Distance Traveled for the Day – Est Steps: 13,872 Distance: 10.4km
Tengboche Monastery (elev. 3860m} Oxygen Content -12.9% / 21%
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.