Day 4: Namche Bazaar to Tengboche

Tengboche, Nepal
12,687 feet above sea level; 60% oxygen

Chapatti and peanut butter is my new breakfast staple.

Only several days into the trek and I’ve already gotten tired of the food of Nepal. The country’s national dish is dahl baht — a bland concoction of rice, steamed vegetables and lentil mush.

No thanks.

Ascending toward Base Camp, eating has taken on a whole other purpose though. We eat because we must. There is no meat on the teahouse menus and even vegetables are of questionable quality. Dishes revolve around potato, noodle and rice — there is little culinary experimentation up here. And the bland food isn’t helped by the fact that higher altitudes cause gases in the stomach to expand, reducing appetite.

So, it was with excitement that chapatti, a simple, unleavened bread, with a smear of peanut butter really hit the spot. It would become my breakfast of choice for the rest of the trek.

Leaving Namche, the route was unbelievably beautiful — the Dudh Kosi was far below and Thamserku, Kantega, Ama Dablam, Lhotse and Everest rose in front of us. From here, we really could begin to appreciate the amazing magnificence of this setting, dwarfed at nearly 14,000 feet by six out of ten of the tallest mountains in the world.

DSC_0035

DSC_0035

A lone stupa sitting on the mountainside provided a scenic resting spot to take in the views.

DSC_0035

DSC_0035

DSC_0035

DSC_0035

We trekked for 6 miles through woods, rhododendron forests, mani walls, chorten and water-driven prayer wheels. Crossing suspension bridges, we arrived at the base of a steep and dusty ascent and fueled up on egg chowmein at a small riverside restaurant.

The ascent up to Tengboche rivaled that of the ascent to Namche but we felt better acclimated and prepared to tackle it. Still, we were quite tired when we finally rolled into our teahouse, Tashi Deleck, but were absolutely blown away by the setting of the famous Tengboche Monastery, which we visited shortly after setting our bags down.

DSC_0035

DSC_0035

DSC_0035

Unfortunately, the teahouse didn’t come close to matching the imposing scenery and as darkness and the thermostat fell, we began to nervously anticipate the evening. Our rooms had no blankets and were only moderately protected from the elements. There was no indoor toilet and the sink consisted of a tub of water in the courtyard.

DSC_0035

DSC_0035

DSC_0035

We filled our Sigg bottles with boiled water and took them into our cocooned sleeping bags. Wearing three fleeces, it wasn’t nearly as cold as I’d thought it would be.

That is, until the time came to get up in the pre-dawn morning.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: