21st April, 2014 - Trek back to Lukla

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Chola Pass
21st April, 2014 - Back to Lukla

A day that shall live in infamy: huge wolf spider above the sink this morning and coughing in both rooms either side of us all night.   We ate our usual hearty breakfast and passed our red duffels to our hard working porters for the final time, and stood around on the patio watching fresh faced trekkers passing by the stone walls heading toward Namche and felt a twang of envy that they are just beginning their treks.  We posed for photos with a “movie star / climber” we met last evening, the nephew of the owner of Peak Promotions, who was in Phakding preparing to film a scene of them crossing the suspension bridge at first light.  Looking forward to the Everest film.   We hefted our packs and set off across the high bridge over the river and followed the trail up, down and around thru tiny villages with lush gardens of cabbage, bok choy and green onions, passing melodic yak trains and pony trains, down and up the amazing steps built into the cliffs spinning prayer wheels and always going clockwise around the Mani stones, pausing for tea and coconut cookies and grinning knowingly at the clean awkward tourists tripping over stones heading up canyon.  We arrived in Lukla early in the afternoon and completed the great Himalayan circle we’d set out on just a couple short weeks before though the experiences we’ve lived make it feel we’ve been here a season.  We’ve come down from the high peaks to Lukla at 9000’ where lush forested cliffs still tower above the village with huge jagged peaks peaks  even the low mountains here are impressive and formidable to imagine climbing.  We spend a mellow afternoon savoring the sunshine while interacting with local children and playing with puppies, window shopping or meditating, napping and sampling local coffee and baked goods, shooting snooker in the Irish Pub to the sounds of Creadance Cleerwater Revival.   This eve we tipped our hard working porters and shared a beer and bid them a very fond farewell and thanked them sincerely for all their amazing work.  Tomorrow: an early flight back to Kathmandu . . .