Day 25: Deboche/Tengboche - Namche Bazaar
This is a long but rewarding day of trekking mostly following a dusty trail that winds its way down, up, & around various mountain sections past multiple villages. The trek going the suggested route takes around 5 hours with a 30 minute lunch break, which we suggest taking in Khumjung. Here is the breakdown of altitude gain/loss as measured per village: Deboche (3770 meters), up to Tengboche (3850 meters), down to Phunki Tenga (3270 meters), up to Sanasa (3600 meters), up to Khumjung (3800 meters), down to Namche Bazaar (3450 meters). Immediately after Tengboche the trail steeply descends around 600 meters in around 45 min-1 hour to Phunki Tenga. You notice several things about this trail if you did not access it on the way up to higher elevations. First: this section is exceedingly more dusty (have a face cover) and crowded, there are more caravans of Yak's & Dzogo's, & there is more liter on the trail despite infrastructure (trash bins) and locals who are contracted to remove waste from these bins. A local Sherpa guide & friend informed us that local porters are paid to pick up liter, however they (along with tourists) may also be the cause of liter so they can maintain an alternative income source. Whatever the reason we picked up 4 small bag fulls of trash each to dispose of in Namche Bazaar. Do you part and pick up liter you see to thrown away at waste bins in larger towns. The wide trail from Phunki Tenga to the junction to Kyangjuma/Khumjung consists of forested slopes of Rhododendron, Pine, & Birch and open panoramas of various peaks. Once crossing the bridge past Phunki Tenga the trail opened up and we actually saw very few people (outside of villages) or beast of burden until we reached Khumjung. You may spot Himalayan deer (Tahr), Pheasent's, & Danphe, the national animal of Nepal, which has colors similar to those of a peacock. We stopped in Sanasa on our way as various local vendors had lovely crafts and jewelry for display. Either way at the junction of Kyangjuma (left) or Khumjung (straight ahead) leads you to Namche Bazaar. We chose the Khumjung rout in order to visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Chorten & Everest Bakery, climbing various steps and hills for about 200 meters before arriving in the sprawling town. After lunch it was about another 1 hour to Namche Bazaar following the long Mani wall (in reverse) that you passed on your way to higher elevations. When you arrive at the relatively level valley in between Namche Bazaar & Khumjung, take a moment to gaze at the panorama and celebrate how far you have come. We stayed at the comfortable & warm Hotel Norling on the Gompa (west side) of Namche Bazaar above the Mountain Hardware store.