Just for the record for Zena’s mum – I had a great night’s sleep ;o) Up by 6.30, packed by 7.15am and then ling blogging breakfast. We were joined for breakfast by some US guys including a guide from Madisson mountaineering. The guy talked like a waterfall, seemingly about anything that came to his mind. Annoying for most of us to say the least. Thank god he isn’t our guide. I’d switch teams!
Pangboche @ 3,900m to Dingboche @ 4,300m (dist: 6km, asc: 430m, dsc: 70m)
After breakfast we all headed for the bakery. Not sure why, I guess because we had time. Only few stopped for longer while most headed for Dingboche (me around 9.15am). After some 35min walking the next tea stop at Shomare. Some of the team engaged in a game of frisby golf – basically try to get the frisby over a hiking pole (an invention of Rory’s from his Denali trip). I have to say here that the trail has become increaingly touristy … many folks, some ill prepared and most very slow. The passing yak hoards didn’t help to speed up the hike.
After almost an hour resting I got bored and didn’t understand why we don’t just move on. So I left with Blake. Good chatter on the way and amazing views of Ama Dablam, but more so Lhotse that had its summit (ir three summits to be accurate) not coveres in clouds. She was showing off her steep south face – the most treacherous wall in the Himalaya’s that cost many more lifes than it gave away summits (only one I think).
We arrived at Dingboche just after noon. The village is strechted out pretty long and, of course, our lodge was at the very end. We are staying at Mountain Paradise Lodge. In the positive side, the path for Loboche starts right here. The infrastructure in the village looks good first glance. Many bakeries, a pool bar and several shops. Yet no mobile reception (but everest link wifi is fast).
We all enjoyed the afternoon off. First up, I had to do some washing (sink and water provided free of charge) although I should rather call it ‘wetting’ since the cleaning was only so much successful. However, best dryig spot for clothes ever!
Next up was a visit to the bakery with Mo, Zena, Sami and Jon. Then we had a little party in our room with french saucisson, dark bread, babybek and chocolate. Given next day is off, we also enjoyed a few beers and sampled the local rum. Nice stuff.
Dinner turned into a side affair (and the salami I gabe te kithem for salami pizza was only semi successful). All eyes were on Kniffel, for Steve and Luka a first, and afterwards we all engaged in a game of monoploy deal – the card version. To get your head around the rules takes a while (thanks go to Tim’s precious advice), but then it turned out to be huge fun. Rory and Luka took the first win, but we’ll see them back at the table soon!
By the time we left the tea house it was only 8.30pm or thereabout. Jon had spotted a snooker bar right next door and so went over. Michael joined us. The place looked closed initially, but then someone opened the door and let us play. R200 per game, R600 per beer. Reasonable. In the end Michael won it by a slim margin and left for bed. Jon and I stayed on to watch a game or two of the locals.
Then we retired too into what was a very clear, moonlit night. But also a very cold night (had to get the sleeping bag put halfway through the night). Not sure how much folks are looking forward to three nights camping at 5,000m+ altitude.
For now, we all look forward to a full restday. Coffee, cake, books, internet etc are on the agenda. Thenday after we will hit the trail again and have to climb about 1,400m towards the summit of Pokalde (5,800m). Better rest well ;o)
*** offline for a few days, be back after ***