November 04, 2006 - The trail to Phortse began gently with wonderful views...

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It took us a while to leave Khumjung this morning because Jack and Kami found many opportunities for photographs. There were good views of Ama Dablam and the surrounding mountains. The trail to Phortse began gently with wonderful views of different mountain groups on all sides. As the trail inclined upward, we were startled, yet again, to find out how slowly we needed to walk to manage the altitude. We were now comfortable sharing the narrow trails with yaks and porters carrying enormous loads. So comfortable in fact that Marsha was walking on loose rock and looking at the views. She made a misstep which could have led to a bit of a fall had it not been for the quick reactions of Kami.

Suddenly we were walking in clouds and the distant views disappeared. Instead we focused on closer natural beauty: the curves of the spruce and pine trees, the raging river below us, hanging green moss that looked like long strands of cotton candy and a large colorful bird that must be a relative of the peacock. The trail continued uphill and we tired. The porter, Dendi, arrived having been to Phortse with our gear and returned to help us carry our backpacks which weighed less than 10 kilos/22 lbs. We arrived at our lodge with it’s unheated bedrooms. The heated common/dining room was filled with fellow travelers from France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, and Thailand, all of us enjoying the hospitality of the Nepali’s.