Day 178: E.B.C. trek day 4, Namche Bazaar to Tengboche (3870m)
Tengboche Travel Blog› entry 217 of 260 › view all entries
Thanks to the people I met here and/or travelled with: Mark & Lindsay (Canada), Merijn & Karen (Netherlands), Marcus & Vera (Germany), Mitobe (Japan)
The next morning the whole valley was covered in a dense mist. I had been very lucky with the clear weather yesterday, people going up to the Everest View today would not be able to see any mountains.
The walk today was quite strenuous. It started with a 450 metre descend, down to a river crossing at only to ascend 700 metres to the village of Tengboche. The first part of the trek was very nice though, along the so-called Sherpa road, a local initiative that sees volunteers create a very smooth walkway along the mountainside. While most of the track had been in very good shape so far, it seemed a bit weird to have this piece of 'road' here, right in the middle of the mountains.
I had found during the walk to Namche that it helps to play some music on my MP3 player when walking. At times you really need to take your mind off the hardship of walking at altitude and play something which gives you energy, and I had just the album for the occasion: Devin Townsend's Addicted! album. If you ever want some high-energy metal, check this album out (warning, best not played in the car, as that may result in getting a speeding fine).
Tengboche is a small settlement, set around a Buddhist monastery, which is dramatically situated at the foot of Ama Dablam. Well, apparently, since the mist made it impossible to see anything.
I paid a visit to the monastery after lunch, just when the monks started their prayer. For some reason there were only three monks participating in the prayer, whereas there were at least 20 or 30 tourists visiting, so the balance was somewhat off. Yet it was relaxing to listen to their chanting and I even managed to meditate a little, only to be rudely awoken by a mobile phone that went off. Visitors to the monastery are kindly requested to switch off their phones, but obviously this doesn't apply to porters and guides. After this I figured it was probably best to leave the place and get back to the guest house and immerse myself in my books once more.
Of all the guesthouses I stayed at during this trek, the Tengboche Guesthouse is probably the best, despite its rather boring name and the fact that this was the only place that didn't provide blankets in the rooms (they assume all trekkers have sleeping bags anyway).
Not only is it a very cosy place, which was packed to the rafters, but the food was absolutely terrific. The best dish on the menu: a snickers pie! Sounds horrible, tasted wonderful. Basically it is Tibetan bread, baked with a Snickers bar inside (which, obviously, melts and gets all gooey and stuff).
There were many people staying here whom I had met before, like Mark and Lindsay and a Dutch couple, Merijn and Karen, whom I had met at a lunch stop earlier. I also met a very interesting Japanese man, Mitobe. Well in his sixties he was on his way to Everest Base Camp with his friend of the same age. I was impressed. I sure hope I will still be able to do that when I reach his age.