Mt. Everest Base Camp Via Gokyo Lake, Cho La Pass
(Sept. 29-Oct. 26, 2004)
Mt. Everest Base Camp (EBC) trek is the most popular trek in world. Its dream of every trekker & mountaineer to see the king of all mountains at least once in life span. Five out of worlds ten highest peaks, (Mt. Everest, Lhotse shar, Makalu, Lhotse & Cho Oyu) are visible from Gokyo Ri (17,548 ft). Gokyo Ri & Kalapatthar (18,188 ft, just in front of Mt. Everest) offers magnificent panoramic view. These places are visited by hundreds of pilgrims every year. Seeing Everest & other mountains changing colors at the sunset from snow-white to yellow- golden orange- pink and red, with so many different colors in the back ground adds new dimension to the concept of divinity & beauty.
Team & Preparation: Myself & friend cum guide Yagyna Bahadur. Yagnya is from Nepal & relative of one of the basic mountaineering course batch mate. He is working as guide cum cook in Uttaranchal area.
Lot of information is available on the internet with day-to-day schedule as well in various trekking books. Also meeting few Pune trekkers who had been there was very helpful. Only worry was mauwadi’s problem in the area. Food items, cooking utensils, tent, sleeping bag etc. are not required for this trek; only thing needed is lot of money!!! (This statement holds good for Indians & not for European, American, Australian & Japanese trekkers. Due to benefits of currency conversions, for them its lot of enjoyment almost at free of cost).
Pune- Gorakhpur � Kathmandu:
Reached Gorakhpur via Mumbai (Dadar-Gorakhapur Express, 36 hr. train journey). Gorakhpur (named so in memory of Yogi Gorakhnath) is famous for temple of Gorakhnath & Gita Press.
It takes 3 hours bus journey to reach Sunauli, the boarder village. Q of hundreds of trucks on both sides of the check post is a usual scene here. For Indian citizens no visa or passport is required, just any identity card with photograph (like PAN card or driving license etc) is more than enough. Lot of commodities are exported & surely Nepal depends a lot on India. After entering Nepal it took some time to realize that we are in Nepal & not India! Right from Parle-G biscuits to Videocon TV & hero honda bikes to telco trucks are visible everywhere.
Sunauli to Kathmandu is one of the heaviest traffic road of Nepal. It was raining at that time, poor condition of road and to add to it two days mauwadi’s strike ending on the day we reached sunauli, made traveling difficult. In the normal conditions it takes 10 hours bus journey to reach Kathmandu. But due to bad weather & traffic jam it took 28 hours. On the way there were lot of army check posts. Our bus was stopped & checked at least for 25 times. Every one had to get down from the bus followed by strict checking of luggage, bus & individuals by army, there are woman commandos for ladies.
I had interacted few times with Indian army during various treks in India. Striking difference between ours & their army is the average age of a soldier. Nepali army has 80 % of the soldiers looking very young (18 to 20 years age group), while approx. avg. age of Indian jawan is around 28-30. Later during the trek from Jiri to Lukla, we were checked by few Mauvadi’s & they looked even younger (14 to 16) age group.
Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal but standard of living, facilities, road conditions, local transportation etc is not better than what is available even at small Indian cities. There are very few industries in Nepal (around Pokhara) & they depend a lot on tourism & to some extent agriculture. Problem of mauwadi’s has made the situation even worst. Most of educated people & children of financially strong people migrate to USA, Europe & East Asia while uneducated move to mainly India, SARC nations & Arab countries for working as soldiers, security person or cook & waiter at hotels. Nepali Gorkha’s are known in the world for their bravery & high altitude combat skill. They get recruited to army of many nations. I met a soldier who provided services to India, Pakistan, Burma & UK.
Common man in Nepal blames corrupt politicians for current situation. (this world would have been a much better place with out the species of politicians. Probably God sent politicians on Earth to keep his own chair & kingdom intact in the heaven. As per the justice rules, after completion of life on earth all the politicians are due for hell but probably Satan too is afraid of our politicians & must be having a diplomatic tie-up with God i.e. to keep on sending them to earth life after life..)
