Namche Bazaar (3440m) to Pangboche (3860m)
Up at 0615, breaky at 7. Pay the bill- 150rp for a phone recharge. 150rp for a camera recharge. It has been a great place to stay- we'll be back on our return. I am hoping Maya will still be cooking. Out the door before 0800. We leave the village walking on ice- not thin ice, but solidly frozen muddy ice. First stop is at Kyangjuma for a cuppa (there is also an excellent toilet here in Kyangjuma - holes in planks of wood on the floor and after you've been you then sprinkle leaves into the pit- no odour, super clean). The track after the steps up out of the village is pretty level, it's very easy walking. Thamserku, Ama Dablam, Lhotse and Everest are visible this morning. Cool huh? Our levelish walk continues before we hit the steep, steep steps down to Phunki Thenga. We have lunch at the Evergreen Lodge
, one of 2 teahouses before the next uphill slog. It's interesting sitting watching the activity in the kitchen. A young girl is making the chapatis from scratch- she makes it look pretty effortless. There's a little boy very keen to have
his photo taken - he loves looking at his images after the shots. His mum is working in Kathmandu so his grandma and the young girl are looking after him.
From here we do some serious uphill climbing for a a couple of hours. It really is one foot in front of the other at times. We pass water wheels, it is very beautiful, there are lots of rhododendrons and Himalayan birch trees with reddish brown bark (as opposed to the silver variety I saw last year). Mt Kantega is visible as we pass many very weary looking trekking groups. We reach Tengboche Monastery at 2.15- it is immense and the courtyard is deep in snow, the views are incredible- Ama Dablam (my favourite i think), Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Kantega, Thamserku and Kongdi Ri as well as the starkly bright colour of the monastery against the snow. It was apparently rebuilt in 1989 after burning down, a young monk offers to show us inside. He is 26 and has been there for 14 years. The inside is wonderfully ornate, the monk is happy for us to take photos. It is utterly freezing inside, colder than outside I think. As
we leave the monks are being called to prayer, we are aiming to get to Pangboche for the night.
The path is now completely snow covered but it is compact and a bit crunchy, not yet slippery. We pass through Debouche, through forests of pine and spanish moss. I enjoy the solitude along here- there is no one ahead or behind me that I can see. Mary and I tend to trek spaced out, we both appreciate the quietness, right here it is deafeningly quiet. I love it. The snow soon gives way to slushy, muddy stuff then back to snow, then back to mud before solid ground as we climb up to Pangboche. The gate is a welcome sight, it has been a 9 1/2 hr day. It would seem most people have stayed in Tengboche. We end up in a teahouse in "lower" Pangboche, the dining room is really lovely- the room - not so much. It is near the very smelly toilet- it has frozen so you can only pee in it- we are told- anything else you have to go down the steps, out into the yak pen and use the outdoor drop toilet- someone
seems to have ignored this instruction though!!- we opt for the outside loo for everything- even in the night! The bedding smells, we kill a couple of blowflies, the dhal bat is vey average, we go to bed early- there's not much wood available. Enough whinging. I find a redeeming feature- the pillow- it turns out to be the best one of the entire trek. Sleep really, really well even through the very vivid dreams that have started again.
Tot: 3.581s; Tpl: 0.059s; cc: 17; qc: 84; dbt: 0.0809s; 3; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.5mb