Today was our first test, climbing for about 5 hours and going up around 700 metres. The first part of the trip we made our way along the Dudh Kosi to its junction with the Bhote Kosi (Rivers). There were lots of milky green boiling rapids and we crossed another couple of quite long suspension bridges. The last three and half hours was a slow trudge up and up. However, I found if you just took it slowly, and got into a rhythm it wasn't too bad.
The trail was very busy with trekkers and villagers bring goods back from Namche Bazaar. There were many groups of villagers herding jokpu (cattle) heavily laden with market goods. When we arrived at the village of Namche, we climbed up through the village to the Hotel Sherwi Khangba. This delightful hotel and restaurant was established by Lhakpa Sonam Sherpa. His amazing wife manages to cook hearty meals for trekkers, clean rooms, wash and dry trekker's clothes, assist with charging batteries and phones, accessing Internet, providing hot showers and towels. On top of this she provides tours and information sessions on the Museum that she and her husband have set up in honour of the Sherpa's that have lost their lives in the Himalayas. She was like a traffic policeman directing peak hour traffic, always with a smile on her face.
The bonus of staying here was the short requite from sleeping on the ground, a wonderful cosy dining room. Then came the exciting bit!! hot showers!! for only 200 rupees (money well spent!! it was divine to feel nice and clean).
We spend the afternoon in the library, some of us played a rather rowdy game of cards while others caught up on emails etc. After a hearty meal of mushroom soup, Buffalo stew, veggies and rice we all stumbled up to our rooms to recover from our big day. The zzz's were pumping out very quickly.