottom right)
1 - Namche Bazar seen from the north edge. The distinctive summit of Ama Dablam is showing itself in the left of the picture. Right behind Namche is the 6608m Thamserku.
2 - General view of the town. Most of these buildings are lodges.
3 - Upper Namche with a better view of Ama Dablam
4 - Namche from above
5 - A shopping alley
6 - Vegetables drying on a roof.
7 & 8 - The Tibetan market where goods brought from China over the Nangpa La are traded. The market can be a little intimidating. These people have a very hard life crosssing this dangerous high pass to make a living so they are a little rough but I am sure that they are perfectly OK. And there are some good deals to be had.
9 - House building. Another lodge I suppose and everything is built entirely by hand. The stones are carried down from a place above Namche and chiselled on site. I passed Namche 4 times in a period of 6 weeks and the house grew two floors during that time.
10 - A Buddhist stupa on the way to Thamo.
11 - On the way to Thamo.
12 - Himalayan gentians were lining the trailside on the way to Thamo.
13 - From left to right: Everest South face (8850m), Lhotse (8516m) and Ama Dablam (6856m) viewed from the hill just south of Namche (standing in front of the museum actually)
14 - Everest photographed from the same spot.
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