November 02, 2006 - We begin the day with breakfast...

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We begin the day with breakfast while looking at the mountains surrounding Namche. Kami discovers that the Sherpa Mani Rimdu festival will be taking place at Tengboche during our time in the Kumbu. We decide to change our itinerary in order to be in Tengboche during the festival, which requires lots of effort on our behalf. We leave the Kumbu Lodge for Thame via a flight of stone steps, passing the Namche Gompa with its series of gold prayer wheels. The monastery sits high above Namche and the views of the mountains and city below are fantastic. Jack cannot resist taking many photos from this viewpoint. Turning the corner toward Thame, we are startled by another series of snowcapped jagged mountain peaks that were not visible before.

The trail heads toward these mountains. It becomes less rocky and turns into a gentle undulating dirt path. We are grateful for the gentle slope of the path as at this altitude we notice even small climbs. The path to Thame meanders along a gorge lined with tall pine trees and rhododendron bushes. There are fewer people on this path, but many more animals. We see a herd of long haired mountain goats, partridge-like large colorful birds, cows wandering alone, yak and gopky pack herds guided by their owners. We are fascinated by these large animals’ ability to negotiate rocky terrain. Soon we cross a river with a bridge covered in prayer flags and white shawls. We enter the small town of Thame with its stone buildings and walk past a primary school funded mostly by donations from travelers.

Marsha again is invited to enter the school, observe the children’s work and take photos. The children wait patiently to see their photo on the camera screen. We stop for lunch at Thame in a small lodge set in the mountains. The weather starts to become cloudy so we decide to head back to Namche rather than continue on to Thame.  The clouds come in quickly covering the mountain tops, and our warm day becomes chilly. We walk for about a half hour enjoying the views from the other direction when the sun starts to reappear. By the time we near Namche, the sun is out, the tops of the mountain are again visible and the views continue to leave us in awe. We celebrate our journey with “milk tea” and cake at another bakery.