Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar
Our trek to Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar is almost finished. Today we trek from Tengboche to Namche. I didn’t know it yet, but I was going to have a great time in Namche. I met two really nice Japanese women that loved board games. We started an awesome Connect Four tournament that involved the entire tea house. Looking back on the day, it was a good day. We saw some mountains and a vulture visited us near Thamserku. Kick back, relax, and enjoy the entertainment. If you have some serious Connect Four skills, hit me up in the comments!
Day 12: Tengboche to Namche
I ate another pizza for breakfast. However, this pizza did not taste nearly as good as the prior two. I do not know if it was because the chef was different or if I was not as hungry as I was the other day. The pizza was still good though. After breakfast we set out to Namche. The trail initially descends through a similar forest to the one that surrounds Deboche, but less dense and dominated by pines. Through clearings in the forest we could see the Dudh Kosi river, Kangtega, and Kongde Ri.
The forest was nice but it was in sharp contrast to the one I just came from. This section of forest was dryer and warmer. The trail through the forest had a lot of switch backs that decreased the gradient but it was still difficult to walk down. I kept reminding myself to go slow. Its sometimes difficult to not want immediate gratification. I took this as a challenge to be present and in the moment. Relief came when a few birds sang to us as we walked down.
At the bottom of the hill before crossing the Dudh Koshi river we checked in at the check point. The restaurant near the check point was very busy. It was at about this point where I crossed paths with a steady stream of trekkers. It was as if everyone was hanging out in Namche adding more dudes to their trekking party, then all in synchronized order departed individually to Tengboche. I met more people on this day than on all the days combined. Around 44 people in total.
Despite the constant greetings, the walk up to Namche was quite peaceful. The trail was steep though covered in shadows by a thick forest canopy. At one rest point along the trail I am almost sure I saw James from Australia who moved to Kenya. If you are reading this James from Australia who moved to Kenya, send me a hello. What a small world. You never know who you will meet in it.
A little further up the hill the forest cleared away to scrub brush, rocks, and grass. It is a southernly facing slope and as such is dryer than its northern facing counterparts. An eagle started circling around us and it reminded me of an old western movie then of my biology professor. He would say “look alive” any time a buzzard would fly overhead. This made me want to start walking faster. I was extremely tired though and didn’t have it in me to “look alive.”
Cinereous Vulture flying by Thamserku
When I got to Namche I was tired enough to ask for a pulse oximetry reading. I was rewarded with a reading of SpO2 of 94 and a heart rate of 83. Totally rad dude has the circulatory system of a professional athlete. No big deal. I decided to reward myself with a shave, haircut, and a hot shower. My shave and haircut together were $12. I definitely overpaid because that is more expensive than my barber. I should have asked for the price before I received the haircut.
We stayed in the same hotel in Namche as last time, Sherpa Village Hotel. I met a wonderful woman named Jaymay and her friend Ang. They convinced the hotel staff to let them take over the kitchen and make Chinese food for everyone. It was so delicious. I also had an intense Connect-4 battle with a Japanese trekking group. It turned into a tournament that got everyone involved. All those hours of practice finally paid off.