Day 8 - Debouche, Nepal
Day 8, May 6th, 2018, Namche Bazaar to Deboche, 7.5 miles hiking, elevation 12,464 ft.
After breakfast we walk up and out of Namche. When we round the bend we begin to see views of Everest ahead and the Dudh Kohsi valley below. Our trail this morning is a mix of open views, forested trail and lovely rhododendron tunnels. Rhododendron is the national flower of Nepal and they are just coming into bloom this time of year. The smells of the pine trees are a much welcome change from the dust-ups of the crushed donkey and yak dung from underfoot.
Part way up to lunch, before I see a person, I see a large backpack covered in patches. With that pack and by observing her gait, I know immediately that she’s a thru hiker. I start chatting with her and sure enough, “Twisted Sister,” from Roanoke, VA has hiked the Appalachian Trail too. We chat for a bit about the AT, what years we hiked it and how much we still love the AT Community.
Twisted Sister has done work in wilderness medicine and is currently working on a study of thru-hikers. I tell her I want to interview her for my site and I give her a Girl Gotta Hike sticker, but in my breathlessness of hiking uphill, I forget to get her contact information and also to take her photo. Doh! Part of my goals for this photo trip are to take more photos of people and not just gorgeous landscapes. I have done okay so far, but am kicking myself for a few instances like these that I either forgot about or passed up because I was tired.
After lunch we head uphill some more toward Tengboche. The Thyangboche Monastery is there and it is somewhat of a tradition for trekkers and climbers to get a blessing from their monks (for a small fee of course), for continued health and safety in the mountains. Unfortunately they don’t keep regular hours and the local lama isn’t in. So we move on to have tea and snacks at the nearby teahouse.
There we meet up with Alok, another Nepali guide who freelances with Himalayan Holidays and who was originally supposed to be our main man for this trek. Unfortunately, when it was time for us to take off to Lukla he was stuck due to bad weather in Upper Mustang, Nepal where none of the flights could get out. He has brought with him his American friend, a part-time ex-pat / global entrepreneur named Alex from Alabama who has a bit of time to kill and wanted to see Everest. So now we are a group of 7 hikers, 3 guides and 3 porters. More than we need but the more the merrier I think!
We leave the teahouse and head downhill for about 15 minutes to the village of Debouche where our lodging for the night is at a two story teahouse called “Rivendell.” After changing into our nighttime/dry clothes we gather in the dining room where they’ve got the stove pumping. It is warm and I have spaghetti with tomato sauce and tuna for dinner. The proteins up here (outside of lentils) consist of canned tuna, chicken (if they can get it) and eggs. We’ve been warned off the yak meat as it’s more bone and gristle than anything else.
Danny, William and I get out the cards, but we can’t convince anyone else to play euchre with us, so the the three of us just play it anyway and Danny has a massive streak of beginners luck. We head to bed warm and still full from dinner. I attempt to write, as I am days behind on the blog, but soon enough my phone drops from my hands and I give in to the well deserved sleep.