Apr.- May & Oct.- Nov. months are favorable for this trek. Due to heavy rush for Lukla flight we were forced to wait for 2 days in Kathmandu. Our original plan was Kathmandu � Lukla by air & then trek � Phakding-Namche Bazar-Tengboche-Dingboche- Lobuche-Gorakshep-Kalapatthar-Base Camp & return via same route. There are two routes for EBC. First one as described above & other a circuit trek which we opted for is via Gokyo lake & Cho La pass (Phakding-Namche bazaar�Phortse drengka-Dole � Machhermo � Gokyo lake � Gokyo Ri � Dragnak � Chola pass � Dzonglha � Lobuche � Gorakshep- Kalapatthar-Base camp-Dingboche-Namche � Lukla).
Since there were 2 extra days, we had a one-day kathmandu sight -seeing tour. Pashupati Nath is Lord Shiva�s famous temple. Its structure & design it self indicate that it must have been there for many centuries. Only Hindu�s are permited in side the temple. I met here many people from India, in particular from Haryana, Rajsthan & Delhi. Stupa & Swayambhu are holi, Buddhist places. Swyambhu is small hill at center of city (similar to Parvati at Pune) & Lord Buddha�s temple on the top. It offers bird�s eye view of Kathmandu. Budha Nilakantha is temple of Lord Vishnu. Its about 25 ft. stone statue of Lord Vishnu, sleeping on Shesha Naag in side a small lake. Its said that this statue has emerged from the lake on its own. Interestingly royal family can not visit & worship here. There is a big story as told by our guide, but in short & there is a curse that if any royal family member visits here then there will be a big problem in the kingdom & to royal family.
King, Queen & Royal family members are very much respected in the Nepal & one finds framed photographs of Royal Family in every home, shop & hotel.
Kathmandu-Lukla – flight:
After reaching the airport we were informed that due to bad weather, no flight could lend at Lukla for last 4 days. At that moment local airport was as crowded as railway platforms of India. Many trekkers were sitting on the ground & sleeping on the carry mat with luggage all around. Many private airways operate locally like Buddha, Siti, Gorkha, Yeti etc. For Lukla all the aero planes are small 14 seater. Photography was allowed at airport as well from inside the plane. Helicopter service is also available for Lukla but its very costly.
Interestingly at Nepal there are varying airfares like least for Nepali citizens, about 1.5 times for SAARC nationals & 3 times more for others. Lukla runway is very short in length & situated on the mountain (altitude 9,184 ft). We waited at the airport from 6 am to 3 pm with the hope of better weather. At the airport itself we decided to change our plan. Because it was not clear how long weather will remain hostile and even if its clear for some time, airlines were expected to give preference to foreigners who paid more for the same journey.
Alternate route was to travel to Jiri by Bus & then trek to Lukla. Kathmandu Jiri is 1 day bus travel & then trek for next 6 days to reach Lukla (by air it takes only 25 minutes). But there is advantage of acclimatization. Kathmandu altitude is 4,264 ft while that of Lukla is 9,184. Next day one reaches Namche Bazar,11,300 ft , hence its like reaching directly to 11,300 ft from 4,264 ft in one day. Sudden altitude change causes problem in acclimatization.
I had a military color ruck-sack & was advised to change it. Jiri to Lukla is under control of mauwadi’s & a military sack could have invited problems. Our hotel manager (Thamel area) was a charming & very helpful person, but he had a habit (or may be marketing skill) of exaggerating the things in multiples (including price for hotel room!). He informed that mauwadi’s observe everybody from secret check posts with the binoculars. If they see young people like u with military sack from long distance, then u could be perceived as army personnel & they can shoot both of you or fire a rocket with rocket launcher! So based on his advice & in order to save life of my Nepali friend who would have unnecessarily got rocket fired because of giving me company, I decided to buy a new non military color ruck-sack!
Kathmandu (4,264 ft) – Jiri (6,503 ft):
Started from Kathmandu via bus at 7.00 am & reached Jiri at 6.00 pm. Stayed in a hotel near the bus stand. Hotel was of a soldier, serving Indian army at that time. His children were managing the hotel. We were informed that the soldier had served Pakistan army, Burma Army & U.K. army before joining Indian. Its very funny; when he was serving Pakistani army, must have fired at Indians & now just reverse way. Just for earning daily bread & butter life makes one do very strange things.
Jiri (6,503 ft) � Shivalaya � Bhandar (7,167 ft):
It was dribbling when we started. Observed many suspension bridges on the rivers. At shivalaya met a civil engineer responsible for designs of the bridges. He informed that initially Switzerland provided them the technology. Over the years Nepal adapted & progressed well in this field & now many countries are consulting Nepal for building suspension bridges. Reached Bhandar in the evening at 5 pm.
