For That View
(day 5 - day excursion to Kundung;
day 6 - Namche to Tengboche)
Despite the 7 hour walk today was billed as "non-compulsory aclimatisation walk" but everyone turned up - lets face it, it is what we were there for.
We set off up the extraordinarily steep hillside out of Namche - zig-zagging up 200m before snaking round the hillside. We stopped above the local school to hear the children sing their morning assembly. Goats grazed on the hillside and great yaks lumbered - their cow-bells attracting our attention.
The top of the hill gave us incredible views of Everest, Nuptse, Lohtse, Ama Dhablam and we stopped for a cuppa at the creepy hotel which can provide oxygen and pressurised bedrooms to those with enough money.
We visited a lovely local monastery after lunch, filled with garish flowers, statues, butter lamps and fabric decorations as well as a Yeti's head in a box - viewable for just a small donation.
The altitude has begun to give me headaches, but nothing a paracetamol won't sort out. Some of the rest of the group aren't so lucky. We are all still eating huge portions of rice, noodle and potato dinners and I am able to ask for seconds. The group are getting on famously, and we are settling in to our walking patterns.
Day 6 saw us walk a flat route out of Namche and around the mountain which lulled us before an afternoon filled with the punishing climb up 500m onto the ridge with the Monastery village on top. Tengboche is very exposed and therefore freezing, and tonight saw a slight drop in the group's morale as we fight the cold in our down jackets and hats, even round the fire. We fill our drinking water bottles with boiling water and tuck them into our sleeping bags before we get in.