Day 16: Aching feet and dance steps
We decided to walk all the way down to Lukla today, instead of following the original plan to Monjo and then down! I was not looking forward to the walk at all because of my knees and feet. After some thorough strapping and supports I slowly began the 90 minute descent from Namche to the valley floor of the Dudh Khosi. When we left, Namche had been covered in cloud but after dropping only a hundred of metres or so it passed and the sun began to shine and light up the whole valley - magnificent!I had forgotten just how beautiful it was down there, with waterfalls, bubbling brooks and lush forests. The whole place felt like a postcard!It took me five hours to get down to Phaking, as opposed to the three that it took everyone else! I was greeted with a pleasant surprise of salad, spaghetti and potatoes with a lovely sauce (amazing how easily a good meal can raise your spirits!). After lunch I really thought that I wouldn't be able to continue and Dave and Mingma (our head guide) were trying to talk me into renting a horse to ride down the last stretch to Lukla. I was determined to finish as I started and pushed with my own two legs.Generally the going was easier but the final 30 minute stretch was a killer. The last uphill was difficult, but the feeling of elation we got coming into Lukla was amazing. Encouraging messages written in sand by the rest of the group helped me to push on. Once we got into town we went straight to the lodge, which was in a celebratory mood. Everyone was excited about our last night and the prospect of going to Kathmandu the next day. After dinner there was even a disco in the lodge to Nepali dance music and some rather questionable dance steps from us and the Sherpas. Zoe got a little too excited and managed to fall flat on her face!