Day 16: Back to Namche
Tengboche (3867m) → Namche Bazaar (3440m)
Morning in the Tengboche lodge that somehow managed to be both nicer and crappier than where we'd been staying. I think it was modern enough to elevate it to the feel of maybe an actual hotel. But that made it a really shitty hotel. Still rough, but without the charm of the teahouses at the higher elevations.
That aside, Darby commented on the finer points of the joinery in the handmade doors, and explained how carting drywall up here would make no sense it's heavier, too subject to damp and how by contrast plywood comes in bricks and is man-portable.
Here's that famous monastery we toured last night, in the morning light on our way out of Dodge.
In retrospect, we'd basically been trekking through a cloud bank at the bottom of the valley for most of yesterday, so all the photos were dull and washed out. Nice that the sun was back today this looks more like the bright and stark Khumbu we'd come to love.
When I got back from what was, seriously, a large outhouse inexplicably filled with giant piles of leaves I declared to the others:
I was currently paying the price for a big breakfast of thick toast, baked beans, pineapple jam, fried potatoes, and muesli.
And then! buying stuff! We were far enough back down that we could reasonably carry some; and also far enough down that people were trying to sell it to us. There was a cute little shop here where I picked up a couple of bits, including sherpa hats for my nephews.
Both the shop and the restaurant with its patio were seeing a fairly brisk trade, at least by our recent standards, with sizeable groups coming in and out and mooching about.
Me: “Yet it's interesting to note that neither of us had ever been anywhere this rugged, remote, or dramatic before two weeks ago.”
And off. Last little amble. Although it's worth noting that descending was by no means the same as never climbing. Aakash described it as “Nepali flat” constant up and down. Just, thank god, more down.
And thus back to Namche a short day, as promised and good ole Mountain Dreams, which was now empty (even later in the season), clean, and warm. Very clean, and very warm, compared to what we'd had since last here. Which seemed like a million years ago.
Aakash: “Tomorrow will be good. And every day after that.”
Me: “You've got a good attitude, my friend. And with a good attitude, everything is manageable. Without, everything is a problem. Believe me, I know.”
I gave Aakash one of my cards, and told him his would live forever inside my copy of the Dalai Lama's book.
Me: “As a reminder.”