We planned a resting day in Namche to help with our acclimatization. I have read the rule of ascending no more than 1000 feet a day in order to acclimatize. While I appreciate the cautious nature of this recommendation, I also imagine whoever wrote this rule must got really bored climbing mountains. I had a very mild headache the first evening in Namche, so I was very glad that we had a resting day. By the time I woke up the second day, my headache was completely gone. I think it helped that I slept over ten hours that night.
Since we made up our minds not to stay another night in the Kamal Hotel, our immediate priority was to look for a second accommodation. I read a few reviews of Namche teahouses before going to bed so I had some idea which lodges to check out. Nirvana Hotel is a teahouse on the other side of the town. By the time we got to Nirvana we’ve already compared quite a few teahouses and had a good idea what an average teahouse should look like in Namche. Nirvana was not like an average teahouse. We were met by Kami and her children who were warm and welcoming. Tricia was immediately impressed by their sunny patio which overlooked the entire town. The rooms were large with huge windows to let in sunlight. The beddings appeared clean. Everything seemed very clean and tidy in this hotel. It was slightly pricier than other teahouses, but I was totally ok with paying a couple more dollars for a pleasant experience after a night at Kamal.
Our second goal today was to check out Mt. Everest View Hotel. The hotel is about 1.5 miles away and about 1500 ft above Namche Bazaar. Since Namche was already at 11,300 feet elevation, climbing 1500 feet in 1.5 miles was not as easy even though we were no longer carrying our large packs. As we were leaving Nirvana Hotel, an older Nepalese gentleman was also heading our direction. He introduced himself as the grandpapa of the kids at Nirvana. So we started talking about Namche and Mt Everest, you know, the usual conversation starter here. We quickly realized that he was no ordinary grandpa. His name is Kancha Sherpa. He is the last living member of 1953 Mt Everest Expedition which was the first successful attempt to summit Mt Everest. He was a sherpa for Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953! At one point, Kancha Sherpa took a break from the uphill walk and pointed at a hotel on the other side of the valley. He said, “That’s the house I was born in. It was a much smaller house back then. My grandpapa and my papa were both born in Namche as well. In my grandpapa’s time, there were only six houses here. Look at the valley now, it’s like visiting Europe!” Kancha Sherpa turned 86 this year. He is also the oldest living male in Namche.
We said goodbye to Kancha Sherpa at a monastery and took our time climbing the hill towards Mt. Everest View Hotel. All of a sudden, clouds parted in front of us and the jagged double glacial peaks of Mt Thamserku seemed to have appeared out of thin air. They were so tall and so majestic. It was breathtaking. I stood there in total awe until Tricia said, “aren’t you gonna take a picture?” It woke me up from a trance. I fumbled around my small pack for the camera. Before I was able to focus my lens, the peaks disappeared behind the clouds. For a second, I stood there frozen on the spot and questioned whether what I just witnessed was real.
I did eventually capture Mt Thamserku peaks many times that day. When we had good weather the following days and on our way back from EBC, I had the opportunity to take many more pictures of Thamserku peaks and even taller mountains. However, I can never forget the first time I saw Thamserku peaks, the way it towered over us and the way it appeared and disappeared suddenly.
We got to Mt. Everest View Hotel around noon and the clouds were too thick to view Everest that day. But we weren’t disappointed, we knew that we would have many chances to view Everest in the following weeks. We returned to Namche in time for a late lunch and spent the rest of the afternoon lounging on the patio of Nirvana to enjoy a moment of rest.
We were heading out on day 3 for Dole which is barely noted on any maps and didn’t even have a name labeled on my GPS. I was concerned that the town didn’t exist at all. But it did exist and the view was spectacular.
Interested in reading about our food adventures in Kathmandu? Click here.
Are you planning a trekking trip of own? Check out my packing list.