I woke up; rustling in my sleeping bag as I turn over and see if any light was peering through the window. I could feel the morning chill on my face and see some of the morning dew on the window. It was still dark but I could hear the rain coming down, I prayed that it would stop before our trek. As I began to roll back over, the wood in the bed’s frame cracked and woke Alex. I asked him what time it was and he told me it was 6:05am. I had already slept for 10 hours and was eager to get my belongs packed and head for the common room for breakfast.
All the Nepalese lodges had a common room where all meals were served. Benches are built into the walls and situate around the entire room. They are covered with elaborate carpets that look like Persian rugs, except dragons or Buddhist symbols fixate the middle and are boarded by the common Nepalese key design (similar to the Greek key). Staggered ever so slightly, wooden tables like the ones you would find in a school house, line around the benches; each wide enough for two people. Most the lodges have large windows that allow the rooms to illuminate with light and allow us to peer out and see the mountains as we sip tea.
As people begin to find their seats around the lodge, everyone slowly starts order their breakfast and drink their coffee and/or tea. Porters and trekkers sit with their trekking groups and discuss the day’s adventure. Chhiri (Cherey), our guide sat down as Alex and I downed our Nepalese style porridge that was recommended to us the night before. It was delicious but not nearly enough to get me through till lunch. They kindly brought out a second bowl for both of us. As we filled up for the rest of our bottles with water and tied on our boots, Chhiri called us to stat our trek.
Most mornings are cheerful as many of the people have on a big smile and welcome tourist. As we pass each villager we great each other with the word “namaste.” As we leave Namche, as well as all the other towns and cities we have been in throughout Nepal, we are never solicited goods. People are extremely friendly. I want to express my own personal beliefs and say that the culture here in the mountains with their Buddhist religion, family dynamics and hard work mentality has made these Sherpa villages very friendly. Throughout all my travels I have never meet any culture so grateful and willing to say hello and be willing to share their land with foreigners. Their honesty has astonished me as the never try to force fake merchandise for us to buy or over price goods.
The trek was covered by cloud cover the entire day so visibility and photos were restricted to buildings along our path. Our trail led us through several small towns but we made our final rest stop in Tengboche (3860m, 12000ft). Tengboche has a fantastic Buddhist monastery that allowed visitors to enter. Our guide said that we might get to see an offering ceremony but when we arrived the monks informed us that there would be no ceremony.
As we finished touring through the monastery we head back to the lodge where we had tea and kept reading our books. Because of the weather we have been unable to see Mt. Everest but today we got our first glimpse of the summit as the clouds slightly parted. We spent the rest of the night meeting the other trekkers who have the most random connections. Alex and I have met an individual who lives in Battery Park in NYC. Eleni met a UT professor in Civil Engineering who is doing research here. The one thing I did not expect was the number of Australians and Kiwis (people from New Zeland) that we would find on the trek. We finished the night by playing BS with an Israli trekking group and then called it a night for short hike tomorrow for Dingboche.
Colman wipes: 13
Pandas seen: 0