Travels in Nepal # 43 Leaving Namche Bazar
The climb to Namche Bazar is cruel to the unprepared and unrelenting for everyone. The climb back down the valley is also fraught with problems. Going downhill, one has to be very careful to avoid tripping on rocks, slipping on gravel, twisting an ankle or falling on to rocks. There are sections of the path that are relatively easy walking, but there are other sections which are quite hazardous. The paths were also very dusty when we were there, and it helped to wear a scarf or handkerchief over the nose and mouth. Still the fine dust penetrated and clogged the nose, made the throat parched and settled in one’s lungs.
We trekked in the dry season, but there was still quite a deal of water around. Many small gullies have permanent water flows. The gullies in permanent shade sometimes have water flowing over the path and some of this water is frozen. On one occasion my daughter, who was some 20 metres in front of me, turned to warn me about the ice on the track. I stepped very carefully but the inevitable happened.
Before I hit the ground, two of the guides had grabbed me and saved me from serious injury. I was shaken, but very grateful for their vigilance. They certainly looked after us.