The day started, as always with a fairly early breakfast. The walking was a steep climb out of Namche followed by a fairly flat and very dusty trail that followed the contours of the mountains before dropping down to the river. The trail is rocky and very dusty, care is required to make sure that you don’t slip. There are frequent yak trains and today was, by far, the busiest day yet on the trails for other walkers. As we descended towards the river for lunch, we were passed by a herd of yaks, including one new born calf.
A bit further on, shortly before lunch, we came across a steel rope bridge, which the yaks were in the process of crossing. However, the calf had wandered off, as children are apt to do, and mummy yak was not happy. There was a multiple yak pile-up on the rope bridge whilst the herder went to find the calf and bring it to the mother. The gymnastics/death defying stunts that were involved to get past the other yaks, stuck on the bridge, all whilst carrying the calf, were amazing. Soon enough they were reunited and the yak jam cleared, allowing us to pass and reach our lunch break.
During lunch, which we had unusually decided to eat inside, a helicopter flew down the valley and landed directly next door, before taking off again after about 2 minutes. Remember the dust I mentioned earlier? The people sat outside certainly did!
After lunch we set off up a steep climb that would take us nearly 2 hours to climb. Unfortunately, we were stuck behind the yak train once again and they were going everywhere. The result was that the climb became really quite leisurely, with lots of time to chat to fellow travellers on the trail.
After quite some time, and after inhaling about a kilo of dust, despite using a buff as a dust mask, we reached Tengboche and our bed for the night. Tengboche is a very small settlement, built around a monastery. There’s not a lot here, but the food at the tea house is great and there’s a local bakery where you can purchase a number of really very delicious cakes.
The monastery is open to visitors, but there are some restrictions. No shoes, cameras or video. It’s a shame, but you’ll have to take my word for it, the inside of the monastery is beautiful.
Afterwards I decided to take a quick walk up the mountain side, following a path past a few shrines. Turning back towards the settlement gives a breathtaking view, well worth the extra effort.