Even though we’ve achieved our goals of reaching the summit of Kala Patar the trek back will take three days and will not be easy.
We get up at 6:30 and leave Lobuche and head forTengboche a trek that took 3 days climbing up into high altitude will now take one day going down with no need of acclimatisation stops.
When you drop down through the mountains and valleys to the rivers below you wonder how we got the strength a few days earlier to have reached the tops of these high climbs.
The scenery is still breath taking, only on the way back you have got the advantage of looking around and not looking down at your feet shuffling very slowly up the mountain.
The team is still very strong with everybody supporting each other, emotions are now running high as we head down the mountain getting ever closer to Lukla our last stop.
The trek down means crossing valleys and many high bridges and when you drop down into a valley it means you have to climb out the other side, and even though we are trekking at lower levels we are still at altitude and those climbs are slow.
It’s mid morning on day one we slowly climb up to a bridge crossing and as we look across the valley to the other side we see a mule train, like on all paths and bridges there is a pecking order for the right of way, Yaks, Mules, Porters carrying loads and Porters caring bags for Trekkers and climbers they all take-preference.
It’s a welcome break as we count over eighty mules fully laden crossing the bridge. We reach Tengboche for supper with temperatures still at -10 and our beds for tonight are outbuildings with an outside toilet.Still on Diamox which is a diuretic you know at sometime you will have to get up and go out to use the toilet.
It’s another early call and back on the path as we head for Namche it will be a long day, but Namche is going to be a welcome stop with its shops and bars, for most of us this is a chance for our first drink for some 14 days, it’s the inspiration we need to gets down the mountain.
We reach Namche at 4 in the afternoon as on the way up we visit a coffee shop and bakery and indulge ourselves in coffee and apple pies ( we deserve it ), its then a bit of shopping before we go to a bar for a well earned drink.
Damphes Bar is were we all met a couple of beers each and a game of pool, we are still at altitude so we need to be a little bit sensible. Before heading back up steep steps to our lodge for dinner Alan gets out the Cornish flag embossed with “Drek Trek” and all our names and is pinned on the stairs for posterity. Hopefully other Cornish Trekkers will see this flag over the years and gain inspiration from what we’ve achieved.
Another early start and this is the last push to Lukla, we seem to drop down for hour after hour losing height very quickly only knowing at some stage we will have to go up and gain height to cross over rivers and valleys.
The last stage into Lukla is long and very steep it takes over two hours. As we reach the old town of Lukla we hear an aeroplane approaching and we know we are close to the finishing line.
As we turn a corner we see the arch which welcomes you to Lukla it’s still up hill but its almost a sprint to get through the arch and know we’ve completed the challenge we set ourselves three weeks before heading in the opposite direction.
Once again a very emotional moment for all the team, father,sons, friends and a team that has gelled together to help, support and fulfil a dream for us all.
” we have not conquered a mountain, we have conquered ourselves “
Steve and the Drek Trek Team