Visit to Thame monastery

Today is first of April, the birthday of my granddad in Dresden. Happy birthday! Hope the card arrives on time. Besides that, we had a rest-day. The morning started with beautiful sunshine giving way to great views from the valley view lodge. We are basically surrounded by quite a few 6,000m peaks or thereabout. After a late breakfast at 8am, we headed for the local monastery about 30mins up the hill for a 3km return journey with 200m ascent/descent. Up there we not only enjoyed a great panorama, but also a buddhist ceremony with prayers and drums and the shabang. Towards the end of the ritual, the monk blessed our white scarfs (which we had received from Taschi’ at Ama Dablam view lodge), gave us a second red string around the neck and two red coloured rice grains. These are not for eating was pointed out to us, but is to be kept with us to the summit for good luck. I decided to deposit mine straight in my summit bag so I won’t forget them. 

By midday we were back at the lodge and made use of the flat pitch with a bit of soccer. Even some of the porters and residents joined in to kick the (volley)-ball around. Was fun though you feel very clearly that you are at 3,800m Every little sprint takes its toll. Wow. 

For lunch I went pretty basic and very Saxon. Boiled potatoes, butter, salt and calves liver pate. Tasty as many team members (other than Jo) would confirm. The only thing missing was quark with fresh herbs, but lets not forget where we are right now. After lunch the ‘Kniffel’ hunger kicked in and several folks played a game they have come to like by now. Tim had a Kniffel this time (five dice of a kind). I continued to read my philosophy book and still try to work out how to manage my go pro footage in the best way. Shoot less seems no1 option so far!

I used the early afternoon to explore the remainder of the village and walked over to a water basin that feeds into a hydro power plant. Clouds had started to move in by now and it started to drizzle. After a fee shots experimenting with my fixed lens 35m Zeiss lens (thank god cows and trees are patient models) I headed back to rescue my solar charging panel from the rain. Once in the hut I couldn’t resist a afternoon nap. And why would I ;o). By the time I woke up and made my way over for dinner the rain had started to turn into snow and soon the valley was covered in a white blanket. 

The evening was filled with more kniffel pre and post dinner, a brief overview of the days ahead (nothing new other than no connectivity nor charging facilities for the coming four nights) and more reading. 

Let’s see what tomorrow holds.

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