Trek Day 11

Phortse to Thyangboche      3867m


Tuesday 21st November 2006


A spectacular trail led up from Phortse to Upper Pangboche (4080m) and as we climbed once again we had great views of my favourite mountain, Ama Dablam, magnificent in the morning sunshine on the opposite side of our valley.  We arrived at Upper Pangboche and stopped for lunch.  I noticed an awful lot of monks in the village and asked Lakpa why and he said there was on old monastery here which we would visit after lunch.  We would find out later this wasnít the reason for so many monks.  Lakpa and the other sherpas went into the kitchen and some time passed.  I got up to go to the toilet and had to go through the kitchen to the back door leading into the garden and the traditional Tibetan earth toilet.  To my surprise I saw Lakpa and the other sherpas working frantically in the kitchen, obviously cooking our lunch.  An old lady was also in the kitchen but didnít seem to be doing much.  It looked chaotic.  More time passed and then some more until we had been waiting for nearly two hours and the temperature fell as the clouds rolled in.  Eventually food started to appear but all in the wrong order, apple pie before soup then cold chips and omelette.  It was cold and unappetising.  We never got to the bottom of what was going on, perhaps the lodge belonged to the family of one of our sherpas?  We all laughed about it, the chaos was funny and it didnít matter.  Eventually we set off for Thyangboche.


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Approaching first lake

Nearly at Gokyo

Prayer cairns at Gokyo

Above Glacier


Our first stop was to be the old monastery but Lakpa couldnít find anyone with a key.  We left Upper Pangboche and moved on through what had become an alpine landscape and shortly came to another small monastery, this was a nuns' monastery and a nun was just coming out as we arrived and was happy to show us inside.  I wondered if the nuns' monastery would be different from the monks' in any way but although it was obviously very old it was exactly the same as the others we had seen.  All along this trail we saw mani walls, some very ornately carved and some very ancient; the inscriptions, invariably ĎOm Mani Padme Humí, were almost worn smooth by the years.  The forest became a rhododendron wood and suddenly we had a steep climb, up and up until we reached the monastery of Thyangboche (3867m) surrounded by conifers.  Our lodge was nearby.

Carole, Sue and Clive wanted to go and see the sherpa museum but I was feeling surly and wanted some time to myself.  Everyone trooped off and I settled down with a book in the dining room, near to the stove.  They were some time and when they returned said I would have enjoyed it.  Carole gave me a t-shirt she had bought at the museum, good - I was out of clean clothes and this would be pressed straight into service.

The food was ok at the lodge, nothing special but then they didnít have to try very hard with a location like this.  They did have blankets however and it was still high enough for me to want them!


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Yaks crossing bridge


Nun's Monastery