Visit to Lama Geshe
We awoke to an amazingly clear morning with the surrounding peaks dusted in a fresh coat of white from yesterday afternoon’s snowfall. We hit the trail early, weaving our way out of Deboche’s rhododendron forests, across a soaring bridge high above the Dudh Kosi, and then gradually climbing up the western side of the valley, soaking in the morning sun. Taking a side tour from the main route, we climbed up past several rows of mani stones to the village of Upper Pangboche. There we visited Lama Geshe, a well known and respected spiritual leader of the area. After paying our respects to him he proceeded to lead our small climbing team through a blessing ceremony, requesting safe passage from Chomolungma, the goddess of Everest and the Khumbu area, for our trek and climb ahead. Amidst chanting, throwing of rice, the burning of incense, and many hearfelt laughs, Lama Geshe gave a letter to each of us to carry with us on our climb, draped a kata scarf over our heads, and tied a small red string around our necks. A very geniune and happy person, it is difficult to leave the presence of Lama Geshe not feeling calmed, refreshed, and excited about the adventures ahead.
After saying goodbye, we continued out of the small cluster of buildings of Pangboche, gradually ascending higher up the valley, past more mani stones, chortens, and a beautiful mural of Guru Rinpoche, the Buddhist lama credited with bringing Buddhism to the area, painted onto a cliff face. The team is clearly acclimatizing well and walking strongly because we arrived at our destination - the small village of Pheriche - by midday, even with our long stopover at Lama Geshes.
We have spent the afternoon relaxing in the comfortable dining room of our teahouse, chatting with fellow trekkers and the doctors of the nearby Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) Clinic, and getting comfortable in the thin air of 14,000’.
We will stay another day in Pheriche tomorrow, going for a day hike above the valley and continuing to prepare our bodies for higher altitudes. We will check-in tomorrow when we return.
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