Bhandar (7,167 ft)-Kenja-Sete-Dagchu(9,000 ft):
Climb to Sete is very steep & tiring. Observed many porters carrying various items on their back & head, as well fully loaded yaks & horses. Supply to Lukla & Namche Bazar is via either plane or via porters & yak. We were having aprox. 20 kg wt on the back. Route from Jiri to Lukla is under control of mauwadis. They collect what is called �Tax� of Napali Rs. 1000 /- per trekker, Rs. 150 /- per guide & porters are charged nothing. After collecting the money they issue a receipt. During the trek one meets many �on duty� mauwadi�s. They ask for receipt. At Kenja in one of the hotel Mauwadi�s were engaged in tax collection. We were only two people & my friend was talking in Nepali & hence probably no body noticed us, also at that time there was a big foreigner group & mauwadi�s thought that we belong to this group. On the other hand we were not aware of any such tradition of tax payment & kept on walking. After some time we were informed by other trekkers about it. Later in the evening we were caught by two young people (of the age of about 14-16) & asked for the receipt. My friend told them in Nepali that no body demanded the money & since he�s Nepali & I am Indian so they have not charged us. The two men on patrol looked confused & I guess they thought the rules at the lower area might have changed & allowed us to continue.
Mauwadi�s usually patrol in a group of two. We became cautious & next time onwards whenever we used to see 2 young men coming from opposite direction or from behind us, used to think that probably they are the one! Matter of fact, we were also two in number. In the evening at the hotel we noticed few foreigners & porters were showing lot of respect & politeness towards us. Later they revealed that they were suspecting we two as Mauwadi�s !!!!
In the evening, trekkers sitting around hot chimney in the dinning hall & discussing mauwadi�s & tax used to be a common scene at all hotels. Guides & porters used to be source of tremendous information. It was very interesting to listen to their English cum Nepali language gossips with lot of gestures. In particular they used to be in full form after reaching in the �heaven� (some foreign trekkers used to give them company in heaven probably as compensation for their guidance on down to earth during the day time!!!!!)
Reached Dagchu at 5.30 pm & in the hotel met 3 Lamas. They were going to Tibet via Namche Bazar. It�s a 15 day walk from Namche. They were neither knowing Nepali nor English. We tried to communicate via signs & with the help of hotel person who was knowing little tibeti.
Dagchu (9,000 ft) � Junbesi � Sallung (9,667 ft):
At Sallung stayed at the house of a farmer. He was owning cows & yaks and vegetable plantation in the backyard. We were offered fresh milk & local apples.
Mt. Everest Base Camp trek is the most popular trek in world. Nepal tourism dept. has developed it very well. There are hotels till the last spot i.e. Gorakshep. Usually staying in the hotel is very economical (10 to 15 Nepali Rs. Per night at Jiri & Rs. 150 at Gorakshep) but food is very costly. Rates keep on increasing exponentially from Jiri to Gorakshep. At Jiri Daal-Bhat costs Rs. 25, tea Rs. 3 & warm drinking water free of cost but at Gorakshep its Rs. 400 for daal bhat, 50 for tea & 35 for warm water!
Sallung (9,667 ft) � Kharikhola (6,900 ft):
In the morning just after starting the trek, we were caught again by 2 mauwadi�s. They asked my friend to show the tax payment receipt. This time he lied them. He said we have paid the money but unfortunately lost the receipt. Their conversation was going on in Nepali, but I was able to understand 70 % of it. They became very angry & said don�t you know who�s the ruler here. They asked him to show his Nepali identity card & thoroughly checked his luggage. They collected tobacco pouches (gutkha /mava) & throwed it in the valley. (Tobacco, wine, playing cards etc is not allowed in mauwadi�s area). Then they frightened him by asking what crimes he had committed in past due to which he is living in India. Mauwadis� punishments is amputating hand/leg or stitching mouth or throwing a person in valley from top of the mountain etc. So in case if somebody has made a mistake/crime he runs away to India. My friend told them that he has not committed any crime & just to earn money & feed his family he�s living in India. There were few porters who also by that time reached on the spot. They all were standing in discipline at some distance in a Q & watching the drama without showing any expressions on the face. Now it was my turn. Mauvadi�s had a close look at me & said this guy looks like Nepali & not Indian. We suspect him as army spy. Then they checked my luggage. In the end they said �Sorry! Please donot misunderstand us but many a time army spy enters their area for gathering the info & it is our duty to check all.� It all happened in just 10 minutes & we felt as if they were talking to us for more than half an hour. Later on porters showed sympathy towards us with kind words; there approach was like oh the two poor, unfortunate guys!! (garib bichchchare).
