Day 10: The long return

My heart will go on.. and the blessings….

On today’s journey we’d start our climb into the Tengboche Monastery and then continue the trek varying between steep downhill climbs to equally step ascents continuing throughout the day until reaching the town of Namche Bazaar.

As we all gathered for breakfast, we got the news that the Nepali speaking Nun from the old Monastery would make her way to meet Tucka and I for breakfast. It was really sweet to meet the very gentle woman who took the time to share with us the rebuilding work and how we could help. It’s a complex situation and she urged us to continue the conversations with other people who were overseeing the rebuilding effort in Kathmandu. It took a while to get her to share the immediate needs of monastery, though ultimately we convinced her and she graciously asked if we could donate jackets and blankets. Tucka and I would get them in Kathmandu and through our dear friend Pemba from the Khumbu Lodge in Namche, the warm winter clothing would make its way to them by mid next week. I offered her my warm down jacket and after a shy avoidance, she sweetly accepted it. Unexpectedly she gave me a sweet Nepali blessing scarf which will be one of my most precious gifts from this trip. She also gave each of our girls a very sweet and personal blessing.

 

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As the day got going, the weather opened up to us and was gorgeous. Coming down the long hill took little effort and in no time we hit the suspension bridge over the Imja Khola River. From there the “fun” began as we had to then ascend around the same height we were at the Tengboche Monastery. This long 2hr push was made extremely enjoyable due to Amy’s patient teaching of the lyrics of “My Heart will go On” to the girls. They were truly thrilled and after a little too many times, I was forced to pull out the portable speaker and start a dancing session with some classic hits. We all got too carried away with our trail dance party, even inviting German and Japanese trekkers to join – definitely a positive sign that reclaiming our oxygen was in full force.

The views of this area were beyond stunning. I was starting to have mixed feelings on leaving behind the Himalayas — sadness at leaving but excitement for my return this coming Spring. ‘m so grateful for the amazing opportunities that have come — and those that are yet to come — to our incredible group of Courageous Girls.

 

 

The Trail

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As we reached the tallest point in our climb, Maya picked a lunch spot with incredible views and a fantastic Nepali meal. We were quite exhausted but fortunately just had 90min trek back into Namche.

The landscape on this spot was beyond stunning. The dramatic cut of the mountains and surrounding landscape around us made the scenery so breathtakingly beautiful.

 

 

 

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By 3pm we hit clouds for the first time since we started the trek but more important was how the clouds were just at our altitude and that was quite cold.

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We arrived at the Namche Bazaar by 4pm and my new favorite spot here – Khumbu Lodge. The owner Pemba has been such a gregarious and generous person and he kindly offered to arrange the transportation to get the winter supplies for the Nuns in Debuche.

We got news that our return to Kathmandu was successfully moved to Friday, which will make us tomorrow depart Namche early and make the final and long trek to Lukla.

As we wrapped dinner, Petra – our out-of-this-world iRest teacher – surprised me with a very special gift, a beautiful necklace full of blessings and positive energy as she recalled the unbelievable journey we had all experienced. This was so unexpected and truly special, as having Petra on this trip made a huge difference for our girls. iRest truly provided them with the safety they needed during the times the trip got really hard.

After our dinner, I sat in on to nite’s iRest session and it was beyond adorable to capture all the girls in their meditation. Early evening for us as we had a long trekking day to Lukla.

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Treat of the night: Celebrating Thanksgiving in Lukla tomorrow and the closing evening of this incredible journey. Good Night!