It’s my birthday!  I got one of the best presents ever.  We woke up to a spectacular view of Mt. Everest.  We haven’t been able to see it until today because it’s been overcast.  Below is a picture from our lodge.   Before we started hiking today, we learned that the normal pathway was blocked off because the bridge got wiped away by a landslide.  We took an alternate route through a forest.  It was a pretty cool trek, really narrow, trees everywhere, very humid.  Chhiri, our guide, said we might be able to see red pandas…no pandas spotted!  We did get to see our first truly hairy Yak.

First glimpse of Mt. Everest
First glimpse of Mt. Everest
Monster Yak
Monster Yak

We had a quick lunch, and then trekked another 2 hours to Dingboche.  This is where we are going to stay for the next 2 nights.  When Tom and I got here, we didn’t know where our lodge was, we finally found it, but couldn’t get to it without jumping some stone fences.  We followed our porters, climbed over 2 walls, and then jumped off a short roof to get to our lodge.  Our porters did it with our 35kg packs on their backs, it was very impressive.

Group shot in front of Everest
Group shot in front of Everest

 

When Eleni arrived to the lodge, she wasn’t feeling well.  She had a pretty bad headache and was struggling to get used to the altitude (4,080 meters).  The guide recommended hiking down a couple hundred meters to help her acclimate better, but it was already dark and she decided it was best to just take some diamox and go to sleep early.

Alex Hiking
Alex Hiking
Tom and Alex Waiting Near a River
Tom and Alex Waiting Near a River
Alex's small birthday celebration party with Birthday Cake
Alex’s small birthday celebration party with Birthday Cake

I had a small birthday party, the guide brought out a chocolate cake, and a white scarf that he placed around my neck.  It represents good luck, and a prosperous life.  Two other guides also tied white scarves around my neck.  I looked pretty ridiculous.  We played cards for the rest of the night with a group of Israeli tourists who are staying at the same lodge as us (the same guys who were yelling at the airport when we started the trek.

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