November 09, 2006 - Much to our delight, we continued to walk facing mountains...

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Much to our delight, we continued to walk facing mountains on our way to Lukla. In just 10 days, the fields in the valley were greener with newly planted winter wheat. We stopped for tea at a restaurant that had views of the mountains on all sides. The lower altitude (about 2000 ft/640 meters) and the fact we were now comfortable, hopping from rock to rock, allowed us to walk a little faster. It took us only a half hour longer than the average 3 hour time to walk from Phakding to Lukla.

The highlight of the day for me (Marsha) was a visit to the home of a cousin of Kami. Kami had been asked to photograph two of their children and invited us along. I went and was invited to sit in the kitchen, where most of the activity happens. A wood stove had several pots boiling on it and there were about 10 people working and drinking tea in the room. As soon as we entered, we were served “milk tea” and soon after a huge plate of handmade momos (similar to Chinese dumplings) were placed in front of us. We tried to chat, with Kami doing some translating, with his cousin’s wife. His cousin actually spoke English quite well and the young children also knew some English. We are continually astounded at how much
English is used throughout the country.
Returning to our room at the lodge, Jack reported on a walk he had taken with some lovely views. We walked up the hill overlooking Lukla just as the sun was beginning to set. Jack took some photographs and just after the perfect sunset photo the camera announced that the battery was now finished. It felt symbolic of the good fortune we’ve had throughout this trip, that Jack was able to take the last photo he wanted.