It was a cold and overcast start to the day, which made it a little harder to crawl out of bed at our usual 6:00am timeslot. Tim now had a cold and Teone woke up with a sore throat and a sniffly nose. It looks like the Europeans in the common room were quick to pass on their illness to us.
We were on our way shortly after breakfast, and once we had climbed the million stairs to get out of Namche, the walk was a steady incline that wrapped around the sides of mountains. There were some splendid views of mountains in the distance and the river well below us. There were many steep drop-offs as well, so you do have to be extra careful when crossing paths with a mule or yak-train.
Always stick to the side closest to the mountain and allow the yaks and mules to walk closest to the edge of the mountain. There are horror stories getting around where yaks or donkeys have knocked trekkers off the side of the mountain, which have resulted in serious injury and even death!
The path eventually plateaued to a flat track, which was a nice change, as Teone’s cold had really started to kick in. We were both very nervous for what lay ahead, as we had heard about the gruelling climb that was waiting for us after lunch, and we wondered if we would have the energy to make it to our next destination.
We stopped for some tea along the way, and after that it was all downhill – until we made it back to the river. It was on this stretch of the walk that Teone took a tumble on some loose rocks. She fell awkwardly with her left ribs landing on a larger rock. She laughed it off and was straight back up to her feet, but the pain from this fall gave her grief for the rest of the day, and ultimately, the rest of the trip. Upon our return to Australia, Teone found out that she had 2 fractured ribs in this fall – no wonder they were sore!
We ate our lunch by the river and psyched ourselves up ready to take on this next big climb. After crossing the suspension bridge, it was a steady uphill walk, with both of us taking lots of rest stops along the way. It took us approximately two and a half hours to conquer the ridiculously steep hill, but we finally made it to Tengboche! What an achievement – we were stoked!
As we walked into town, we were taken to a monastery to watch some local monks ‘meditate’. It was crazy boring – we had to try hard not to fall asleep. Tim was doing a few head-nods late in the session, but pulled through without embarrassing himself. The meditation was basically a bunch of monks drinking tea and making weird noises. This dragged out for about an hour before we finally escaped back to our teahouse.
Our accommodation was very basic tonight. The room was tiny – we could barely fit both of us in there. We also had to use a shared bathroom with no flush (you scoop water into the toilet until gravity pulls everything away). Thankfully, it was a small teahouse, so there weren’t too many people around.
It was an absolutely freezing night, but fortunately, there was a fire in the common room to keep us warm. We needed this fire roaring to help us with our colds. Being sick was really sapping our energy.
Something else that worried us that night was watching an English tourist almost dying from her illness. She was being escorted back down the mountain after failing to make it to Base Camp. She was extremely sick with what we assumed was a severe case of the flu and bronchitis. She looked and sounded absolutely terrible, and was barking all night in the room next door to us. While she told her guide she was going to try and walk back down the following day, we dare say she would have been air-lifted out.
- Trekking Time: 7 Hours
- Teahouse: Tengboche Guest House
- Altitude: Tengboche – 3870m
- O2 Levels: Teone – 85 / Tim – 85