The View From the Afternoon

Tengboche Travel Blog

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A stupa and prayer flags at Tengboche, mountains in the background including Ama Dablam (far right).

Rejoice and maketh ye merry - I can eat! Praise little baby Jesus, the three wise men, the lowing cattle, Mary, Joseph and even the donkey. I get through a whole bowl of steaming porridge, its oaty goodness filling my belly with wonderful energy that’ll hopefully drive me on to Namche Bazaar by the end of the day.


I set off with the sun, pre nine o’clock the valley is freezing, but as soon as the sun appears above the lip of the valley, life can continue. I’ve never been in a place so reliant on the sun’s warmth. Being here has led me to an understanding as to why ancient peoples worshipped the sun as a god.

One of the huge prayer wheels at the Tengboche monastery.
Without it, there is nothing.


I pass an English lady called Angie on the path back to Tengboche. She is almost fifty and had knee surgery a little earlier in the year. Walking with one of the numerous tour companies that organizes trips to Base Camp, she also made it as far as Dughla, before being struck with altitude sickness, as bad if not worse than I had it.


Whilst I had been slumped in one corner of the Dughla lodge, she had been lying supine, covered in blankets on a bench opposite. The tour company has allocated a guide and a porter to help her back down.


At first I decide to move on ahead of Angie, walking fast towards Tengboche. After what happened yesterday, I want to put in as many miles as possible whilst I’m still feeling good.

The view down the valley from Tengboche. Lhotse and Everest are at the back, Ama Dablam on the right. Oh and there are some horses too - hurrah!
Whilst I’m having lunch at Tengboche, though, she catches up and we agree to walk together through the afternoon to Namche Bazaar.


Tengboche is a gorgeous place; probably my favourite on the Everest route. A small village at the top of a hill with superbly sculpted mountains looming to catch the eye in all directions. There are quite a few lodges and a large Buddhist temple. Two enormous prayer wheels flank the entrance to the temple grounds.


Young monks, clad in deep red robes for uniformity and North Face Fleece jackets for warmth, spin the wheels at regular intervals. As the wheels turn, they set carefully positioned bells ringing through the quiet air of the village.


Horses and cows wander the open ground at the centre of the village, cropping the grass where frost hasn’t rendered it too icy.

A cow competes with the local murder of crows to scoff as much veg slop as possible.
Meanwhile, there’s an unrestricted view down the mountain-lined valley towards Everest. There is no rush here; the lodge staff are warm, friendly – the Nepalese norm.


Tengboche embodies a palpable sense of peace. I’m an atheist, but it is this kind of place that makes me appreciate those who practice Buddhism as I do no other religion. There is no pretension here this afternoon, no pomp and only a little ceremony.


I feel a whole lot better, as if I've almost recovered from "The Worst Hangover in the World Ever..." TM. As Angie and I eat lunch, enjoying the view down the valley, we’re free to enjoy the mountains, the sun, the afternoon bells and a sense of wonder. For the first time in a few days, it's nice just to be in the Himalayas.


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A stupa and prayer flags at Tengbo…
A stupa and prayer flags at Tengb…
One of the huge prayer wheels at t…
One of the huge prayer wheels at …
The view down the valley from Teng…
The view down the valley from Ten…
A cow competes with the local murd…
A cow competes with the local mur…
A tourist chopper. And the sun as …
A tourist chopper. And the sun as…
The Tengboche monastery gate.
The Tengboche monastery gate.
Tengboche
photo by: Biedjee