The trail then took us north up the Dudh Kosi valley to Monjo, where we officially entered Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. We caught our first glimpse of Everest during a steep climb that brought us to the Sherpa market town of Namche Bazaar, our home for the next two nights. We spent an extra day here to acclimatize, heading out on short hikes to take in views of Everest. Namche is a colorful village with many wonderful and interesting shops and vendors, fabulous food, and stunning views of the surrounding mountains. An early hike above town, before the clouds moved in, gave us a spectacular Himalayan sunrise and views of Mt. Everest, Lhotse (the 4th highest peak in the world), and the beautiful Ama Dablam. On the way down, we we visited the Sherpa Museum that houses an exhibit on traditional Sherpa lifestyle and a fabulous photography display by a local Nepalese naturalist.
The next day we set out on a trail along the Bhote Kosi to the remote village of Thami, the last outpost on the ancient trading route over the Nangpa La (pass) between Tibet and Nepal. We cross the Bhote Kosi and hiked steeply uphill to Thami.