Day 6: Namche to Tengboche – 12,660 feet

Woke to snow overnight and kept snowing until about 8:30am. Hadn’t expected that at this “lower elevation”. Waited until it stopped, mainly to enable us and the porter to have good footing for what proved to be big ups and downs. A bit depressing to have ANY downs because in a few days more we will be at our highest, the first of three passes, this one named Kongma La at 18,159.

Today was clear for a few hours this morning, but low clouds rolled in late morning and couldn’t see the monstrous mountains surrounding us. Did observe helicopters coming and going up and down the valley, probably every 15 minutes. Sadly majority are wealthy tourists who chose to “experience” the Himalaya this way, or some who hiked to basecamp and were too tired to walk out. But still others were involved in emergency evacs. So far we continue to feel strong with no stomach upset, but we have the meds if we do. I confess that I am starting to tire of the nearly identical breakfast/lunch/dinner menus – mostly starch and little or no meat (reminder – animals we tend to eat in the states such as beef are sacred here). But I did have some very good French toast this morning. I suspect I won’t be eating rice or having curry for a while when I return to the states.

Arrived Temboche (climb of 1,380 vertical feet) and home of another famous Sherpa, Dawn Tenzing, a chief logistics Sherpa on many expeditions to Everest including the 1953 first summit. His grandson runs the tea house where we are staying. Out our window are two unusual sights. First, the Buddhist Monastery. As we were changing into dry clothes, we realized they had a birds eye view into our room. I hope we didn’t disturb their meditation 😊. Out the other window was a group of about two dozen Nepalese military Gurkhas complete with full camo and rifles slung at the ready. Gurkhas, if you know your history, are one of the most famous forces in the world and historically struck great fear in their enemies with their signature knives. While touring the historic monastery, they were there too. We introduced ourselves and their lieutenant warmly welcomed us to take a picture with them. Since they were on a secret mission of some sort, he asked us not to post to social media so we will honor that. As we parted, he said if we had any need of evac, to call him. They apparently are first responders to emergencies. Not planning to call…

Dipping quite cold this evening and many hovered around stove that seems to put out little heat. Tomorrow I will relay how the sleep was in unheated rooms. Just praying to make it through the night w/o need for the communal bathroom…

PS – Finally able to post pics with sufficient internet.

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