Day Six: Namche Bazar to Tengboche (12,660′)

Let’s talk about dung, shall we? Just for a moment. So dung is everywhere. Cow dung, yak dung, dog dung, weird.mountain goat thing dung…

But this dung…a lot of this dung is gorgeous. I mean those on those cupcake shows got nothin on the beauty of what comes out of these mountain tushies. Just sayin. But no, i wont post pics of doodie.

So…today started at 4 am with an early rise (ya think?). We looked out the window and it had snowed! We went up to the dining hall after dressing for.the 25 degree weather and it started to snow again. By the way, the weather report continued to show “sunny and clear.” We looked at our guide and said, “This can’t be good,” hoping he would say, “We’ll be just fine,” and allay my anxieties. Instead, he said, “Nope. Not good.”

We had breakfast with Anthony McClaren, our new friend who is climbing Everest, waiting for the snowstorm to slow so the porter could leave with our bags. We were all a little nervous, as snow that low meant way more snow up high. When I say all, I mean me. An hour later, we were good to go.

Long day. Starting with four hours of steps both up and down,we stopped for lunch (I could not possibly eat this food again so I stuck with my gorp and some dried mango, all of which I forced myself to eat). I got to play with a baby (yeah!) And after a lone yak crossed the suspension bridge solo like he was out for an afternoon stroll, we were good to go.

The afternoon was two hours of steep uphill switchbacks. Very slow going. VERY slow going. I was so grateful when we finally arrived at the tea house.

After getting to our tiny spartan room down the hall and six stairs away from the toilet, I had to rest. The last hour of the climb was the beginning of a colitis attack; the only remedy is medicine and lying flat. I wasnt happy at all. My gut hurt, i was nauseaus, it was so cold i could see my breath in our room. Josh was down in the dining room and i silently teared up wondering what the hell i was doing here, i mean its so cloudy i cant

see any mountains. I had a moment, ill admit. 45 minutes later, manning up and changed into dry clothes, we we walked over to the monastery to visit with the monks.

There we met Schaeber. We had noticed an army doing operations in front of the monastery (the irony was not lost on me) with tents in the freezing cold. By the time we got over to the monastery, theyd packed up and were visiting, too. He asked if he could take pictures with us. He spoke beautiful English, as he was educated in Kathmandu. He was in charge of these “covert operations” and were we, as tourists, having any “trouble?” We said no, and he told us that if we were, we could come directly to him as the Lieutenant. He also told us that since the operations were covert, we couldn’t post the pictures. It all seemed odd. They were Guercas, and Josh was pretty amazed by that so I plan to look that up when I get service again.

I was still feeling pretty green so I didn’t eat dinner. Assis was very attentive. I suppose when you start with two it’s not so good to lose one 🙂

We stayed up late tonight, I think we made it nearly to 9!