HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!
It’s new year’s day here in Nepal and the year is 2079! They follow the Bikram Sambat solar calendar that is about 57 years ahead of the Gregorian Calendar we use in the UK and is based on the solar year but divides it into 12 lunar months, each lunar month being precisely 29 days 12 hours 44 minutes and 3 seconds long! Parties will no doubt be in full swing in Kathmandu but in the mountains it seems to be a relatively quiet affair.
Another quirky fact is that Nepal is 4 hours and 45 minutes ahead of the UK, one of only three time zones with a 45 minute offset from GMT !
We left Namche Bazaar to continue our trek up the mountain towards todays destination of Debuche via Tengbouche Monastery. The porters arrived after breakfast to collect our large duffel bags but these porters were not big enough to carry the bags on this section of our journey so some more had to be called in, hopefully our bags will be waiting for us when we arrive this afternoon. I start off up the trek whilst TJ and Azay sort out the bags with the new bigger porters, mainly so I can take my time on the steep hill out of Namche but I’m also itching to get going. It’s a slow and steady pace because of the altitude and I continue alone behind a group of Yaks for a couple of hours before the guys catch me up and we continue together, stopping for a masala tea at the Ama Dablam View Lodge at 3,600m. We debate having an early lunch but decide to push on as today is a long hike and we’d all like to get back down the valley and have lunch before the long steep climb that criss crosses backwards and forwards up the opposing mountain side to Tengbouche, I remember it from last time and it’s just never ending!
We follow the route down to the river crossing point and take the opportunity for some photos and have lunch a huge bowl of garlic soup and hash brown with cheese!
Setting off again after lunch its a glorious (but steep) hike through the pine forest on the mountain side, rhododendron bushes in full bloom make the already picture postcard views even better! It’s summer in Nepal and the trail is bone dry and dusty, very dusty and the light wind today blows this around to rival any desert storm. We start to spread out on the way up and I’m into Tengbouche ahead of the others so take the opportunity to catch some sunshine and rest by the monastery at 3,876m/12,687 ft. The monastery is a colourful structure with stone steps leading upto it and was first built in 1916 as a companion to the Rongbuk Monastery in Tibet, it was destroyed in 1934 by earthquake and 1986 by fire and rebuilt both times. TJ and Azay aren’t far behind and as it’s fairly busy with trekkers we opt to not go inside and head for a cuppa instead.
A 20 minute downhill trek to Debuche which will be our home for the night, and we find the Rivendell Lodge (strangely designed around a Lord of the Rings/Middle Earth theme) and check in and our bags arrive about an hour later.
An early dinner and I’m off to bed as its another long day tomorrow to Dingboche at 4,410m - the altitude starts to get more serious from here on in and the temperature will start to drop off quickly.