I’m Luís Barbeiro from Portugal, I’m an Architect by profession and an amateur photographer and filmmaker. I like to travel with a purpose and with the sense of leaving a good impact on earth. The last few years i’ve been traveling as a volunteer, building houses for people who had been living in very poor conditions. For my last journey I decided to challenge myself by going to Everest Base Camp. Here’s a journal of my Everest experience.
Day 01: Arrival to Kathmandu
My first day in Kathmandu, Nepal, I met the guide at the airport who was going to keep me company for coming days.
Day 02: Flight canceled
I started my day both anxious and ready as I was about to board the flight to Lukla. Lukla is listed amongst one of the most dangerous airports in the world. My flight got cancelled at the last minute due to bad weather forecast.
Day 03: Fly to Lukla and trek to Monjo 2,860 m
This was the scariest and the most incredible flight I had ever taken! The feeling of flying so close to the mountains and all the landscape views from the flight window were absolutely stunning! The trek to Monjo is relatively easy, but I knew at the moment that the coming days were going to be difficult.
Day 04: Trek to Namche Bazaar 3,440 m
This was a long day of climbing to reach Namche Bazaar, a beautiful village surrounded with panoramic views of the Himalayas. The streets were very lively and full of small stores and eateries making it a perfect place to eat and refuel for the next day. I spent a day in Namche for acclimatization which is critical if you don’t want to get sick as the altitude just keeps getting higher and higher from this point on. I had the opportunity to explore the village and talk with the locals. Also, I got to catch a glimpse of the Himalayan titans Mt. Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam for the very first time.
Day 05: Trek to Deoboche 3,760
During this day I had the chance to see all the scenic views of Mt. Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Kangtenga, Thamserku, Kongde and Mt. Ama Dablam. Having that realization that I was on a whole other side of the world, trekking, that I was really here amongst these giants, that feeling was surreal.
Day 06: Trek to Dingboche 4,260 m
I was waiting for this day to do just one thing, cross those epic suspended bridges which looked so fragile yet breathtaking. While crossing the bridge, in the middle of the bridge, I stopped for a brief moment to appreciate the landscape. Feeling that height under my feet as I stood there, that was absolutely mind-blowing! It is just incredible how those bridges can handle one hundred donkeys/mules at a time, not to mention the supplies strapped to their back.
Day 07: Acclimatization day at Dingboche
Another day spent acclimatizing, making sure my body was prepared for the next bump in altitude. I wasn’t feeling so well this day. I was bleeding a lot from my nose and I had no idea whether it was the cause of altitude sickness or not. Throughout the night I was continuously bleeding and that scared me a little. In my head, I felt it had to do with me being in two very contrasting extreme temperatures within a short span of time. I was in Jaisalmer, India just a few days back with the temperature going up to 50 degrees and now I was in the middle of the mountains with temperature dropping below zero. I still wasn’t sure what caused it but the bleeding stopped the next day. I was still very weak but it wasn’t enough for me to call it quits.
Day 08: Trek to Lobuche 4,930
The Himalayas have taken a lot of lives of those who dare to climb them. During the trek to Lobuche I came across a place full of stone memorials of climbers who lost their lives while scaling these giants.
Day 09: Trek to Everest Base Camp 5364 m and return to Gorakshep 5,180 m
The day I reached Everest Base Camp. It wasn’t easy to get here, with long hours of trekking up from one hill to another, with the altitude increasing exponentially each day. But as I stood there amongst these mountains, each and every step was worth it.
From here you will be able to see the famous yellow tents of the climbers who will try the summit to Everest. I spent an hour at base camp before heading back to Gorakshep as it was getting darker.
Day 10: Hike to Kalapatthar 5,545 m and walk to Pheriche 3,210 m
Woke up at 4am to climb the highest point of the trek, Kalapatthar at 5,545 meters. This was the highlight of the entire trek. Being ever so close to the Everest, the sunrise between the mountains, every burning breath that took me to the peak, everything was a beautiful experience. As I was on my way to the peak, I heard a sound of an avalanche. I need to say, it is a scary sound. When I saw my guide stop all of a sudden, I could hear the rumble. I paused for 10 seconds and from what I could tell it came from right between one of those mountains.
Day 11: Trek back to Namche Bazaar
Most people think that going up is the hard part. Well after my experience I can say for a fact it is not. Going down is the hardest one. With our sore aching bodies, trekking down took us more time. My back was in a lot of pain from lugging my huge backpack. Needless to say, it was the hardest part for me during the trek.
Day 12: Trek to Lukla
On this day we were going back from Namche to Lukla. It was raining a lot and the trails back were flooded. I was completely soaked and cold. All I could think was to get to Lukla and order a cup of hot tea. We walked for 14 hours straight until we finally reached Lukla. It was supposed to be shorter, but the weather wasn’t in favour of it.
Day 13: Lukla to Kathmandu
Another flight, another disruption. It’s not easy to fly around those mountains. The weather wasn’t good so the flights were all delayed. In a way I was expecting for it to happen, I waited 5 hours in the airport, until finally the skies opened up just a bit for the flights to get a chance to land in Lukla.
Day 14: Kathmandu
Day to hangout in Kathmandu with my guide, who was already a friend by that moment. I came back from Nepal having a new found respect for the people who faces mountains every day and lives in those remote villages. I met the kindest people during this journey, all I can say to describe Nepal is, beautiful people and amazing scenic landscapes.
If you would like to visit Everest yourself CLICK HERE.