Trek Day 4 

Namche to Kyanjuma

Tuesday 14th November 2006

 

Leaving our lodge we walked through the shops of Namche and then straight up a steep track leading out of town, stopping occasionally to catch our breath or take photographs.  The crescent shaped town is very picturesque.  A steady climb brought us to the famous Everest View Hotel where we stopped for tea.  The hotel had nice gardens but the building was a soulless concrete block.  We walked through the lobby and out into the tea garden where I ordered a pot of black tea.  We sat at a table looking across at the famous shape of Everest.  This is what made the hotel so special, to sit sipping tea and gazing at the highest mountain in the world.  I took the picture below from my seat, using the zoom on my Canon S3.  We were all awestruck at the sight of Everest with its famous jet-stream blowing against the cloudless blue sky.  We started talking to a small party of English trekkers at the next table.  They were on their way back from Gokyo and they warned us to expect it to be very cold once the sun goes down.  Carole and I are already finding the evenings cold, even at only 3500m and I quietly worry that we donít have enough warm gear. 

 

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Everest from Everest View Hotel - 430mm lens

 

Reluctantly leaving the hotel and waving goodbye to the friendly trekkers we walked on to the little town of Khumjung where we called at a lodge for lunch before visiting the school and hospital which have been provided by a trust organised by Edmund Hillary.  A large bronze statue of the great man is set in a square and the likeness is excellent.  We went into the hospital where a doctor gave us a brief altitude lecture.  He explained that a side effect of diamox is that it affects the sense of taste, well that explains why everything tastes foul today.  Iím ok with soup but just about everything else makes me feel sick, even the tea tastes metallic. 

Leaving the hospital we walked out of the village pausing to look round its small monastery, whose claim to fame is that it houses a yeti scalp! There was an old monk in the monastery and he called us over and reverently opened a case exposing the scalp to our view.  We were warned by Lakpa that if we took pictures we would be expected to make a donation.  My daughter had told me to bring back a picture of a yeti if I saw one so I photographed it hoping it was as near as I would get.  Hmm, Iím not convinced.  See for yourself! 

As we left Khumjung our sherpas told us that they had heard at lunch that a group of seven climbers comprising four Europeans including an Englishman and a Pole, and three Sherpas, had been feared killed early this morning when an avalanche had swept down Ama Dablam engulfing their camp.  As we walked on we looked up at the beautiful mountain in question, stunning against the blue sky and two helicopters passed overhead probably carrying search teams.  We heard later that they werenít successful and all were killed. 

We arrived at our lodge in Kyanjuma, the Ama Dablam View Lodge.  Standing at the front door to greet us was a handsome yak who we had to squeeze past.  We ordered dinner and as we went to our rooms I saw the yak standing framed by the door, looking into the lodge directly at me.  I took a picture and Tashi the lodge owner told me that he was a pet, 23 years old.  As we spoke she got a potato out of a bin near the door and fed it to the beast who grunted quietly.  I could see how much she liked him, he was very spoilt.   

Dinner looked nice but I couldn't eat it - no appetite.

 

 

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Khumjung...

...and Ama Dablam

Khumjung Monastery

Yeti Scalp

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