The village of Namche Bazaar is located on crescent shaped mountain slopes that offer stunning views of the mountains across the valley.
Early morning views across Namche
Traditionally the village was a trading post, with locals bartering yak cheese and butter for agricultural goods grown at lower altitudes. However, after Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay’s successful climb of Everest in 1953, the dynamics of the village changed forever as climbers and trekkers soon followed in their wake. At first the groups came in a trickle, but in the 60s and 70s this turned into a torrent. In addition, as Namche is the first place on the Khumbu trek that is above altitude sickness threshold, most travelers prefer to spend at least two nights here in order to acclimatize. Still, despite the village’s popularity with trekkers, geographical restraints have contained its growth, and it remains a small settlement with no more than 60 dwellings. Namche sits on a mountain slope that makes even wandering the town an exhausting experience. The town sells everything imaginable for Trekkers and climbers, a true bazaar.
Our rest day in Namche started with a grueling trek which effectively was a steep two hour 440m stair climb. The reward at the top however afforded us with our first sighting of Mt. Everest and simply stunning views in all directions.
Looking down at Namche from the half way point.
We can’t finish today’s journal without an apology. Unbeknown to us the “yaks” we have seen, photographed and noted to date were in fact not yaks at all. They were Dzokpa’s. True Yaks apparently cannot survive below the altitude of Namche and thus a yak is crossed with an Ox to produce an animal that can work from lower altitudes all the way to Everest base camp. Did you know that a nak is a female yak? We didn’t!
I’m a Dopza …. not a yak! I’m a real yak … (or maybe a nak)
Tomorrow it’s onward to Tengboche.