The hike from Mongju to Namche Bazaar is the most gruelling of the trip I am told. It's basically all up and down until you get to the banks of the Dudh Kosi River (Milky River), at which point it's all up. And up. And up. Just switchback after switchback so you can't even see how much farther there is to go. There were times when I wanted to just fall to my knees and say "Jesus, take me now!" and other times when I thought it might be more expedient to just rip my guts out and fashion a noose. Honestly.
Five. Bloody. Hours.
Along the way we crossed the worlds highest suspension bridge. Those of you who know me know that I'm terribly afraid of heights but I was so utterly exhausted and without hope that I honestly couldn't have cared less if it had broken with me on it.
I can understand why Namche was mistaken for Shangri La as it was heaven to finally arrive.