We woke up to another spectacular morning and the view from our room as the sun rose of the mountains was breathtaking.
For those that haven’t trekked before let me clear something up that was a big misunderstanding in our group. Acclimatization day is not a rest day, it is something completely different. So don’t think that after the huge climb of getting into Namche Bazaar that you’ll spend today lazing around the lodge or shopping amongst the many local stores.
An acclimatization day is used to get your body used to the lower oxygen content in the air. The practice is often to hike to a higher area then return to the lower altitude. Today we hiked up to the Sherpa Culture Museum. This was a straight forward hike up the hill however is fairly steep. There was a bit of a miscommunication between our sherpa guide and several of the group. A few of us put thermals on for the trek up the hill and once the sun starting warming the trail the temperature quickly rose. This forced a quick wardrobe change and all was good again with the world.
The plateau where the museum is built again offers some great views of the Himalayas as well Namche Bazaar now sitting well below us.
The Sherpa Cultural Museum is worth the look with many artifacts as well as detailed information on the flora and fauna of the region.
There are also some local huts on the plateau built in the traditional Napalese way.
After sometime on the in the museum we head back down towards Namche for lunch and to spend the rest of the afternoon browsing around the many stores, bars and maybe get a well deserved massage. The locals as well as returning trekkers in the bars are really friendly and happy to talk and pas on tips for the trek ahead as well as customs in the area.
The experience of using toilets in Nepal is always interesting and seems to always be a topic of conversation with the various members of all the groups you encounter. The locals also have some issues with the toilets and we saw numerous signs around to help people and encourage those with difficulties. Below are some of them we saw in Namche Bazaar.
As we leave Namche in the morning, there is the now familiar sight of porters packing the luggage from the yaks.
The trails in as we leave Namche and head further into the mountains the trails become consistently narrower and less “paved”. It’s also hard to get the depth perspective in the photos but the inclines are steep compared to what we are used to so it is important especially with the lower oxygen content in the air that you pace yourself and go “steady, steady” or as the locals say “bistari, bistari”
The effort of keeping the trail maintained is mostly done privately with one of the now elderly founders of the efforts collecting money along the trail. He has been working on this project since 1984 and now raises money for the efforts and along the trail you may see some of workers improving or repairing the trail.
The signs below outline the efforts of Pasang Sherpa to make the trails better for all the tourists in the area.
Saving some of the hikes up and down the hills are the long suspension bridges that span across the deep valleys. They kept assuring me that they are sturdy and well maintained. However I made the trip across them as short as a could each time.
You start to see now the trees thinning and crossing the distinct tree line. The picture below shows how expansive and massive this region is, put in perspective the village that is nestled in one of the plateaus on the mountain ranges.
Stupas dedicated to Buddha are built with the four sets of eyes in key vantage points in the mountains. The four sets of eyes, one on each side of the square signify the all seeing Buddha.
Just thought I’d throw in another great view.
The last bit of the climb into Tengboche Monastery is fairly steep but not as long or arduous as previous days. Tengboche Monastery is one of the larger monasteries that we saw on the trek. All of which seemed to be nestled on the top of large peaks.
As a rough rule of thumb the temperature falls about 1 degree Celsius for every 150 metres you ascend. This become more and more apparent as you start to notice the large difference in temperatures at night. It is quite remarkable once the sun either goes behind or come out from the mountains that tower you from every side the difference in temperature also.
The inside of the monastery is beautifully decorated. As with all of the monasteries there is no flash photography or filming allowed. During ceremonies they also do not allow any photography as some places. Please respect there wishes and it is always best to ask first, even then there can be differences of opinion of language barriers that cause confusion as I found out.
Very detailed beautiful paintings cover the walls of the monastery.
Prayer wheels are very common at the first stages of the trek and nearly non existent at the latter stages and higher in the mountains. However early on there are multiple prayer wheels to be found. You must pass to the left and they must be spun clockwise for luck.
The Tengboche area itself not only houses the monastery but also a few lodges as well as a couple of local stores. They also use solar to heat some of the pots throughout the day. This use of solar cooking becomes more and more common as you head across the higher part of the mountains.
There are multiple tributes made of prayers stones throughout the village.
WiFi and communications as you go up the mountain or even as you leave (or in) Kathmandu can be dodgy at best. Although WiFi is advertised everywhere even though you can connect to their WiFi it doesn’t mean there is access to the internet. Even if you do get access once several people connect the speed slows to an unbearable speed and is very weather dependent.
For the techies out there…. Most of the installations are line of site installations with long distances between each station. So any variation in weather immediately impacts speeds. Some of the stations looked a little worse for wear and used for other activities such as hanging prayer flags and the such.
This was one of the easiest days so far and started with going downhill on a fairly wide path with well established trees covering the path.
Along the way some of the Yows decide that it is more import that they have something to eat then get the luggage to the next lodge. They can take their time as they’ll be sure to pass us again on the next long climb uphill.
One of the thing I enjoyed through the trip were the various signs that were posted around the place that were understated, simple or just not what we would deem politically correct. Here is one just as you leave Tengboche pointing out where the nuns live.
There are constant reminders of the force of mother nature through out the mountains and valleys, although the time we were there the weather could bot have been more perfect. One of the bridges built on the trail has been washed out the season before.
A temporary bridge had been built to make the crossing easier.
As you hike towards Dingboche you start to get more of an idea of the vast expanses and the altitude that you are now at. With large valleys and winding streams now far below the trails and even more spectacular view around each corner.
Farmlands continue to dot the trail with beautiful stone fences dividing each of the paddocks
There are some wide open areas that offer relief for the tired hiker with fairly flat and even ground, still providing magnificent views and breathtaking landscapes.