Solukhumbu—Where Mountains Meet the Sky
Recounted by: Mina Rana & Transcribed by: Rihasha Niroula
Visiting Solukhumbu—again after eight years—brought back a wave of nostalgia into my realm of memories. Although the place was burgeoning, the beauty of the Everest region still remained unscathed.
My tip for travelling is to visit places during off-seasons. This way, one can avoid encountering unmanageable crowd of people and get to explore the places at own pace, taking in every inch of the beauty steadily. So, instead of visiting Solu during mid-winters where feet find its way into a foot of snow, I left for 10-day trek only recently.
Though I had planned to take a flight to Phaplu directly from Kathmandu, my flight was cancelled, which diverted me to travel by bus to Salleri. It was not a ride to disdain because the road towards Salleri was easy, and my eyes were treated with spectacular views of wonderful scenic and evergreen beauty of Udaypur and Okhaldhunga. I reached Phaplu a day late, and this marked the starting point of my trek.
Routes leading to Solu are plenteous with uphill and downhill roads, and this is the beauty and challenge during Solu trek. During my trek, travelling routes through Phaplu, Junbesi, Nunthala and Bupsa were busy and difficult, but in areas after Chhepjung, people were scarcely seen.
In Everest region, many starred hotels are in operation, and this astonishes everyone who underestimates the region. These hotels provide the visitors with leisure treatment and relieve their after-trek aching bodies. Unlike in other treks where you have to adjust in unimaginable rest-houses, you do not need to compromise for food, accommodation and transportation in Everest region if you have enough budget.
After Chhepjung, we reached Namche Bazaar, the main trading center and hub for the Khumbu region where settlement looked like a piece of lego houses neatly stacked upon the other. From the bazaar, the whole range of the Himalayas was in the clear visibility, and the mountains—against the clear blue sky—looked as if it has been beautifully painted by a skillful creator.
Every viewscape along the way had set my expectations higher for any other places I would visit; however, Thame was the next place that left me speechless.
Snowcapped mountains, green grasslands and widespread potato and barley fields filled my eyes with utter delight, while the helpful people and little innocent children filled my heart with love and compassion towards them. These nice people reminded me of Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, Appa Sherpa and many other mountaineers who have successfully conquered Mount Everest. After spending few days amidst these charming people and heaven on earth, a day finally came when I had to take a leave from ‘The Home of Famous Sherpas’.
From Thame to Lukla and to Kathmandu, I engulfed wealth of scenic beauty in my memories. The entire journey to Solukhumbu was enticing and adventurous; after all, I was on the land with an elevation of 4000 meters above the sea level.
I would like to thank my students and my dear friend Jerry Lapp who made the trip happen. The trek was impeccable mesmerizing and their company was like jewels on top of a golden crown.
Nepal is a beautiful country, and I request you to travel as much as you can while you still have the energy to do so. Time continues its journey along its natural motion but don’t let your knee leave your dreams futile.
“In Everest region, many starred hotels are in operation, and this astonishes everyone who underestimates the region.”