Day 4 begins with a 7.30am start.
We wake up to a lovely breakfast of apple and cinnamon porridge, get all our gear together and set off for Namche Bazaar - this village is a main thoroughfare for all trekkers in the region. Those going to Everest, Ama Dablam , Gokyo, etc, all come through Namche - it's full of shops, tea houses, bars and you can buy any type of trekking equipment here you may not already have sorted.
Today, we go from 2,600mtrs to 3,400mtrs and it is a brutal day of trekking. Today is one of the most difficult and long days of the entire trip, it's relentless and tiring - but the views are utterly amazing, breath-taking and worth every difficult step. The terrain is dusty, forest-like and very very steep. It's slow progress and at this point, you wonder what the heck you are doing half way around the world, away from all your creature comforts. We stop in a little café for some lunch and rest the then pick up where we left off.
Throughout the day, we cross five of the famous rope bridges. Starting from the smallest, and finishing with the highest. I am pretty height-averse, I go a bit weak at the knees and I am very pleased with myself, that I manage to get across all five without so much as a whimper. Once you hit the 5th and highest bridge, you are well accustomed to them and I don't bat an eyelid. In fact, I'm rather disappointed that there aren't any higher ones left!
We also see the famous Yaks, every step of the way. We see horses, donkeys and men carrying loads that seem impossible to you and I. They are transporting goods, food, drinks and supplies to the trekkers higher up the mountain. These people are hardy, strong and resilient. I'm in awe of them.
After 6-7 hours trekking, we see Namche in the distance - it is like a beacon from heaven - we've made it!
I am so pleased and delighted and Namche is everything I thought it would be. The tea house we are staying in is somewhat modern for the mountains, with an actual hot shower, decent toilets and BEER - lots of lovely beer!! When we get into our tea house, we take our hiking boots off and the relief in my feet is glorious. We settle down to a beer, get a shower and change of clothes and then have some traditional Sherpa stew (veggie option), also known as Dal Bhat. This is the meal all the porters and guides eat and I was keen to try some local foods. I was allowed to eat it, but on one condition - I eat like the locals, with my hands. Never one to turn down a challenge, I use some anti-bac gel on my paws, roll up my sleeves and shove the Dal Bhat into my mouth like I hadn't eaten in a week. It was delicious.
We threatened to go to one of the Namche discos, but we're too tired and mosey on to bed at a decent time to prepare for tomorrow's acclimatisation day.
JOEY IS TIRED!