Day 4: Namche Bazaar to Thyangboche

This day took us into the beginning of the Himalayas and in the same area as the famous Tengboche monastery, which is the highest monastery in the world. The hike encompassed 7 to 8 hours, as we descended for lunch into the Dudh Kosi River and then a long final push climbing back into Thyangboche.

We left NamIMG_5632che Bazaar at 7:30am and were greeted with a tricky hill to get out of Namche. We were surprised and heartened to see all the little children that kept shouting “Namaste” on our route.

Once we got out of Namche, the route then became quite long and windy around the various hills we crossed through. We kept following route, hill after hill, until the Himalayas popped in front of us. Truly powerful. This was the same visual that completely changed me 10 years ago. The grandiose sight and their imposing shape reminded us we are just mere visitors walking their majestic path. We all got carried away taking various shots of the scenery.

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We then proceeded to descend to our lunch place, a fun descent that became quite exciting with the traffic of yaks and other trekkers coming up. Our lunch was a beautiful restaurant next to the Dudh River with a gorgeous view of a hanging bridge in front of us. By now we have gotten accustomed to our Nepali rice (lentils – daal and rice) with savory panfried potatoes. Quite heavy on the calories, but necessity as we had a really long uphill climb to our next destination: Thyangboche.

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The road was quite long with a lot of switchbacks in very dusty terrain, though the surrounding views made the never-ending climb worth it. Given that I’ll soon be heading to climb Vinson Massif in Antartica, my 6th Mountain on the quest of the 7 summits, I’m in the middle of my training and carrying more weight than anyone else in the journey. The 32 lbs of training gear did take its toll on my energy, but it’s absolutely worth it.

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After climbing for over 1000 ft, we reached our beautiful destination. The monastery was absolutely stunning. Though we arrived as they were closing and had limited time praying inside, I was able to make a special offering at the Buddhist altar – something I had never experienced.  It was truly special to see many of the girls were able to have their own private moments. We managed to get a picture with the monk who had been kind to leave the monastery open for us.

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We then hiked about 15 minutes down to our hotel. We arrived close to 5:00 pm, just as the sun was setting and it was getting cold. We were quite exhausted from that long hill, but our accommodations had the perfect combination of electric blankets and hot showers. After dinner, we headed to bed, since our next day would be a long one.

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Our treat for the night: One of the most beautiful open skies I’ve ever seen. Shailee, Prashanthi, Sarala and I decided to brave the cold and, with all of our warm gear plus a blanket, sat outside in awe of a gorgeous evening with stars and mountains around us. I wished I’d been able to capture the stunning landscape. I even spotted a shooting star – one of my dreams 10 years ago on this trek was to witness shooting stars. I never managed to see one, but felt quite blessed by this gift from the mountains this time.