The next day was another relaxing one, and I just walked to the other side of the third lake, where there is a kind of beach. The first photo is looking back at the Gokyo lodges across the lake.
Gokyo to Pangboche
The next day I started the return journey; returning on the route of the outward trek until Phortse Tanga. Then it was a left turn to Pangboche, where I overnighted at a lodge run by a Sherpa who had climbed Everest several times. There were photos of him on the peak in the dining room.
The first photo below is of sunrise on the mountains in the morning. Looking up what mountain it is I today, nearly five years later, realised it’s the Everest range from the other side to Gokyo.
Can you spot the horse in the second photo?
The third photo is looking back at Pangboche, with Ama Dablam to its side, and the Everest range behind it.
Tengboche to Lukla
The first photo below also looks back at Ama Dablam and the Everest range, but from Tengboche, where I overnighted.
The final photo is from Lukla, which is either the trek beginning or end, or both, if you fly Lukla-Kathmandu-Lukla.
The day after climbing up Gokyo Ri I walked up to the last two lakes, which were jade rather than turquoise. There was another view of Mount Everest along the way (photos 1 [right side as viewed, looking smaller than Cho-Oyu] and 3 [above Makalu]).
Between the track and Cho-Oyu / Everest was the Ngozumpa glacier: the longest glacier in the Himalayas.
Leaving Namche Bazaar (3400 metres) at dawn it was quite a steep short hike up the mountain above and then down to green-roofed Khumjung. From there Ama Dablam was visible. It is widely regarded as the most beautiful of the Everest park mountains, and I agree.
Ama Dablam reminds me of the sphinx. The first three photos below are of the mountain and Khumjung.
Namche Bazaar to Dhole
From Khumjung it was another tough climb over the Mong-La pass, before a downhill to match, and then a steady up and down walk to Dhole (4040 metres). Some of it was through forestry.
After finding a lodge I started feeling ill after ordering food! I was bed-ridden with stomach and sickness problems for the next day.
Phakding is a nice village with a river running through, and mountains around it. It seemed wealthier than the villages previously visited, and that’s probably because it gets the custom of all the hikers that fly into Lukla.
I recommend taking the bus from Kathmandu to Jiri and hiking from there if you have the time, and inclination, as it’s beautiful scenery and the villages probably need the custom. You can always fly back from the ‘most dangerous airport’ in the world, as I did.
Phakding – Namche Bazaar
At the top of Phakding, the mountain view went from great to amazing, as Thamserku came into view (first photo). It was the first of the mountains that would be in view for most of the trek to Gokyo, marking the southern entrance.
The path led across the bridge in photo 2 and then down to the river itself. It was then a long uphill to Namche Bazaar: the entrance point to the Sagarmatha (Everest) national park.
Namche Bazaar Mountains and Market
Namche is recommended as a two-night stop on the trek, to get used to the altitude, and recover a little. Waking early the next morning I went out to see the sunrise (photos 3-6), which had started lighting up the mountains across the valley, but not the ones behind the town: such as Thamserku. I stayed in the Thamserku View hotel.
The bazaar was setting up as I returned, and I visited it later (photo 7).
Paiya proved to be the end of the quiet trek, as there was a group of climbers camping there, and on the seventh day from Paiya to Phakding trekkers that had flown into Lukla joined the path to the Sagarmatha (Everest) park at Chheplung.
Paiya to Phakding Himalayas Photos
The first two photos are from Chheplung. Didn’t see any red pandas I’m afraid. The fourth is from Phakding.
After mostly cloud and rain for a week, the sky was mostly clear on the eighth morning: the morning of arrival in the Sagarmatha park, and views of the really high peaks.
The monsoon had passed, and it would be mostly clear skies for the rest of the trek, providing perfect conditions for viewing the Everest park and taking photos.
After filling up on the hostel breakfast fit for Freya and abundant enough for Odin, whose organic theme just gave it the edge over Bergen‘s brilliant beautiful brekkie, and before my lunchtime train, I walked around the eastern edge of Voss lake; through pine trees and picnic areas to the river.
Nonchalent Norwegian farewell, Bittersweet Swedish Sojourn
I enjoyed the warm spring sunshine with a noisy abundance of life: birds chirped and insects buzzed. Then it was time to catch the train: to Oslo, for a night bus to Stockholm.
I’d always wanted to visit Stockholm, but on that morning I would rather have been returning to the Naeroyfjord; to try and commune with spectacular nature, rather than find myself in a large human community.
Voss Lake and Oslo Train Photos
Here’s some photos from my last morning in Voss and the train journey. Voss lake had nearly melted, after being mostly frozen when I arrived three days before.
While the lake looked ready for summer, the mountains still had their winter coats on; the train took me over and through the May winterland, before dropping down to lovely lakes and fertile forests north-west of Oslo:
While I’d like to speed along with the travel25years journey, my travelling life has taught me patience, and that you should enjoy the journey and not just look forward to the destination; as attested to by numerous travellers and writers before me.
So this blog is dedicated wholly to the Eidfjord–Ulvik ferry journey, as I like the mirror reflection photos created as the low cloud of the outward journey cleared.
Eidfjord to Ulvik Photos
And it was patience, and a desire to see as much of the fjords as I could that helped me capture these Eidfjord to Ulvik photos. While the inside of the ferry was warmer and more comfortable; and the weather conditions not ideal; I stayed out on the back of the ferry all the journey, and I think I was rewarded with some great photos.
Although I may be blowing my own trumpet a little there, I fully acknowledge that it was mainly my love of nature that made the photos possible, rather than my photography skills.
It was nature that created the scenes, and they are no doubt created every day in that part of Norway, whether I am there or not. Anyway, here’s the photos; several of which are relevant to this site’s sister site, Folding Mirror Poetry, and the last one to the Greenygreysite:
I was hoping to do a sporting activity on my last full day in Voss, but the season still hadn’t really started, so I took a bus to Ulvik and then a boat out to Eidfjord. Here’s some photos from the outward bus journey and time spent in Eidfjord. There was low cloud in the morning, but it cleared just in time to see the mountains surrounding the fjord port: