First of all, a special Happy Birthday to Elizabeth Watson in British Columbia, Canada, who was unable to make this trek with us. I hope you have a great day!
Second, wishing a Happy Mother’s Day to Joy, Pamela and Hamidah over in the UK. Matt, Suzie and Jasmine send their love.
Another magnificent day here in the Himalayas. After a thorough “rest” day in Namche (3450m), we began our trek out of Namche with a beautiful crisp, sunny morning to greet us. Beginning in good spirits with a short but steep elevation gain out of the village, the layers were quickly shed and the sunscreen applied. Shamjiv had a monumental event this morning and actually changed out of his sneakers to don his mountaineering boots; a sign he is serious about his ascent now. The first half of the day encompassed a lovely, undulating path along the southeast side of the valley high above the river. After passing the Memorial Stupa of the Legendary Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and a few orate Yak trains, we gradually made our way slowly down towards our mid day lunch stop beside the river at Pungi Thanga, where we basked in the sun, enjoyed some nice food and refreshments, and aired our hot and tired feet.
A few of our trekkers, led by LB and Diana, were in a humorous mood and decided to have a little fun with some of the descending groups. After a few attempts pretending to be completely unprepared and ignorant tourists expecting Everest to be just around the corner, it was determined that the others were too tired and confused to understand the joke and were thus largely ignored. A new plan is brewing to have a more successful second crack at it.
After lunch the path began a fairly steep but gradual switchbacking ascent towards our goal of Tengbouche (3870m). It was hot in the blazing afternoon sun with escalating, gusting winds, but with frequent photographic pauses to capture the stunning landscapes and growing peaks, the group successfully arrived at our lovely tea house with little harm aside from some small blisters. We were awarded with amazing vistas of Amadablam Mountain and surrounding peaks. Everest evaded us for the most part plagued with high cloud embracing the mountain top.
With her rock solid pace, Colleen has officially been awarded and adopted the title Colleen “Bistaarai” Donovan. Czarina found a new friend – a gorgeous Nepalese kiruk (puppy), however was unable to proceed to adoption, as touching was out of the question. Dr Eric is very pleased with quality of the Sherpani on the trail tonight, and is optimistic for the upcoming days. George Bush survived to live another day and is hoping to sleep well tonight to recharge for the next battle. Multitalented Greg has acquired a very special badge, and with his McGuiver kit, he is practicing his tailoring skills firmly plant this honor in full view on his summiting jacket. Dave Z has finally won his battle with the local gastrointestinal enemies and is feeling strong with a robust appetite.
After we settled in to our rooms, we had a few hours to relax, inhale the serenity, and check out the local coffee shop and bakery with its eclectic assortment of fine baked goods and real espresso. We visited the famous Monastery here in Tengbouche and were able to photograph the amber glows of sunset emblazoned on Amadablam and even caught a brief glimpse of Everest through a break in the cloud. After a good CME talk about altitude and acclimatization, we enjoyed our evening meal and all sampled the famous “Snickers Pie”. Everyone is feeling good and will likely have a refreshing and well deserved sleep, ready to meet whatever tomorrow brings. Ke Garne.