Namche Bazaar -> Phortsa Thanga – new plan

11. – 13. April 2024



My new souvenir of the previous day’s event was a severe bacterial eye infection. Fluid was already leaking out of my eyes during the night and in the morning everything was sticky and festering. I could only look like through a veil. In Namche, a day of acclimatisation is usually planned. We used this to go to a pharmacy first, where a friendly woman gave me some eye drops. The next day, I still looked a bit misty-eyed, but instead of pus, everything was now swollen and bloodshot. Was that all right? She said yes, but if I wanted to see a doctor, there was one back there. I was given the information that the examination would cost 75 USD. I trusted the pharmacist and she was right, slowly, slowly, slowly everything healed up again. I had probably caught it from crying a lot and rubbing my eyes. Luckily nothing itched or hurt, it just looked scary.


1. day


2. day


I didn’t feel like continuing the original plan of the 3 passes, I didn’t feel strong and motivated enough. We reduced the route to the Gokyo circuit, going anti-clockwise.


But first I had time in Namche. It’s a big place with lots of buildings and shops and on Fridays and Saturdays there is a market for the local villagers. In the morning, when there are no big clouds, you have a lovely view.


Namche Bazaar


By the way, April is considered the low season here (compared to October) and everyone said that the number of tourists was really low. I noticed that as I was often alone or only with 1-2 other people in the respective accommodation. In October, you obviously have to fight for every bed and the guides sometimes have to sleep in the dining room with their heads on the table. Some time ago, Namche was obviously courting tourists with dumping prices: the room costs nothing if you eat all your meals at the lodge and not somewhere else. This reminded me of the tour in the Langtang in 2010, where we were constantly being lured by people who wanted to sell us lodge, tea, lunch etc. and sounded desperate, as the offer was much bigger than the number of tourists. You felt sorry for every single person and you got to see more of the poverty. Nobody ever approached me here (because of the guide? Or generally “forbidden”?) – but despite the higher prices, I had the feeling that somehow the locals weren’t really doing well financially. In any case, a law was passed in Namche that you always have to take (at least) 1000 NRP per night and that it would also be checked (I forgot to take a photo of the corresponding sign).


What is a bit more important here in April is that all the material for the Mt Everest aspirants is transported to the higher area – on animals, on porters, in helicopters. The summit attempt then starts in May, until then everything is being prepared. Unfortunately, I also missed taking a screenshot of a file that showed the numbers of summit permits. I can’t remember if it was just for spring or the whole year. What I remember: 16 groups for Mt Everest, for the other summits at most 3. I don’t know the number of individual people either, but there was then a total sum of 2.5 million USD. Just for permits! If you ask guides what happens to the money, they often make a gesture of putting it in their pockets. Others said that the paths here had been better developed, i.e. there are more concrete steps with railings on the side to prevent falling.


My fingers are itching to do a financial analysis of all this tourism here – but unfortunately I have neither the time nor the knowledge to do it.


The accommodation was right on the route that most people took to get to Everest Base Camp – I really don’t want to imagine what it will be like here in October.




I didn’t walk around much as it was too dangerous for my eyes. But I followed a tea sign and suddenly found myself in a porter’s lodge. Sitting next to me was a man making momos. He’s already finished in the pictures. I really liked it there.






ean extra photo


On day 3, my eyes were restored to the extent that I could see properly. And my body no longer felt quite so weak. First I had to hike a few kilometres with the crowds. But it was early in the morning and we were quite early and it was also quite nice there.




a last view on Namche Bazaar


last village buildings


a Stupa


little up and down




And then there was a turn-off in the direction of Gokyo. I thought we were almost alone, but that wasn’t quite the case, there were still a few people going in the same direction. But there was no comparison with the previous masses.


turn off


First of all, it went up quickly, possibly on a newly built construction from the summit funds. Or from another pot.




At the top was a beautiful high-altitude trail at around 4,000 metres. The views were also beautiful, the photo weather not so much. It was a bit hazy. An Indian was carrying badminton rackets. He wanted to play a bit on passes or something – if the wind allowed it (as I found out later: he did).








On the ridge there was a Stupa and Restaurants.






We then descended again to Phortsa Thanga at 3,680 metres. There are only 1-2 lodges there. The actual village of Phortsa is on the other side of the river. But we should stay on this side and then walk up the valley.








There was only one couple in this lodge, who left for their room shortly after arrival. The man had come down with the flu. I treated myself to a warm shower and hair wash, which was really nice. There was a bright, sweet child who ran around playing and later lovingly wrapped his mum in blankets.


Would I still get to have some nice mountain experiences?