After spending 2 nights in Namche Bazar we woke up early to make the long walk to Tengboche. The first half of the day was spent traversing across several hills before going far down for about and hour until we reached the same river once again. On the way, we passed many stupas and religious statues which are common here as many people are Hindu or Buddhist. The morning was very foggy because we were walking through the clouds. At this elevation, we were the same height of the clouds. Again, as usual, we passed through many small villages.
After a while, the trail began to head down through beautiful forests of rhododendron trees. Rhododendrons are the national flower of Nepal and we were here at the time of the blooming of all of the flowers. It felt as if we were walking through fairytale forests with all of the flowers and moss surrounding us.
After about halfway through our daily trek, we stopped for lunch at another tiny village beside the river running between two steep hills. Here the temperature is in the fifties (Fahrenheit), so it’s still warm enough to sit outside near the river. Luca and I had our usual lunch of fried rice and fried noodles, while Prakash has his usual dal bhat. After lunch we began the long trek up another giant hill to a town called Tengboche. We stopped at another military checkpoint before heading up the hill. The path up cut back and forth on the hillside all the way to the top. It took about 3 hours to get to the top. The whole time I kept asking our guide, “how much longer?” And he would give some minute amount usually. Almost to the top he told me only a hundred meters and I was really excited because that’s not very long…until I kept walking and walking and realized he meant another hundred meters in elevation, not in walking. The mind doesn’t exactly think the same when it has less oxygen than usual.
We finally made it to the top and were enveloped into a giant cloud in Tengboche. As usual, I was thoroughly exhausted more than ever and we went to our tea house lodge which was surrounded by a large field of yaks. Turns out all the lodges in Tengboche were full, including ours, so we had to walk another 30 minutes to the next town to find an open lodge. Luckily this time the walking was down hill.
The next town, Debuche had open lodges and we stayed at a lodge called Paradise lodge. After walking all day it really did feel like paradise to sit on cushions in the heated dining area with a cup of hot lemon. At this height, I was starting to feel the altitude more than before. We had a nice dinner and sat by the stove in the center of the room to warm our fingers and toes before going back to our cold room. At this point in the trek, nights became really cold. We slept in our day clothes plus another coat, pair of socks, and hat, all inside of a heavy down sleeping bag.