Nepali and Hindi are quite similar. Indians can easily read Nepali (Deonagri script). One can also understand almost 60 to 70 % of spoken Nepali only difference is grammar & few words which are local, tibeti & Chinese.
At Kahrikhola met a Spanish group of three trekkers. They had been to Himachal Pradesh, India. In the evening we had discussions on wide range of topics like Madrid bombing to Euro. I observed lonely planet series book named �Trekking Nepal� with them. Most of the foreign trekkers were having it. Its like Gita / Bible of trekking for most. Very minute details are available like how much one should pay to taxi driver for journey from airport to hotel, hotel list & food charges at various locations, detailed trek route with map etc. This book recommends EBC trek via Gokyo Lake & then expedition of Island Peak in the return journey.
Kharikhola (6,900 ft) � Surke (7,667 ft):
Weather had been cloudy for last 5 days but favourable for trekking. Only disadvantage, missed good panoramic views from some of the passes. Trekking till Lukla was like daily going up and getting down few mountains. Local people informed, there is substantial reduction in number of tourist on Jiri to Lukla trek route, many people now prefer direct flight to Lukla. But I feel there is absolutely no treat to trekkers from the mauwadi�s. If some one pay the tax & donot argue then it�s an equally safe route. From Business point of view mauwadi�s can not afford to target tourist, after all tourist are main source of fund for them! Daily they are collecting around Rs. 50,000/- to 1,00,000/- as tax. After Surke there are no mauwadi�s, Surke to Mt. Everest comes under control of Nepal government. At Lukla and Namche there are big Army camps.
At Surke we met at hotel, people from France, UK, New Zealand, Portugal etc. An old trekker from France was returning from Gokyo ri and was very friendly & talkative. He had interesting observation about Mr. Chirac�s 2nd term election. According to him President secured most no. of votes in history of France, not because of popularity but because the candidate against him was extreme rightist, so it was more of rejecting the opponent rather than selecting Mr. Chirac for the 2nd time!
Surke (7,667 ft) � Lukla � Phakding (9,200 ft):
From this day onwards sky became perfect blue. We observed many 14 seater planes & helicopters while moving towards Lukla. Lukla has STD & ISD as well internet facility. Our earlier plan was to trek EBC via conventional route of Namche-Tingboche-Dengboche & return via same. But during the trek & discussions in the evening near hot chimneys at various hotels with guides, porters, hotel owners & trekkers, came to know about picturesque & beautiful Gokyo lake and panoramic view offered by Gokyo Ri . Nepali people believe that its very holi area & residence for many gods & saints. Also if during the trek to & fro route is same then its some what boring during the return journey. Only disadvantage was addition of few more days. Decided to opt for circuit trek & postponed return flight tickets by 5 days.
Phakding is situated at the bank of river Dudhkoshi & hotels are good. In the evening while I was just standing outside the hotel, saw three trekkers looking like Indians. I asked them in English are you from India, they replied yes! Then I asked in Hindi which part of India, surprizingly reply was Pune!! Then I switched to Marathi & informed them that I am also from Pune. They were coming via Flight from Kathmandu. Its really a nice feeling to meet & speak to own countrymen in the land of foreigners.
Phakding (9,200 ft) � Namche Bazar (11,300 ft):
There is a very big suspension bridge on the route. During the steep climb to Namche, one gets first view of Mt. Everest. We saw the Everest but were not aware about its being Mt. Everest only. I just clicked the camera thinking, it�s a good snow peak! At Namche there is a big army camp & they strictly conduct checking at entry point. Namche Bazar is a Famous place. Traders from Tibet, China visit here with traditional items & in the return journey carry with them commodities from Nepal. They have been doing so for few centuries.
On route met group of three trekkers from Calcutta. Due to bad weather they stayed at Gorakshep for 3 days & could view only a small portion of Everest on 4th morning. Trekkers arriving directly from Kathmandu by flight usually halt at Namche for a day or two for acclimatization. This place has got all the facilities like, Money exchange, ISD, Internet, big shops, Bakery etc. Indian currency notes of Rs.1000 & 500 are not accepted in Nepal. But no problem with Rs. 100 & 50 notes.
