For those who are interested, I will add final overview of the trip, including cost (I hope I won’t get a heart attack after I see the final number).
So, the vacation took place from October 20 (late night) till November 14 (morning) 2016. We were flying with Etihad Airways from Prague to Kathmandu with two layovers – one in Belgrade and another one in Abu Dhabi.
- way there: very short connection in Belgrade, only around 40mins, there were no delays and we managed to catch the plane to Abu Dhabi without any problems (they are prepared in Belgrade for those short connections). Then we had 7 hours in Abu Dhabi to explore the city. Immigration controls were OK, no problems whatsoever and we left the airport in less than one hour.
- way back: smooth as before – each time I had 1,5h to transfer
The agency we chose was Asian Hiking Team. We found it online and based on the TripAdvisor reviews we decided to give it a try. And I’m glad we did, because everything was organized perfectly. We had our own guide and porter as well during the whole time.
The trekking itself started on October 24 and ended November 9 (one day earlier than planned). On the first day we flew from Kathmandu to Lukla and then did a 3h trek, and last day was just to get from Lukla to Kathmandu. Here’s the original itinerary with updates in red:
Day 01: Kathmandu flight to Lukla (2840m) and trek to Phakding (2640m), 3.5 hours,overnight Hotel/Guest house – in reality a little bit over 2,5 hours
Day 02: Trek to Namche Bazar (3440m) 5.30 hours, Overnight Lodge – 6h with a lunch stop (so maybe 5h of trekking)
Day 03: Acclimatization day – rest and sight tour – we went to the Everest View hotel, highly recommend
Day 04: Trek to Tengboche (3768m), 5 hours, Overnight Lodge – lodges in Tengboche were full so we went to Deboche
Day 05: Trek to Dingboche (4410m), 5 hours, Overnight Lodge.
Day 06: Dingboche a full day rest for acclimatization – climb to Nangkar Tshang (5073m), 3,5h there and back
Day 07: Trek to Chhukhung (4730m) 3.30 hours after lunch climb to Chhukhung Ri 5550m (3/4 hours)Overnight Lodge – 2,5h and we had a turtle-like pace
Day 08: One more day in Chhukhung + helicopter for Lubi
Day 09: Kongma La pass (5535m) and trek to Lobuche (4900m), 9 hours, Overnight Lodge – very difficult 8 hours of trekking
Day 10: Trek to Gorak Shep 3 hours, after Lunch – EBC (5370m) 2/3 hrs and back to Gorep-shep (5170 meters) hours Overnight Lodge – 2,5h to Gorak Shep 3h to EBC and back
Day 11: Early morning climb to Kalapattar (5545m) 2/3 hours after breakfast to Dzongla (4830m), 4 hours Overnight Lodge – an attempt to climb Kalapattar (5am-7am), 1,5h from Gorak Shep to Lobuche and 2,5h to Dzongla
Day 12: Trek climbs to Cho-la Pass (5330m) continues to Thangna (4700m), 8 hours (up and down).
Day 12: Trek to Gokyo (4790m), 3 hours, Overnight Lodge – we skipped Thangna and went directly to Gokyo, 8 hours in total, very looong
Day 13: Climb Gokyo Ri return to Gokyo, Overnight Lodge – 3h there and back
Day 14: Climb to Renjola Pass (5340m) and down to Marulung (4210m), 8 hours, Overnight Lodge – 6 hours
Day 15: Trek to Thame (3820m), 4 hours, Overnight Lodge.
Day 15: Trek to Namache Bazar (3440m), 3 hours, Overnight Lodge – again, I squeezed two days into one, so from Marulung to Namche 4h (just to see if I’m able to do it in 4h, and I am :))
Day 16: Trek all the way back to Lukla (2840m), 6/7 hours, Overnight Lodge(same way) – 6 hours
Day 17: Fly out from Lukla to Kathmandu
Nepali flat is the best btw – little bit up, little bit down 😀
Hotels in Kathmandu were chosen based on Booking.com reviews, so before the trek we stayed in Thamel Grand Hotel. Pretty decent hotel, but nothing special. Hot water could be described as “not cold” and there were ants in our room. Sheets not as clean as I would like them to be. Breakfast below average. That’s why I went to Backyard Hotel after the trek was over and it was much better! Very hot water, comfy double bed with clean sheets, even sofas in the room! Tasty breakfast and nice view from “my” top floor terrace. I would definitely stay in this hotel again in the future.
In the mountains, accommodation was chosen by our guide and it was always as good as possible. Blankets were always provided and dining hall was warm 🙂 What more to ask, right 😀
Dal Bhat power – 24 hour. Couldn’t be more true, but I just can’t have it every day. So other options are also possible, although meat is not recommended after Namche (as I already mentioned several times). So in the mountains you can order curries, soups (Sherpa’s stew is the best) and other typical Nepali meals, as well as western food – pizza, sandwich, burger.. All possible – and trekking makes it taste really good (mostly). And MoMos are a must-try!
Kathmandu offers much wider variety of choices. Really, you can get anything you want. But please be careful with the western options, such as very oily burgers, especially after a curry-rice diet in the mountains. Your guts are not used to it. Trust me. Burgers are better in Europe anyway 😉
And my favorite restaurant in Kathmandu was vegan/vegetarian one – The Places. The food was delicious and healthy – exactly what I needed after the trek.
Flight – $720
Trekking with the agency – $1200 (everything included – flights to and from Lukla, guide – $22/day, porter – $12/day, accommodation, 3 meals a day, permits and National park entrance fees) + $110 tips.
Hotels in KTM – $180
Some additional cash for taxis, sightseeing, meals, souvenirs etc… around $400
Without the initial gear/clothes/boots I had to buy. Another $500 at least.
And that’s it. I honestly don’t care how much I paid, it’s just for you – so you have a rough idea.
The most important thing is that I came back full of memories and experiences, and no one ever will take that away from me. Ever. And that is what makes me rich.
Thank you all for reading and I’m looking forward to blogging about another adventure (soon, hopefully!) 😊