Tough night for me last night, just could not get comfortable due to the damp, cold climate in our room. However, my sore throat is much better! We got up early, moved our trekking duffels to the staging area at the hotel entrance, grabbed breakfast, and started walking to Tengboche.
SUNSHINE! Yes! Blue skies everywhere for almost the entire day! The weather was warm, there was a gentle breeze, and the going was pretty easy (down to the river by a long traverse for two hours, then lunch, then up two hours for about 2,000 feet to the ridgecrest where Tengboche monastery sits.
The views were just plain amazing. I cannot emphasize this enough. I have watched endless movies, read books, and studied photos of the Khumbu region for years, but none of that prepared me for the incredible beauty of this place. The mountains are so sharp, clear, and austere. Everest was out in all her glory, with telltale cloud plume (as the jet stream parts around it, a low pressure system forms in the lee, which encourages the formation of a standing cloud there). Ama Dablam, reputed to be the most photographed mountain on Earth, was jaw-droopingly beautiful as well.
As we pulled into Tengboche, we entered a cloud, which seems to be common for the afternoons here. Uncomfortable way to finish the hike, damp and wet. The tiny village here is picturesque cloaked in fog. There’s not much here, just a monastery, three teahouses, and a fabulous bakery (with brand new espresso machine). Plus, lots of dogs (they all look identical to each other, go figure), yaks, and horses. Sitting in the dining room of the teahouse typing this post, I am chilled even in three layers plus a hat. This is a dank place when in clouds, but I am optimistic that it will be sunny tomorrow morning.
There is a cell tower here, but few bars unless I stand outside near the antenna, and certainly no data on my iPhone. The tea house offers wifi for $5, but currently it connects to nothing… the proprietor tells me that they are working on the problem back in Namche, which does not inspire confidence. Being online in the mountains seems wrong, but on the other hand, because I will be gone for so long I want to keep in touch with my family so they know I am fine. Thus, its a bit disappointing when I cannot get these blog entires up on time. But, just a bit.
We will visit the monastery tomorrow.
Word of the day: “…” (No words, just awestruck silence.)
posted: April 4, 2015
Paul Pottinger’s Adventures from the Top of the World