The next three days passed in a blur of sleeping, eating and resting.
Now back at a much lower altitude, we were finally able to catch up on all those lost hours of sleep, and our bodies were eternally grateful.
For the first time in a long time, we both woke up feeling completely rested, and unbelievably, hungry! We ate and enjoyed big breakfasts, so happy to be able to eat a full meal without battling nausea afterwards.
Our next task was to book our flights from Lukla back to Kathmandu. Today was 13th May, so we went to book a flight on our open ended tickets from 16th May, giving us two days to make the hike back to Lukla.
Bad news (of course!) - our airline was performing maintenance on their planes on the 16th and 17th, so the next available flight out was on the 18th, at 0730am. Bugger. This meant that we had two extra days to kill.
We decided to spend the extra two days in the larger and nicer Namche Bazar, rather than Lukla, so we added an extra few nights' to our accommodation and settled in for the long haul.
We spent the rest of the day relaxing pretty hard, as we were both still feeling the physical effects of our mammoth hike the day before. By the end of the day though, we were already starting to go a little stir crazy at the thought of 2 more days in Namche, and 4 more days before we could fly back to Kathmandu!i
Groundhog Day. Most of the day was spent reading, playing cards, and generally counting down the hours until we headed back to the relative civilisation of Kathmandu. For lunch, we ventured out to a cafe which looked nice, and waited over an hour for two of the most lacklustre meals we've ever eaten.
Now, the only thing getting us through the long days was talking about all the food we were dreaming of eating when we arrived in the US...
In a wave of inspiration, we realised we could move our flights to the US, thanks to the multiflex pass we'd bought from STA Travel before we left home. A couple of quick emails later, we'd shifted our flight from Kathmandu to New York from the 29th May to the 22nd May, meaning that we had far less time to kill back in Kathmandu, and greatly reducing the time to cheeseburgers. That certainly improved our moods!
Only one more day to fill! Having sufficiently recovered from our mammoth jaunt from Thukla to Namche, we decided to go on a walk. We hiked back up out of Namche, along the ridgeline to the first Everest view point along the trail. Although it was completely clouded over, being outside was a nice break from the claustrophobia of our rooms, and gave us a chance to say our goodbyes to Namche before our departure the next day.
Back in town, we checked out the famous Everest Bakery for lunch. The sweet treats and hot drinks were delicious, and we sheltered from the grey, cold weather that had rolled in to town as the morning progressed.
That afternoon, we watched the Everest IMAX documentary in the common room of the guesthouse, and later during dinner, they screened Touching the Void. While I was familiar with aspects of the Touching the Void story, I wasn't aware of the details, and it made for some pretty compelling dinner viewing!
After dinner, we excitedly organised our gear for the next day, very happy to be headed back towards our final goal of getting back to Kathmandu.
Lots of love,
S & Z