Day 16

23 March

(Day 13 of trekking)

“Day 13 started with more beautiful weather and following our now traditional breakfast we were headed from Pengboche toward Namchee Bazaar as our final destination for the day.

The opening session gave us wonderful opportunities to take some final views of some of our favourite peaks as well as the magnificent river and valley as we steadily climbed away from the village. The weather was absolutely perfect as we headed for a top of zero.
After about an hour we started a steady but arduous descent on snow and ice covered trails that required everyone to keep their wits about them, it was a tiring slog in many ways however the environment and views kept everyone interested and motivated.
At the end of the session we found ourselves at Tengboche Monastery. The Monastery sits at an elevation of 3,867 metres and is the largest in the Khumbu region of Nepal. It was built in 1916 by Lama Gulu In 1934, destroyed by an earthquake and rebuilt. In 1989, it was destroyed by a fire and then rebuilt with the help of volunteers and international assistance.
This was also our last opportunity to see the peak of Everest (8,849m) and the cloud was reasonably accommodating. We also got our last looks at Lohtse (8,516m) and my personal favourite Ama Dablam (6,812m).
From Tengboche we headed via a steep descent to a small local village for lunch. A beautiful little spot, however with pleasure comes pain, and we were heading to a 1 hour 30 very steep climb back out of the valley (it hurt) on our way to our final destination, Namchee.
Similar to yesterday the weather closed in just prior to us finishing lunch, with that the temperature dropped, the drizzle started and eventually the snow arrived. That was a little disappointing as we were still at around 3,400m in very rugged terrain and it would have been great to see what was around us.
On arrival at Namchee it was in front of the heater with black tea and rum, followed by for some (me included) our first shower in 7 days. After we had made ourselves all pretty and sweet smelling it was off to the Irish Pub complete with Nepali Irish bartender for a couple of beers before dinner.
After dinner it was the usual card and other games before hitting the sack for another day tomorrow. Only 3 more nights until we make it back to Kathmandu and then on to Melbourne.”
– Tony