The trek down from Tengboche, Nepal
Sunday 8th January 2006.
Trek Day 6: Tengboche to Namche Bazar
At 9am we started the walk back towards Namche. It was very slow going downhill to the river crossing. It wasnâ€™t quite as slow as going up, but one has to be extra careful going downhill. It would be very easy to sustain a bad injury. After crossing back over the river we had a 400 metre climb back out of the valley again. I found this just as demanding as yesterdayâ€™s climb to Tengboche. Fortunately it was not as long. I took it very slowly and rested frequently to get some oxygen into my system.
He called me Pappie
At the top of the climb we stopped at a lodge for lunch. Again the tea and soup was very welcome but the main course I only nibbled at. Others in the group also lacked an appetite. Ananta (our guide) planned to take an alternative, longer route back to Namche but he gave me the option of heading straight back to our lodge there. This was the direct route back, the one we used yesterday and far easier and shorter than the alternative it turned out. The rest of the group went back via the Everest View Hotel and another village in that area. I was escorted by one of the guides, the one who called me â€œPappieâ€ when he found out that Rose was my daughter. I arrived back about an hour before the rest of the group staggered into the dining room. I was able to set up my room, wash and change before they had arrived.
When I changed my shoes and socks I was rather concerned about the state of my feet. I have managed to keep going but the blisters are very sore. One small toenail looks very bruised and sore to touch. This injury must have been caused by the steep gradient when going downhill, I guess.
Longing for the Comforts of Home
Tomorrow we go steeply downhill again to the river crossing, then follow the river back towards Monjo. We wonâ€™t stay there for the night but will press on to Phakding where we stayed the first night. It will then be a relatively easy three hours back to Lukla where we will stay the night before flying back to Kathmandu. Up to today I have walked for 24 and a half hours over six days. Just eight hours to go. I canâ€™t wait for decent toilets, showers and bed in the Shangri La Hotel in Kathmandu. Iâ€™m convinced that Iâ€™m too soft and like the comforts of home too much.
Our Nightly Entertainment
One of the fascinating things about the trek has been the camaraderie amongst the trekkers, the guides and the Sherpas. We donâ€™t spend any time with the porters as they usually head off ahead of us. Apart from Rose and myself there is Russell, a classical guitarist from London. He currently works in the office of a fashion design house. He has made recordings of his playing for his own use. He and Ananta have entertained us with their guitar playing every evening along the way. Each lodge has its own guitar. Russell has played a variety of classical and jazz pieces, some he has written himself. Ananta has a broad repertoire, including a wide knowledge of Beatles songs. He taught himself to play with lessons accessed over the internet. He also sings along to his own playing.
Members of Our Trekking Group
Linda, perhaps a few years younger than me (I havenâ€™t asked her), is from Horsham Victoria. She is accompanying Jenny, her daughter and Jenâ€™s partner James who are both currently working in London. Then there is Jade and Kane from Darwin. Kane is a builder and his wife Jade is a high school teacher of Maths and Science. She is a few months pregnant and has really struggled with the food and with morning sickness.
The last member of the group is Kath from Melbourne. She is a trained nurse who recently changed jobs and is contracted to do Enterprise Bargaining Agreements for different organisations. She is by far the â€œlife of the partyâ€ type person who tries to keep spirits up. While I get along well with her, I can imagine that over time I could only take her in small doses.
After the trek I will be going to Chitwan with Kane and Jade and that will be good for companionship. I get along quite well with them. Apart from a few annoying little things, overall the group is very easy to get along with. There has been very little swearing and that is a pleasant aspect of the trek.
Rose has just arrived back from looking at the shopping area here in Namche. She bought me a Mars Bar and a bottle of Sprite. The Mars Bar was very enjoyable. Bless her.