Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar Day 4
“That’s the tallest mountain in the world? It doesn’t look that big!” My pride sank to mush as I was showing my pictures to a friend. Friends can be humbling at times. At other times they can be uplifting and supportive. If anyone is reading this, I would like to be the latter type of friend to you and offer you a promotional discount for the Everest Base Camp Trek. Send me an email with the subject “Friends let friends hike to Everest Base Camp” or post a comment on the blog with your favorite line from Your Catfish Friend by Richard Brautigan.
If you want to catch up on days 1, 2, and 3, you can access them by following the links. With that being said, welcome to my blog! I hope you enjoy reading it. You are welcome to copy any of my images as long as you give Upper Himalayan Treks and Adventure the credit and link back to my website https://mynepaltrek.com/product/everest-base-camp-trek/. Safe travels and happy explorations!
Day 4: Namche to Tengboche
My guide told me, when we were at Everest View Point, “That is Tengboche. We are going there tomorrow.” I believe, my reply was “Is it a difficult hike?” To be perfectly honest, it looked easy. We started hiking around 8:00 from the Sherpa Village Hotel. About 15 to 20 minutes into the hike we were outside Namche and had excellent views of the mountains. We could see Thamserku, Ama Dablam, Lhotse, Everest, Nuptse, and Tabuche in front of us, Kongde behind us, and Dudh Koshi river below us.
The first half of the trek we were descending on a nice evenly graded trail with a very gradual slope. It was an extremely enjoyable experience especially while looking at the mountains the whole time. I tried to walk as slow as I could. I wanted to enjoy the experience for as long as possible while not falling into the ravine below. Rhododendron trees surround the trail at lower elevations. These forested areas are feel enchanted and are a joy to walk through.
Gradually, Thamserku became the dominating mountain on the sky line. Despite my efforts of a slow pace, we made it to Phunke Tenga relatively fast and enjoyed a lunch. Phunke Tenga is at an elevation of 10,663 ft and rests right on the Dudh Koshi River. Beginning in this area Kangtega begins to appear behind Thamserku. In full view, I really enjoyed trekking next to Kangtega. To me, it looks Maneki-Neko waving cat. Though I am a dog person I did enjoy the company.
After lunch we checked in with the guard watching over the trail. He seemed like a very board and angry person who fidgeted a lot. I wonder if he likes cats. I know of a mountain that can cheer him up. As a side note, a lot of Nepali people do not like animals, and you can often see little kids throwing rocks at dogs or hitting them with sticks. I try to discourage this behavior whenever I see it. Please do the same by pointing a finger at the person and saying “na-garnus!” It means “please don’t!”
The trail guard thoroughly reviewed the permits and gave us a grunt to continue. It sounded like a nasally huh, which is a noise someone would make if they are being poked and it made me laugh. I quickly turned around and started walking. Laughing in inappropriate situations has gotten me into trouble before, and I didn’t feel like explaining myself. The forest along the trail quickly covered me and I felt safe from the guard.
The forest was beautiful and peaceful. Strategic openings allowed for views of the Phungi Khola, a tributary of the Dudh Koshi, and views of Kangtega the cat mountain. As we climbed higher the forest began to thin and we received striking views of Kangtega. The trail was a series of switch backs that meandered in and out of the forest. At times I was torn between wanting to see more of the mountains and trekking through the forest.
We completed the 2,000 ft climb from Phunke Tenga to Tengboche at around 3:00. After 7 hours of hiking, I was ready to call it a day. Then I saw the temple that is north west of Hotel Himalayan, then the mountains and I had to take pictures, and go exploring. The temple is quite pretty. It was uninhabited when I was there, but it was open for people to look in. I explored the courtyard and wondered around the perimeter. There was a puppy in the back happily receiving pets from a trekker.
From the north side of the hotel, and from the grounds of the monastery you can see Tabuche, Nuptse, Mt. Everest, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam. On the south side of the hotel you can see Kangtega, and Kongde. There are a lot of fantastic mountain views from the third floor of the hotel as well. The sunsets are also pretty fantastic as the failing light makes Mt. Everest and Lhotse glow red orange. Behind the monastery you can see Khumbi Yul Lha, Kapsale, and Phuletate.
If you can book far enough ahead, you can have a million-dollar view from the third floor of the hotel. The million-dollar views, however, do not extend into the room. The rooms are pretty standard and exactly the same as the other rooms mentioned so far. There are 2 single beds in about 100 square feet of area. There are no power outlets in the room but you can recharge a full battery for $3. The walls are thin and once again you can hear everything your neighbor does.
Bathrooms are down the hall with the toilet and sink in separate rooms. The toilets are western style flush toilets, but you have to add your own water (pour water in the toilet). The sink also does not have running water, which makes it a little difficult to wash your hands but its manageable. The kitchen provides steamed hand towels to clean your hands with before meals. The bed sheets were clean and smelled fresh but were a little stained along with the pillows.
There is a very friendly and inviting atmosphere at Hotel Himalayan in Tengboche. The hotel is made out of wood and feels right. The dining room doubles as a common room and all the travelers get together after meals to talk about their trek, and to tell stories of past experiences. During the busy season, when there are no vacancies, the common room is used to house the guides, porters, and trekkers in a dormitory style of lodging.
Your trekking company, if you choose to use one (Upper-Himalayan Treks and Adventure), can reserve a room for you so that you are not stuck in the common room. But if you decide to go at it alone and wind up in the common room, the positive side is, you are close to really delicious food. The kitchen serves very good food. The hotel restaurant makes one of the best pizzas I have tried in Nepal. That is saying a lot. Their prices for menu items are also very reasonable.