EBC trek 24 March

We left at 07:30 as planned and started with a stiff uphill 150 metres to get over the ridge of the spur that forms one of walls of the valley where Namche nestles. We then had a long downhill to the river at Phungi Thenga at the bottom of another valley. We could hear the roar of the river all the way down the valley. If you want to cross the river you have to go to the bottom of the valley but giving height away is galling on a climb. It was then a further 3km distance and 600 metres ascent to Tengboche, 3867m asl, where we arrived at 11:30.

Lunch was “sherpa stew with vegetables and meat” aka minestrone soup with a few larger chunks of veg and some cubes of braised meat. I’m staying at Tashi Delek lodge which is owned by the daughter of Dawa Tensing. Yes, him of Sherpa Tensing (British 1953 Everest expedition – the one with Sir Edmund Hillary) fame. The owner’s husband is 72 years old. He was born and lived his first 19 years in Tibet until China invaded, forcing him to flee to Nepal where he has lived for the last 53 years. He showed me a large album of photos celebrating Dawa Tensing’s involvement in several expeditions and letters of commendation from many patrons. It’s the most basic teahouse so far, the outside and squat toilet has finally made an appearance! The wash facilities comprise a plastic barrel of cold water with a tap on it, and a bucket underneath. My single room is 8’x4’ with the thinnest mattress so far. Five star friends had better not come here! It makes the budget accomodation at Pontins Camber Sands look positively luxurious.

I’ve explored the surroundings, taken a load more photos, established there’s an internet cafe. The rates here are double what they are in Namche and they won’t let me plug a netbook in.

A group from the Adventure Company arrived about 14:30 and shattered the peace. I think earplugs will be more than a little useful tonight. A little later a group from Gap Adventures also arrived, a younger but less boisterous crowd.

Tomorrow is a slightly longer walk and another 600m ascent to Dingboche.

Listened to DiSarli and Fresedo today. Gotta keep the tango in my head :-)

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