After a restful and relaxing day in Namche Bazaar, it was time to hit the road for the last leg of my trek before turning back. As I explained in an earlier post, I was shy a few days in my vacation bank so I would not be going all the way to Everest Base Camp this time. Day 4 would take me past Tengboche with its beautiful monastery to tiny Deboche. This day would represent the highest altitude I would reach in this trek, a hundred or so meters under 4,000 m (or some hundred or two feet under 13,000 ft.).
The day would start climbing up out of the half bowl that is Namche Bazaar past the museums and great viewing point I described on the Day 3 post. And we could also see in the distance the two hanging bridges we had passed on our way to Namche Bazaar.
Then we skirted the side of mountains on a beautiful and changing trail that offered us a new and closer view of Mt. Everest and Mt. Lhotse than the prior day’s. We passed a stupa/chorten honoring the sherpas of Everest.
Later on we had the best view of my favorite mountain in the area: Ama Dablam. It looks like it is a person with two arms and flowing robes! Pretty darn cool.
Of course, as we did every day, we stopped for tea at a tea house. Mint tea or lemon tea – I could never decide which was my favorite. Sometimes one, sometimes the other!
The team guides and our lead discussed whether to make the push for Tengboche (which involved a serious climb) for lunch or to stop short of the climb to have lunch and rest. They decided to eat before the climb. I was torn. On the one hand, the sooner we got to Tengboche, the sooner the hardest part of the day would be behind us and then lunch would feel more lackadaisical. I also would not be doing the hardest part of the hike on a full stomach. But, on the other hand, it would delay eating lunch by a good bit. So, I didn’t mind which way they decided. Now having seen Tengboche, I think the spot by the water where we stopped for lunch was perfect for rest and recovery prior to the climb.
Overall, that day we would cover about 4 miles (6.5 km) and were expected to be on the trail for about 6.5 hrs. The most exciting part of the day was when we came to the top of a slope to find ourselves in fairly flat ground looking at the Tibetan Tengboche Monastery through the foggy afternoon. It was not only a beautiful sight but very surreal.
Right past it, we stopped at a tea/coffee house before embarking on the short last hour (or less) to our stopping point for the night in Deboche. With the hardest part of the hike for the day over, it was very enjoyable to kick back and sip away!
Once we got to Deboche, the teahouse was one of the sparsest, most austere of the teahouses I stayed at in this trek. Being that we were higher, it was colder and the place had one tiny stove in the center of the dining/living room (as do most teahouses). I definitely stayed more warmly dressed, even through dinner, as I tried to keep by body heat in me.
The evening was nothing short of frigid. There were two toilet rooms, one upstairs and one downstairs. But the one upstairs was a Western toilet with a tank that would not fill. I found it more effort to flush it so, in the middle of the night, I would walk down the very steep staircase to the non-Western toilet room, though by doing so I had to walk further in the cold of the night. All indoors but, trust me, it was FRIGID; not sure there was much of a difference between inside and outside. Thank goodness, I had the slight sleepwear and, more importantly, the right sleeping bag!!
From this point out, the destination changed – back to Lukla for the flight back to Kathmandu!