Leaving Namche Bazaar
We packed up our bags this morning after several comfortable nights in Namche and set out on the trail. The first fifteen minutes are always the hardest; climbing up and out of Namche’s steep and narrow streets don’t allow for much of a warm up and we were quickly pulling off of our warm jackets as we climbed into the morning sun. Once out of Namche’s bowl the trail quickly flattened out and we spent several hours traversing across the mountain sides high above the Dudh Kosi. The morning was clear again and we had wonderful views of Everest and Lhotse, still sailing their giant plumes of snow from their summits.
By midday we reached Phunki Tanga - known also as Funky Town - where we stopped for a pleasant lunch amongst the fir and rhododendrons. During lunch we encountered our first train of true yaks - the legendary shaggy work animals of the high Himalaya. They are noticeable larger than the yak/cow crossbreed used lower in the Valley and we all paused during our meal to admire them, colorfully decorated by their Sherpa herders with strings and even earings.
After lunch we set our sights upon our major climb of the day, gaining the several thousand feet from Phunki Tanga to Tengboche - a ridgetop community that is home to the largest Monastery in the area. The group climbed steadily and we made good time, quickly ticking off the many dusty switchbacks that led us to the top and before long we had crested the ridge and were standing in the open grounds in front of the large monastery. Clouds moved into the mountains by then and swirled amongst the peaks above us, obscuring the stunning panorama Tengboche is known for. After admiring the ornate architecture and colorful decorations of the Monastery we dropped down off of the other side of the ridge into the tiny village of Deboche, tucked amongst a large forest of rhododendron on the verge of blooming. Finding our teahouse amongst the trees, we settled in by mid afternoon to relax after a good day on the trail.
Tomorrow we will stay another night in Deboche, taking time to visit the Monastery of Tengboche and go for a small day hike above the area.
The team is in high spirits and doing well, sending their best to everyone at home.
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