Today it’s back to the daily grind and therefore we’re up nice and early to start our long day of walking. The good thing about this is Josefine and I were able to get some great pictures of the sun rising behind the mountains.
One of the other reasons we were getting an early start was we were now on the crowded part of the trail and if we wanted to avoid large throngs of people, getting going first thing in the morning was a necessity.
As we were leaving Namche we picked up a hitchhiker in the form of an awesome Aussie named Jenny. She was trekking by herself and asked if she could join along for the day. Unfortunately we just couldn’t get rid of her after that and she ended up hiking with us all the way to base camp and back to Lukla (just kidding Jenny…love ya!).
Once we’d hiked our way up and out of Namche we were once again granted some spectacular views of Ama Dablam, Lhotse, and Everest which always gives us that little extra burst of energy.
The last time we saw Everest was about 5-6 days ago coming out of Junbessi and while it looked small and slightly unimpressive then, that was certainly no longer the case.
The first hour and a half or so was pretty flat and easy going with amazing views the entire way. Suddenly though we began to descend fairly quickly. And you know what that means. That meant we were in for one hell of un uphill battle. And what a battle it was.
We had about 600m to climb before we reached Tengboche and they were some steep and hard earned meters. Plus we were now at a higher altitude so exertion of any kind took a bit more effort.
But we took all we’d learned from the Jiri part of the trek and applied it – slow, steady, rhythmic steps and never go harder than slightly out of breath. It wasn’t easy (steep uphills never are) but our stamina was definitely increased thanks to our previous 9 days of hiking.
We finally reached Tengboche after about 2 hours of solid uphill, snapped some pictures infront of Everest and Lhotse, and beelined it to the Tengboche Cafe/Bakery.
We’d heard many great things about this place from trekkers along the way and they didn’t disappoint. Plus they probably have the best view of any bakery out there.
People were really starting to arrive in Tengboche at this point and most guest houses were already booked out by large tour groups who have guides to call ahead for them. A Canadian couple we’d met in Bupsa told us that if you continued downy the hill for about 20 minutes there were more guesthouses, so we went there instead.
During lunch clouds had rolled in (shocker) and the temperature dropped to about freezing. We all but ran downhill as fast was we could and ended up at Everest Rhododendron Guest House. After getting into more/warmer clothes we had a little siesta and warm food for dinner. Then it was a few hours of card games (not much else to do!).
When it was time for bed no one really wanted to leave the yak dung fire as it was the only source of warmth in the entire house. Back in our rooms it was so cold you could see your breath as you were lying in your sleeping bag. I had left my Kindle out on top of my sleeping bag during dinner, and when I went to use it that night it was slow to respond to everything and I had to sit on it for about 20 minutes to warm it up to get it functioning properly.
From now on we actually have to sleep with all our electronics in our sleeping bags because the cold will drain the battery overnight (and it costs $3-4 per hour to charge your stuff at this altitude).