Destinations // Everest Base Camp Trek Day 3: Namche Bazaar to Thame

EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK DIARY DAY 3

NAMCHE BAZAAR TO THAME

KEY STATS

Starting Point: Namche Bazaar (3,440m/11,300ft)

Finishing Point: Thame (3,820m/12,500ft)

Distance: 9.5km/6mi

Trekking Time: 6 Hours

Accommodation: Yeti Mountain Home

Most trekkers making their way to Everest Base Camp use Namche Bazaar as a base for acclimatizing. Having a chill day and relaxing in Namche to allow our bodies to adjust to the lower levels of oxygen was our plan as well. That was of course, until weather prevented us from flying into Lukla on our original trek start date. Needing to adjust our itinerary, we decided that we would press on and make up a day by continuing along our path from Namche Bazaar to Thame. Rob was feeling much better from the meds provided by the doctor and both of us were comfortable with the altitude.
If you find yourself hanging out in Namche, be sure to make the 3-hour side trip the Everest View Hotel (3780m) near Khumjung. On a clear day you will exactly what it says in the tin – a spectacular view of Everest – and it will help your body with acclimatizing. Knowing we were keen to get our first real glimpse of Everest, our guide took us on a pre-breakfast walk to the massive bronze statue of Tenzing Norgay – the first Sherpa to summit Everest supporting Sir Edmund Hillary.
I didn’t really know what to expect as we were walking along the path to get to the statue. The trees eventually opened up – and what was in front of us took my breath away. The bronze statue built in honor of Tenzing Norgay and the Sherpas has a backdrop like no other. Crystal clear skies and our first extensive view of the Himalayan panorama.
These first glimpses of Everest will be etched in my heart forever. These are the images that up until now I had only ever seen in books, magazines and documentaries. Everest and the surrounding Aba Dablam, Thamserku, Taboche and Lhotse seemed so close, yet they were so far away. Standing alongside the statue of this mountaineering hero, while looking at the one of the most famous vistas in the world is the stuff that dreams are made of. Crazy to think that we had at least a week of trekking to go until we would arrive at Everest Base Camp and stand at the base of the Khumbu Ice Fall.
With our souls fed, we headed back to the tea house for breakfast and set off for our next destination – the well-known Sherpa village of Thame (3880m).

Setting off on the trail from Namche Bazaar to Thame meant that we were now leaving the main EBC trekking route. If you have been following along, you know that we worked with OUTAdventures to create a route that allowed us to take the paths less travelled to not only avoid the crowds but also to see limit the amount of back tracking and to see more of the amazing Everest region. Our combined itinerary meant that we would be trekking along the main Everest Base Camp Trek route as well as the challenging 3 Pass Trail route. For more info on how we planned our trek and the full itinerary be sure to check out Destinations // Everest Base Camp Trek.

Today’s trek was similar to the previous couple of days as we continued our meandering up the valley closer to the snow-covered peaks of the Himalayas.  If you have a clear day as you make your way from Namche Bazaar to Thame, you may even see the Thame Monastery clinging to the side of the mountain far in the distance. It was to the little village in the valley below that we were headed.
The villages you will pass through are smaller and have a more remote feel than prior villages. We made our way through Phurte, admired the colorful rock paintings in Kisibook, crossed over the Thesyo Khola and got to enjoy the many Buddhist stupas along the way.

One of the highlights of the day was our stop in the little village of Samde. Our first stop was to use the rest room – which also meant it was time to have a quick snack and drink at the tea house. We didn’t just want to use the restrooms on the properties and go without making some sort of contribution. This trips contribution? A bottle of orange Fanta and some crackers.

This local spot – owned by this cute elderly couple – was were Sherpas made stop offs for their own breaks. We noticed that the drink of choice was chhaang – a cloudy fermenting beer like drink. Served out of plastic buckets. Although we passed on the booze, the locals were quite chatty and the lovely couple even wanted to take pictures with Rob. I mean – just look at the succession of photos below. I sat back and just enjoyed the moment. There were no tourists in site along this route and made our experience in Samde feel very authentic.

Our fairly easy trek continued along the canyon weaving in and out of the forests and blooming rhododendrons.

Our fairly easy trek continued along the canyon weaving in and out of the forests and blooming rhododendrons.

Like magic, the welcome sign to the Yeti Mountain Home – Thame appeared and we had arrived. Having stayed at two other Yeti Mountain Home locations thus far, we knew we were in for a treat. We were welcomed with nibbles, hot lemon and tea, and shown to our cushy rooms complete with hot showers and electric blankets. Again – we knew the further up we would go, this would all disappear – so we enjoyed to the fullest.
Evenings at the tea house are always a time to freshen up, put on comfy, warm clothes and recoup from the day’s trek. We were the only guests staying at the YMH – Thame, so we had the lounge area, dining room with the furnace and the ping pong table (yes – a ping pong table in the Himalayas) all to ourselves. We would be spending an extra day here in Thame for acclimatization – which meant no wakeup call or jam packed day. After a hot toddy, a yummy meal, a few rounds of cards and a few more chapters of my book – it was time for nod land.

WATCH THE ADVENTURE UNFOLD

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Check out the day as recorded by Stava. See the trails taken, overall elevation gains,  trekking times and how fast (or slow) we made it from Point A to Point B.

ENJOY NAMCHE BAZAAR TO THAME? CHECK OUT MORE OF THE EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK AT DESTINATIONS // EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK.

12 comments

  • That sounds like quite a remarkable and memorable adventure! The way you described your first glimpses of Mt. Everest – I felt your excitement and joy. It truly is amazing to see something that you only read in books and magazines and to see it in person. The last time I felt that way was when I was in Angkor Wat!

  • What an adventure. Samde looks like a wonderful place to stop for a chat with the locals, and rest your weary feet. Your digs sound pretty good too!

  • Wow, what an adventure! I always wondered how the trek to Everest base camp would, thanks to you to I got a glimpse into to this amazong journey. The villages look so rustic amd remote. I love the picture of you with the elderly couple, it’s very cute!

    • Rustic and remote is an understatement. 🙂 That’s actually Rob with the Nepalese couple, but yes – super cute and one of those situations where they are just as curious about you as you are them. Glad you enjoyed checking out the adventure.

  • I am not sure whether ever I will be able to make to this trip or not, but I love reading this kind of adventurous trip. This is one such great adventurous post. This was giving a feeling like I am part of this trip. All pictures are superb which are adding liveliness to the post.

    • It was on my bucket list for ages as well. Smashed it. 🙂 You’ll deffo need to get there and check it out for yourself. Thanks for stopping by and checking us out.

  • I like the Tenzing Norgay statue. That is so cool What a fantastic place to visit, very adventurous. Seeing the locals and hanging out must have been such a thrill.

    • Tenzing Norgay is a hero and an inspiration to Mountaineers as well as the Sherpa people. Was super fun being there and experiencing it all with them. There are even Vegan places along the route. 😉

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