Altitude: 3970 meters
Weather: The same pattern of being fine in the morning, then cloudy in the afternoon.
A warm hello to our family, friends, and online community from Julia. For those of you who don’t know me, I am second year at Uni, just turned 21 and live in the US of A, in Florida. I haven’t really done any trekking at altitude, actually not really much trekking at sea level either. Tim, Paul’s Brother, is my brother-in-law. He is married to my sister Inna (Hey Guys). I came here to kind of get outside my bubble – a little inspiration from spending last semester in Australia and a few talks I had with Fiona and Paul.
One night in Tengboche
7am was wakey wakey for us today and then we had breakfast at 8. Fried Eggs, Toast, and Ginger Tea for me while everyone else had either muesli or porridge. We spent about an hour for breakfast, reading all your messages which were reallly nice. Thanks for them. In fact, I reckon some Russians at a table nearby enjoyed them too, while Marg read them all out loud.
We left the town of Tengboche around 9 to start our trek. Cas and Liz said to say that we walked through diverse, enchanted Rhododendron forests. But it seemed like normal trees for me. Being surrounded by trees was quite a change of scenery though; before, we were up high with views of the surrounding mountains, rivers, and big hills.
If I walked too slowly, the others started pretending that I was a Yak, hitting me with their trekking poles and making the noises the porters make to make their Yaks go. Ironically enough, with the lack of showers, my hair has actually begun to smell like Yak! We went a bit uphill and the trek went pretty well, so well that after just 15 minutes of trekking, we took a good 45 minute break in Deboche.
We stopped to get some precautionary medicines from a sweet little Sherpa health worker named Ang Kanchi. A thank you for Paul Deegan for the reference. We drank some more water as well. Ang Kanchi recommened 4 liters a day. Tonight we will play drinking games with water.
Another half hour later and we arrive at a nunnery in guidance of our guide, Ang Nima. We take our shoes off before walking in, take a few photos, and donate some money. Ang Nima then brings us to a simple stone hut where an 85 year old Nun has lived in for over 20 years by herself. She is a highly respected Nun, known as the Anichenchenpa [head nun]. For over 20 years, she hasn’t left her little hut, not even stepped outside. People bring her food, wash her clothes, clean her hut, while she devotes her whole life and most of her time to meditation, attempting to achieve enlightment for the benefit of humankind. We also learned from our guide that she previously spent 14 years in a cave in Tibet practicing meditation before locating in Deboche.
The nun gives us these red little seeds of some sort, claiming they are natural medicines. We eat them and take pictures. She then ties thin red strings around our necks one by one for good luck. We are told by our guide we should leave them on for a month; six hours later, we’re still wearing them. Hopefully, they’ll last until basecamp.
We continue trekking, passing just the most amazing scenery. Despite the tiredness we feel, just to stop and look around makes it all worth it. Passing by the local villages, and seeing their not-so-western conditions, makes us appreciate their lifestyle because of the scenery they wake up to every morning. The mountains; there is just something about them that makes us stop thinking about everything and only think about them. During our trek, we got a few glimpses of Ama Dablam, Lhotse, Themserku, Khentdita, and even small Everest views. Best of luck to our dear Paul. We were happy to hear that he made Camp 1 within 4 hours today (while it took us the same time to gain 100 meters).
Arriving in Pengboche
We arrive at our lodge in Pengboche.
All these names of the villages sound so similar yet they are all quite unique in their own way. The lodge we are staying in is quite nice, typical of the other lodges. Two per room, with a big open window in each room, this one even provides us with a view of Ama Dablam.
During the day some people took advantage of the shower facilities (a bucket with some water). Other people, like Beck and I, sat around talking about how we should be taking advantage of the shower facilities. We did share some interesting pastimes though and got in a few hours of rest for our big day tomorrow. We are at 3970 meters now, and gaining 400 more meters tomorrow.
We then had lunch. Cas tasted this lodge’s Dahl Baht. I had Spaghetti. Everyone else ordered Soup…Vegetable Egg Drop, Vegetable Tomato, and Vegetable Noodle. Let me add, the ordering process for the food takes probably a lot longer than the time it takes the cooks to prepare it! Let me also add that the menu is almost identical in every lodge, yet we still make it a point to discuss every option. As Cas would refer to our journey, ”It’s food with trekking on the side”.
So after lunch I phoned my ”mum” – a nice 20 minute conversation, which I later learned was $1.30 a minute.
After the phone conversation, we sat around talking… about interesting topics actually. We moved from why my phone conversation took so long, to more food cravings that we miss, to how much we all love Borat, to politics (Bush, Uranium in Iran etc…) to how our various countries set up their governments, to ordering dinner.
Then dinner came, a favorite thing to take up time. Dahl Baht, Boiled Potatos, Tibetan Bread, Sherpa Stew, Fried Potato with Vegetable Egg (”Egg always come with two eggs”) , and Rice Pudding for dessert. We call this a big bikini.
And now the day is about done. We will probably play some more card games and have a few more conversations about what we’re ordering for breakfast. Beck and I will get our hot water bottles filled, Marg will collect her washing from the line, Fiona will try to charge this thing, Denise and Liz will read for a bit, and Cas will try to fall asleep with a singing cook above his room. Cheers.
Responses to Messages
Julie-A — Hey Girl! Thanks so much for the message. I was so happy to hear from you this morning. Everyone made fun of the names we created, yet I still think they’re quite clever. I miss you so much and I hope your time in Israel has been a very good experience. Can’t wait to see you this summer, assuming you will come back 🙂 Paka Krasavetzsa
Mom and Dad- It’s been six hours since I spoke to you. Still missing you two 🙂
J and M – I’m glad the golf balls are doing their justice. I am having a good time and hope to hear from you when I get back 🙂
Hi Cath E,
Thanks for your message. The weekend in June sounds fine. Having a great time and loads to share when I get back. Denise
Hi Casey, thanks for the well wishes. It is still onwards & upwards, but hanging in there! Am missing my morning coffee! Denise.
Thanks for the Chelsea update. Quite upsetting to lose at the same stage 3 times to the same team. Luca surprisingly the views of Everest aren’t that great when you are trekking in from Nepal, as you can only see the very top of it. But never the less the views are fabulous. Miss you all lots and lots.
Hi Rozzie & David,
Great to hear from you. You would feel quite at home here. We have walked through days and days of potato crops (planted but not emerging yet). They are very tasty ones but I don’t know what sort.
Carta, Steve & Co,
Just getting a few ideas for the Camden Rd Christmas Party!
Gav & Chimplings,
Thanks for your messages. We are heading off to bed so that Fiona can send this off tonight. love Liz xxx
Hi Lou, sounds like you are on the right track with my credit card stuff. Thanks for helping me out with it. Beck