The next three days it rained pretty much 23,5 hrs a day and out of those three days, we walked for two. At first ,I really didn’t mind the weather: the air was so rich with scents, everything seemed so green and lush it was a real assault on your senses after several weeks spent on ice and snow. And it was warm, compared to where we’d come from so despite the wetness and mud , some stages were really nice.
No mountain views could be seen anymore so forests and villages was what we were feasting on visually and the closer to civilization we got ,the more colorful everything seemed to be. Or maybe it was because the predominant colour had been white for some time?
Walking (downhill) was easy and the mind got to wonder in various thoughts and ideas.
In Namche we encountered the same issue as we had in Pangboche the night before: no lodges were open and no one was very keen on us staying either so there was a brief moment of worry as to where we’d stay for the night. Continuing walking to the next village was not appealing and the legs had gone on strike anyway so…then one lodge came to our rescue and we got a great room overlooking the whole, quiet town.
It’d been a relatively short day (five hours of walking),but the next and final day to Lukla- the airport village, made up for it. And just to add to the challenge, it rained all day too.
By the end of the 8th hour of walking/stumbling in the steady rain, any sense of humour that was left…well,was used up. But then, we had chosen to walk out and knew what the weather was going to be so you could not really blame anyone or anything, but just suck it up and keep going. And we did get there in the end, filled with relief.
Of course, we could have done like many other people in BC and taken a helicopter out, but this is not our style: they pollute, are expensive and if you can walk-in to climb a mountain, you should be able to walk out as well, at least to Lukla, which is not far. These helirides were totally unnecessary for many in BC and it was astonishing how much they were used for non-rescues, but more about this high-end taxi service on another post.
While the cyclone Yaas was depositing piles of snow on Everest, we spent an extra day in non-stop-rainy Lukla waiting for a break in weather for the little planes to fly. Due to the lockdown only a few flights were allowed so it was a touch and go if we’d even get to Kathmandu..
The past few walking days were also part of the Closing Chapter for this expedition.It gave time to mentally process everything that had happened in the past couple of months. Rain or not, it was meditational to pound the trails and to re-live, letgo, analyze, wonder, think, accept, ponder about the past weeks’ incredible events and most excitingly of all, start planning the next expedition …?.