Sunday 16 & Monday 17 April 2017
Amanda and I enjoyed our extra hour in bed this morning as we weren’t leaving until 9am. Walking into the communal room for breakfast I was greeted by a chirpy Sarah (not sure if I’ve mentioned her previously, she provides admin support to the project and was also on the trip as a trekker), who was handing out little bags of mini eggs from Xtreme Everest – it was Easter Sunday!
When you’re travelling you can easily lose track of the days and I hadn’t realised it was Easter so it was a very nice surprise and receiving a present put everyone in a festive mood. It hadn’t snowed overnight so while it was cold in the morning and still a lot of snow on the ground, we knew we would be descending into warmer climes as the day went on and were in good spirits. At this point I should mention Team Tortoise, of which I was a member. Going along the trail you fall in with the people who walk at a similar speed to you so there was a little core of us ladies who had gotten in the habit of walking together – me, Amanda, Tiffany, Steph, Michaela, Sarah, Helen and occasionally Anu and Sethu.
As we were now descending and the pressure was off we weren’t in a rush and leisurely made our way, stopping to take photos and enjoying the walk and exchanging “Happy Easters” with people on the trail. Sarah had some spare bags of eggs and gave them out to people who were particularly jolly or kids who enthusiastically said hello to us as we walked past.
The ‘Everest’ film we had watched the night before had made a real impression on all of us and we literally talked about it non-stop for at least an hour. As we got lower the snow was melting away and once we had crossed the tree line there was a lovely smell of pine. We once again walked through the forest of rhododendrons and pushed ourselves up the hill to Tengboche, where we were happy to be staying in the nicest lodge in the village.
When all the room keys were dished out Amanda and I found ourselves in the basement, as we were both still suffering a bit with our colds and chest infections the lovely Jess and Alice kindly gave us their room on the second floor (and received a beer in return). Our new room had lovely views and as the sun was shining through the window it was warm. Amanda and I decided to buy a wifi card and spent a relaxing afternoon catching up with family and friends and Facebook. I know there are pros and cons with social media but for me it’s been quite comforting to be able to contact people, and to receive encouragement and positive comments to keep me going.
Before dinner I went to use the toilet and saw a big rat; animals became the theme for the evening … On coming back from dinner (a very nice Dhal Bhat) we came across a cute puppy! It was curled up at the end of the corridor and we didn’t have the heart to chase it away as it was cold outside. We said goodnight and went back to our respective rooms. During the night there was a bit of a kerfuffle, Sarah and Michaela were in bed and heard some rustling. They switched on the light and saw some debris on the floor, as Sarah went to put on her shoe she found some rodent droppings inside and as Michaela pulled out her kit bag she discovered a mouse (or mice, or even the rat) had eaten the nuts in her bag! I’m not sure if they actually saw the mouse or if it was long gone by the time they had rummaged around in the kit bag, but I don’t think either of them got much sleep that night.
The next morning we were given a choice to either have a lunch stop or walk straight through and eat at Namche. Team Tortoise chose the latter and we had a nice walk down the hill and along the side of the mountain. Towards the end it was a bit like the walk to Gorak Shep where we kept ascending hills only to find another one waiting for us. In this instance we kept approaching a hairpin and Steph would say “I’m sure Namche is just around this bend” and then of course we’d see another corner in the distance …
We reached there before 2pm and after some lunch headed down into town for a hot chocolate and the internet and then back up for dinner. Everyone went to bed early as we had a long walk tomorrow – up to 10hrs – and then we would be back in Lukla where we started!