Stayed at Namche for one additional day. On that day there was heavy snowfall. Met here few government officers & Tourism department people who were very friendly & had a good chat.
Namche Bazar (11,300 ft) � Phortse Drengka � Dole (13,776 ft):
World�s highest altitude five star hotel named Everest view pt. Hotel is situated on route to Phortse drengka. We were fortunate to have blue sky weather & could see Mt. Everest, Nuptse, Lotse, Kwangde, and Thamsekru etc. On route is a very beautiful village of Sherpa�s called Khumjung. Sherpa�s are Buddhist by religion & famous for high altitude climbing. They believe themselves to be from Mongolian race.
Nepali�s favorite food is rice & meet. Also among the porters one more popular dish is boiled potato with salt or ketchup (chatni). Although tea is available as milk tea, black tea, lemon tea and ginger tea but taste is below ordinary & is like drinking tasteless boiled water.
Dole (13,776 ft) � Machhermo (14,900 ft):
After reaching Machermo came to know that all the hotels are full. Earlier we dropped our tent & other extra food items etc at Namche Bazar, because of the information that the hotels are there every where. After discussing with one of the hotel owner & explaining him our problem, he offered us dining hall place for night halt.
Later few more foreigners joined us in dinning hall. There are three types of accommodations in general. 1) Separate room � enclosed wooden cabin, it has a place for only 2 wooden beds. 2) Dormitory � Shared room with 10 to 20 beds in a large room 3) Dining hall. Separate room charges are around Rs. 15 to 25 at Jiri or Bhandar & are around 150 at Gorakshep. Dormitory is very cheap & Dinning hall is free of cost. Usually guides and porters stay at dining hall.
At high altitude temp falls drastically after sunset & is below zero many a places after crossing Dole. We used to go to bed at around 8.00 pm & get up at 5 .30 am. At Machhermo met a cricket crazy group of 6 Australians. At that time Australian Cricket team was touring India & 1-0 up in the series. I observed Australians are equally mad for cricket. Our Harsha Bhogale is very popular in Australia for his cricket commentary.
Machhermo (14,900 ft) � Gokyo lake (15,633 ft) � Gokyo ri (17,548 ft):
Altitude was showing its effect here. We were very slow. On route came across Nag Kund (Kobra Lake) then Surya Kund (Sun Lake) & then main Gokyo Lake. The trek route is along the side of lakes via boulders of various sizes & colors. It�s memorable experience to walk along blue & greenish blue water, snow peaks on one hand & orange color small mountains on other side. In all there are 5 big lakes in this region & there are 2 more after crossing Gokyo lake, the biggest one. Gokyo Ri is a mountain peak near tortoise shape Gokyo lake. It offers Beautiful panoramic view. We were informed that black swans (Hans) have arrived there recently from Kailash Mana-sarovar, I could spot 3 black swans in the Gokyo lake while climbing on the Gokyo ri.
Reached Gokyo ri at around 3.30 pm. Now after visiting both Kala Pathar & Gokyo ri I personally feel that Gokyo ri offers much better view than that of Kala Pathar. From Gokyo ri one sees 5 out of worlds 10 highest peaks namely Mt. Everest (1), Lotse Shar (4), Makalu (5), Lotse (6) & Cho Oyu (9). It was a blue sky day. Peaks in all the directions were visible like Amadablam, Thamsekru, Kwangde, Lobuche, etc. Stayed on the top till dark & had a wonderful sunset view. Saw Mt. Everest & other peaks changing color from white to yellow � golden orange-pink �red. Makalu the pyramid shape peak looks most beautiful among all.
On the trek route met many engineers & doctors from different nations. I feel doctors are better businessman & professional in their approach than engineers. Usually one finds doctors a regular exercise doing community and health & fitness conscious. We find them on the top of hills & their patients/clients on down to earth facing diseases. Very rarely Dr. advice their patients to go to hills, to swimming pools, to gym, or playing regularly sports etc.
Gokyo lake (15,633 ft) � Dragnak (15,416 ft):
Crossed Ngozumba glacier & reached dragnak quite quickly i.e. 11 am. But decided not to extend the journey on same day to chola pass & call it a day. Washing of cloths, sitting idle in the sunlight, giving fresh air to shoes & socks & discussions with other trekkers with cup of tea in hands was the program for rest of the day.
