Waking up to the drums and chants of a monastery is pretty damn cool. My alarm goes off--6 long beats of the drum and the monks chanting. It's time to get moving. Out my window is Everest in all her glory, front and center. It was freezing last night, but the view this morning was worth it.
We head out at 8 and as we climb above the tree line the landscape changed from a forest of pine and juniper trees to an endless garden of rock and sand. Crossing over the Dude Kosi on ice laden metal slats made by locals, we climb up and then descend in a pattern attune to a song. The acclimatization to 14.6k ft is a process and there is a lot of up and then down. The rule of thumb when you're trekking is climb high and sleep low, otherwise a hazy fog can get you.
Periche is a small village half way between Tengboche Monastery and Dingboche amidst terraced potato farms. A little Nepali comes running out to greet us, "Namaste," with her little puppy tagging behind. Lunches in Nepal can be adventurous or not depending on your level of taste, but a group favorite has been hot mango juice with Dal Bat--the standard Sherpa dinner. It's a potato and carrot yellow curry, rice, Tibetan bread (crispy naan), lentil soup and some cabbage. In the Nepali culture, when you order Dal Bat, they will feed you till you're full for $5 US.
Lazy from our sun drenched lunch on the terrace, we push back our chairs and get ready for the dusty slow climb to Dingboche. Trees can't exist out here, so we're mostly just trudging through sandy dirt with large granite and slate rocks. I push my scarf over my mouth to save it from the dirt rising up and walk. Everest dips out of view and we're closer to Ama Dablam now passing by Stupas with Buddha eyes staring back at you knowingly. What, I'm not sure. But they're everywhere.
I didn't feel good acclimatizing, so as soon as we got to Dingboche, I got into my little twin bed and curl up with a mint tea and my book. Self reflection doesn't have to be a daily chore, after all.....
From Dingboche, Nepal.