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Sunday, 29 April 2007

Tengboche to Namche [Day 18]

Getting stronger and stronger

I have yet another good night - and this morning actually find a sit down loo before I leave Tengboche (a rare commodity).

On the trail again, I feel really strong and am up front most of the time, bounding up the steep slopes. We finish with a hard climb through Khumjung to the Everest View Hotel. This is where people start to suffer and drop off towards the back of the group. I don't think my fellow trekkers expected this slight diversion before Namche... thinking they would just drop down into the village. I get the impression some were none too pleased at the extra effort required.

Toiling up the slope

One of our guides with Mike (on the right)

Dawa - one of our guides

Arduous path to the Tengboche Monastery (Centre)

Everybody finally reaches the top and wander into the plush hotel. Many order drinks and we sit awhile recovering from the rigour of the days walk.

There is the usual issue with trying to get a group of people to pay a bill... and this is exacerbated by the fact we are all running rather short of NR. Rumour is circulating that the permanent medical staff from Namche (who just happen to arrive at the hotel at the same time as us), manage to incorporate their drinks on our bill.

Everest View Hotel

After a good rest, we descend down the mountain side into Namche and then climb up to the Sherwi Khangba. It has been very hot and humid today, so if it is nice again tomorrow I think I will trek out in my shorts. It is three days since I have washed and showered properly... and there is likely to be a fair bit of competition for the Namche showers. My fellow trekkers have all been without since before EBC, so I will leave my shower until later - it's only right they take precedence.

I must also check to see if I have put aside sufficient funds to pay for my airport departure taxes and tips for the sirdar and porters. I need about 4200NR... but then I'll only have about 700NR and £60 to get me home.

Nice image of the Namche 'bowl'

I really need a shower. Nice, hot water sluicing away the previous days filth. Clean clothes and I feel like a new man. Tonight the permanent staff are supposed to be organising a 'farewell party' in 'Club Namche'... as there was for Trek C.

I don't think the dynamics will be the same with Trek D though. Maybe it's just me, as I'm not one to be railroaded into things? Furthermore I'm really not interested in the type of dance routine that was suggested for Trek C (and I suspect it's going to be something similar).  Tomorrow is a hard days walk to Lukla, so the last thing I want is a late night and a hangover, especially since I am only just rid of headaches and nausea.

The evening is as expected... an entertainment evening of Ceroc... a style of dance. I believe this is, in the main, for the benefit of the permanent XE staff at Namche, rather than the trekkers. Our group would have been content to have a couple of beers and a natter, a few games of pool and then drift off to bed, but there was a strong push to be participative and to try out some of the dance moves.

I don't know whether the permanent staff picked up on this, but I think our Sirdar and porters seem quite embarrassed by the whole thing too. I wonder whether this 'semi-erotic' dancing is acceptable to the Nepalis and may not even be appropriate culturally.

Mike and I leave for our beds around 2100hrs and although we were encouraged to stay the course, we exercised our right to leave. As far as I'm concerned, the proper celebration for Trek D will be the meal in Kathmandu.

So to bed... and up early tomorrow. 0500hrs to watch sun up on Everest... then testing at 0600hrs, with breakfast at 0630hrs... away by 0700hrs.


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