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Published: December 31st 2016
Day 4: Pangboche
It was time to move ahead into higher altitudes. We started from Namche early around 7:10am as we were feeling quite well. We had discovered that starting early means having the trail to ourselves for a while and less yaks to cross. The start of this trail is slight up, same part that we went to yesterday and then long flat as we traverse the side of hill (actually a 3000m mountain but looks like a hill here 😉 ). Then the drop down to river level as in most previous days. We were at the river by 9:30. The view of Everest became clear for a bit, and after that Ama Dablan was constantly in view. Behind us were the mountains of Gokya valley. It was finally feeling like we are in the real big mountains.
It was too early to stop and have lunch at the river, so we decided to have tea and then carry on. The usual swinging bridge crossing and then a steady uphill to Tengboche, not very steep just steady uphill. There were some round pagodas on the way, rotating by water energy. Some were broken by now, but some
were still running. There is also another check point here. We were at Tengboche by 11:30. We were making great time. It was still to early for lunch, so we just shared a plate of fried rice for energy to carry on. The way to Pangboche has a few ups and downs but it is gentle and easy. On the way were amazing views of Ama Dablam, also glimpses of Everest and Lhotse. Today we will stay at 3985m, wow! Day 5: Dingboche
Since our plan of early start was working, today also we were up sharp and early at 7:00 for breakfast. I was somewhat cold in my sleeping bag last night, it is rated -7C but probably getting too old. Thankfully there were lodge blankets to keep warm. After breakfast we decided to visit the monastery which was about 10min uphill. Unfortunately the place was closed so we could only see it from outside. Going up provided some nice views.
At 7:45 we were enroute. The trail was gentle uphill and we did not see too much foot traffic as it was still somewhat early. On the way many peaks were visible. So far we
had been lucky to have clear blue sky days in the morning, another advantage of being on the trail early. Clouds usually roll in after 2:00 which gave us enough time to reach our destination and sit in sun for a bit. On the way today many peaks were visible behind the enclosing mountains. The view of Lhotse and nearby peaks were always in front. We reach intersection to Periche on the way which we will take on the way back. After the intersection the trail drops down a little to the river crossing, no surprise there 😊. Then it is steady up to Dengboche. The terrine had changed a bit, it was more like limestone hills rather than rocky mountains. At the highest point of train the village was visible and many mountains around. We were feeling quite energized. 4000m crossed, about 1500m left. We did short detour to a higher point for the views. We stopped at a lodge in outskirts of the village. Quality of accommodation has dropped somewhat, no surprise there, water is colder and plumbing is not awesome. The food is getting somewhat expensive now, still way cheaper than Zurich 😉
There was a
tailor sitting outside making rajai covers and other repairs. Interesting work, walking around in these mountains with a sewing machine. Since we had reached quite early and sun was still shining. we decided to do a round of washing. I saw somewhat wash her hair right there in cold water and was inspired to do that too. The water was freezing, but sun felt nice. Glad I did that here, it would be impossible to carry out such brave acts further up. After a lunch of daal bhaat there was not much more to do but people watching and reading. Tomorrow will be a rest day so we left village tour to tomorrow. The effect of altitude was there and I had started feeling a bit lethargic.
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