Exhausted

I really started to show my age on this leg. The official gap guide lists the trip from Namche Bazar to Tengboche as 5.5 mi long with a vertical gain of 1200 ft. Sounded easy enough. Since this was our fourth day on the trail, I thought my stamina might be increasing. Not! How bad did I feel this day? Here is an indicator. I only took 25 pictures. Typically I took about 150 per day.

A restless night’s sleep on Wednesday night led to Thursday morning in Namche Bazar. The skies were clear and the temperature was below freezing. The outside sink was frozen. I had scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast. I am pretty sure those eggs were hormone/steroid/antibiotic free.

The trail to Tengboche begins by turning right as we pass the Hotel Camp de Base’s gate and heading up the stone steps up and out of Namche Bazar. How many times did we traverse that staircase (Fellow travelers feel free to chime in here.)?

The rhododendron forest was nice. The blooms were just beginning and the overhanging branches protected us from the sun. Soon we emerged onto an open trail that would take us most of the way to lunch. Our first chorten came into view about 2 hours after leaving Namche Bazar. Sometimes these structures are referred to as sutppas and other times as chortens. A description of the terms can be found here.

Stuppa / Chorten

We rested briefly in Kengjuma at the Hotel Amadablam (on the return journey we would overnight here). There was an outdoor patio with a spectacular view. Tengboche is at the top of the ridge across the valley. It is a little hard to see in the picture below but the switchbacks leading to Tengboche are clearly visible in the larger version of the picture in the Gallery.

View of switchbacks leading to Tengboche

Tengboche is at the top of those switchbacks. If you are planning an Everest Base Camp trek, you should know there are 23 switchbacks.

The picture is deceiving. I think the picture makes it seems like we are at a higher elevation in Kengjuma that we will be at the end of the day when we arrive in Tengboche. Doesn’t the ridge across the valley look lower than where this picture was taken? It is not. Kengjuma is 3660 m and Tengboche is 3810 m. One thing that isn’t an optical illusion is the river which is clearly visible in the valley below. To get to Tengboche we first had to descend to that valley (1250 ft. down) before we could begin the climb (1800 ft.) to Tengboche. This is why I was so tired on this day.

We had lunch in Phungi Tenga. There was a terrace by the river. But the alfresco dining proved to be too windy. We were moved inside. I can recommend the chicken noodle soup. And of course, the Mars bars were always good, expensive but good.

Lunch at Punghi Tenga

The costs of food stuffs increased in parallel with our elevation. I think Mars bars were $ 5 US in Gorek Shep. Considereing how they were transported, it is understandable why.

Dokyo train

I have been complaining of how tired I was. But 6 members of our party of 14 had either, the flu, intestinal bug or mild AMS or all of the above at this point. I didn’t. Really, I’m just whining. They were awesome!

Tomorrow we travel from Tengboche to Dingboche where we have another acclimatization day. Oh joy!

Tengboche gompa


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