Lukla to Phakding
We began our trek with a flight in a propeller plane from Kathmandu to the short, slanted landing field in Lukla. After lunch, we began by hiking through the town with our first pyramidal peak, Nupla, above us. Hiking from the airfield, we left all motorized transportation behind us. From this point to the high mountain villages, everyone and everything was transported by foot or on the backs of animals. From Lukla we descended steeply down to the Dudh Koshi river. Dudh translates as milk, and the river was whitish from the silt coming down from the glaciers high above. We ate lunch in the small village of Thado Koshi and looked at the high, carved peak, Kusum Kanguru, above us. We ate soup with much garlic in it. The sherpas believed garlic would help preserve our health. Then we had a fairly typical lunch with bread, french fries, cooked vegetables, cucumbers, the ever present dolbhat (rice and lentils) and a banana. The staff prepared our meals and attempted to use local produce whenever possible. After lunch, we continued up river and crossed the first of many metal suspension bridges to the lodge at Phakding. There is a monastery above Phakding and there were Buddhist Monks at the lodge. In the evening, we heard drums and the deep, base sounds of the Tibetan horns playing from the second story of the lodge. On the trail, we regularly walked around (clockwise only) small stupas, stones carved with Om Mani Padme Hum, and prayer wheels.