Dragnak (15,416 ft) -Chola Pass (17,778 ft) � Dzonglha (16,105 ft):
Due to snow at Chola pass it was recommended by guides & porters to start as early as possible. There was an enthusiastic group of 20 trekkers (some as old as 60 � 65 years) from Holland in our neighboring room. They woke up at 2.45 am it self & noise of their plastic bags & talking was quite inspirational for us to come out of sleeping bag in chilling temp. People of old age desperate to cross one of the relatively difficult pass with child like enthusiasm & determination was quite amazing.
Near Chola pass, route is not defined & its through loose slippery boulders. To add to it altitude of 17,778 ft makes one feel exhausted soon. On the top of pass there was good amount of snow. Trekkers arriving from both sides of chola pass were congratulating their teammates and distributing chocolates & sweets. Blue sky, lot of peaks & cyan color lakes on the other side of valley was like entry to a new world.
Dzonglha (16,105 ft) � Lobuche (16,170 ft):
On the route observed few mountaineers preparing to climb Lobuche peak. Route was wide & well marked, not many ups & downs. It was a pleasant day with warm sun light & low velocity wind, lot of snow peaks visible around & walk was through flat barren land. Sitting or sleeping on the grass in sunlight with out doing any thing & just observing the nature from a high mountain makes one forget about nationality, oneself & also time.
Lobuche(16,170 ft) � Gorakshep (16,925 ft) � Kala patthar (18,188 ft):
It was very cold & windy at lobuche. Lobuche is the common meeting point for trekkers arriving via conventional route of Tengboche & via Gokyo lake. Lots of trekkers, porters & Yaks carrying luggage are visible on the common route from this pt. onwards.
Immediately after reaching Gorakshep started for Kala Patthar for viewing Mt. Everest. Even at 12 PM it was chilling & very windy on the top. Nobody was able stay there for more than 2 minutes. Just click click in all the direction & get down to find a safe place to hide was the routine for all the trekkers reaching there. We could view Mt. Everest, Nuptse & Pumori clearly. In the evening went to Kala Patthar once again to try for sunset photographs. It was even windier as well more chilling. I adjusted my body behind a stone & stayed there for almost 30 minutes. Occasionally standing & clicks with the camera. Best photographs of my life are from Kala Pathar & Gokyo ri.
Gorakshep (16,925 ft) � Dingboche � Orsho (13,633 ft):
It was very cold & almost everybody in the hotel was coughing in the morning & we were late to start. At Dingboche, observed Island Peak.
Orsho (13,633 ft) � Tengboche � Namche Bazar (11,300 ft):
Trek is along the river & route is much better & wider. At Tengboche Everest was visible once again. It was 5th time we were watching Mt. Everest from a different place & angle (1. Just before reaching Namche 2. Everest view pt. Namche Bazar 3. Gokyo Ri 4. Kala Patthar 5. Tengboche) Tengboche is famous for Buddha Monastery. Met many trekkers & climbers marching towards Gorakshep with liveliness. It was long day & reached Namche late evening.
Namche Bazar (11,300 ft) � Phakding � Lukla (9,184 ft):
Collected tents & extra material left at Phakding hotel. Near Phakding met another group (doctors group) of trekker from Pune. Donated all the medicines near Luckla hospital built by a French climber for local people. After reaching Luckla, preponed flight ticket to Kathamndu & luckily got it. At our hotel there were few Lamas from Tibet. In the evening they were Chanting Tibeti Mantra�s as part of their daily rituals. It was sounding like our Sanskrut mantras & there procedure was like our Sandhya. They were very cordial & invited me for joining their prayer. There was a Lord Budhdha�s photo, few candles lighting in front of it & many copper utensils with various fruits & tree leaves. Unfortunately they did not know English & could not communicate.
Lukla � Kathmandu � Mumbai � Pune:
During the return journey weather was friendly & flight was as per schedule. At Kathmandu checked for Mumbai flight & was informed that its available on the same day after few hours. Reached same day at 12 o�clock in the night at Pune via Mumbai. I was at Lukla in the morning & at Pune same day at midnight!
During the trek met many people from France, Spain, UK, US, Japan & Australia. From India there were very few trekkers. Indians are mainly from Pune / Mumbai or Calcutta. From history of world its known that UK, Spain & France are the nations who once upon a time ruled the world while at the moment US, Japan & Australia are the leading nations. History of India indicates when it was ruled by UK, Pune / Mumbai & Calcutta citizens offered maximum resistance right from the very beginning. There must be some relation between trekking, mountaineering or sports which requires tendency to take risk and qualities like love for own nation, sacrifice, courage,