Another 6AM alarm call prompts rushed dressing and packing of our big backpack. We have a quick breakfast before setting off for Deboche via Tengboche. Our 5ft porter bounds on ahead of us dwarfed by our backpack as we look on guiltily.
Today’s trek has been billed as one of the tougher climbs. However, the first couple of hours are completely lovely and pretty flat. The path snakes around the hillside and rhododendrons provide some beautiful views:
The path gradually began to get steeper but luckily the trees provide a shaded rooftop to keep us cool:
At the end of this path we crossed yet another suspension bridge and reached a tea house, the last before Thyangboche. Kami told us to stop for some tea, sit down and gather our energy because the most challenging climb was coming next!
After 2 cups of tea (I decided to stock up on liquid and caffeine!) we braced ourselves and set off on the climb to Tengboche. We soon realised this really was going to be a slog. After just 10 minutes of crawling slowly up huge, wonky stone steps we bumped into a nice couple from Kent who warned us that we had a long way to go and it was going to be hard! We ploughed on, stopping only occasionally to keep up momentum. Kami distracted us with some funny stories and I also stopped to take a few photos of the amazing view. I think it’s important to remember where you are and look around every so often or you get so fixated on climbing and keeping going that you miss the scenery!
On the way we passed several groups of Yaks in convoy. You hear their bells ringing before you see them on the mountain. These are pretty big but gentle beasts. However, gentle or not, I make sure I get out of their way pretty fast as they have HUGE horns
Eventually, after almost 2 hours of climbing, we were extremely happy to see the top of the hill complete with Money Stone and Prayer Wheels signifying the entrance to Tengboche village – we made it!
Tengboche has a famous monastery which we wanted to visit, so we sat outside and waited for the monks to finish their lunch before we could go inside. We took off our shoes and sat inside the main room used for meditation and prayer, a richly decorated room of reds and golds with lots of cushioned mats and religious paintings on the wall. Understandably you are not allowed to take photos inside the monastery, but here is the outside:
After this we continued on to Deboche to the Rivendell Lodge where Kami had booked us a room. This place is run by a family friend and is renowned for being lovely. After another 20 mins walking we arrived. We had a cup of tea outside before heading to the indoor dining room for some well earned lunch. After this we were pretty much dead on our feet, we went to the room to read and have a rest. I think our tiredness is a combination of the distance and height we covered and the increasingly high altitude. I swear, the higher I climbed the more my boots seemed to weigh! As I write this Jack is snoring away opposite me, another early night tonight I think!
We have one night here in Deboche before we climb to Pheriche at 4,240 metres altitude tomorrow morning.
Hope you are all well and happy!
P.S. Today is a special day, Jack has decided to pay for a hot shower at last – hooray!