Friday, April 05, 2013

The Trail to Tengboche - Day 4 - Namche Bazaar to Tengboche

We started early again from Namche Bazaar, leaving the comfort of the Panorama Hotel, and headed up the first section of the day's trek which was a steep uphill section. But the trail soon levelled off and with the bright clear sunny day and blue skies we were soon experiencing some of the best Himalayan mountain vistas yet.

Looking up the Khumbu Valley we had clear views of Mount Everest and the surrounding peaks such as Nuptse, Lhotse, Lhotse Shar and Ama Dablam. Along this section we passed two beautiful Buddhist stupas. We stopped for some tea at a small tea house which also had local jewellery for sale … and I thought I had managed to get my wife away from the shops!

Soon however we were once again descending back down to the Dudh Kosi River to make a final river crossing before making the steep ascent up to Tengboche. It seemed somewhat unfair to lose all that altitude we had gained only to go up again to Tengboche. Snow lay in a few places on the north facing slopes.

We stopped for lunch and a short rest at a small restaurant at the river and then started the long tough climb up the other side to reach Tengboche. As usual there were many yak and dzo trains carrying goods along this trail but the most amazing thing was to watch some of the porters haul huge beams timber, probably weighing more than 80kg, up the very steep hill.

After a couple of hours of hard slog uphill panting for breath with the high altitude we eventually reached Tengboche. It was already cold when we arrived at our lodge for the evening and it was to get even colder during the night, dropping to -11 deg C.

Tengboche consists only of a few lodges, a bakery and the monastery but offers a great close up view of Everest and the other peaks. We had enough daylight left on arrival to make a visit to the Tengboche Monastery, a World heritage site and were lucky enough to catch a ceremony with all the monks chanting along with bells, drums and horns - listen to the audio recording below.


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