After 3 nights in Namche we left our marvelous heated beds behind, enjoyed our usual robust breakfast, and headed up the steep steps of town, lead by Mingmar Sherpa today, in glorious sunshine to begin a traverse (with a bit more uphill) above the river toward Tengboche monastery. It is continually amazing to see the views of Everest and the surrounding marvelous peaks; words and pictures are just not sufficient to capture the majesty. We were near Ama Dablam, which for me particularly prompts feelings of gratitude that we have been so lucky to participate in this marvelous adventure. The Rhododendron groves were a pleasant and unexpected reprieve from the sun.
Of course, this trail is not a straightforward ascent, and we next dropped all the way down to the river to enjoy a fulfilling lunch at Zambala Restaurant with heavenly warm mango juice. By this time the fog had settled in, cooling the temperatures for our almost 2 hour trek uphill to the monastery. We did not have to wait long in the warm dining room for the sturdy yaks to bring our duffels, and get briefly settled in our rooms, before we had a chance to observe the monks worshipping in the Buddhist temple. The feeling of peace and tranquility was shared by many.
This will be the last spot that has a bakery along the trail, so we had to partake and were astonished at the variety and quality of the goods, from mocha cake to apple crumble, brownies, lemon meringue pie, rum balls, and specialty coffees. I am forgetting some of the choices, but not the fact there was a microwave for those who wanted theirs warmed!
Dr LuLu gave an amazing lecture on the psychology of Adventure Travel and how individuals' coping techniques from the age of 18 months affect how they will do in stressful situations, and gave us all pause to ponder our own personalities and ways to work with those who have different strategies. She is an unbelievable team leader and we are so fortunate to be traveling with her.
Sadly this morning we had to say goodbye to Colleen, who's knee got aggravated to the point she could no longer hike up, and wish her the best of luck and more adventure on her alternate journey to Chitwan Park.
There is a rumor that the food portions get smaller as one goes up the trail, but you would never have known it by the quantity of delicious food we had tonight. Everyone is stuffed, but participating in the fun card game of Shithead before bed (where the loser has to wear panties on their head), so I am signing off so I can join in! Thanks to Peak Promotion team and our incredible porters for sharing their special country and sacred mountains with us.