From Deboche at 3820 m to Dingboche at 4410 m
The days are taking on a really familiar routine. Wake up, clean up as best as you can with freezing water, pack up your sleeping bags ( I have not used mine so far preferring the warm blankets the the lodges),eat a hearty breakfast ( me and Sudhir at least, most the others are only picking at their food by now. oh wait, ramesh and shweta also have a decent appetite throughout), and set off to the call of Om Bahadur Ji’s “Occha, Cholna Hoga”.
The frost is just melting off the ground when we set off. When I start I already know that in less than an hour I would have taken off my down jacket and stuffed it into my day-pack, taken off my warm gloves, and replace my woolen cap with my cotton one. This routine is invariable too – and I am not the only one doing it. Sudhir takes off his heavy jacket, so does Cheekala.
We walk past a nunnery, set in the forests of birch and rhododendrons. We are walking to the sounds of bird-songs and the river gushing past. Its a perfect day for walking – again. We are really lucky to have such great clear weather on most of the days.
We cross the Dudh-Kosi ( I have lost count how many times now), and start some climbing again, stopping only for some hot tea along the way. We have lunch and take our usual break of an hour or two, during which I read a chapter out loud for Abhishek from the Everest Book that Sudhir has brought along. The book is interesting not because of its literary quality ( which is bad) but because we could relate to some of what the guy was talking about, and aspire to the part that we could not relate to ( the summiting of Everest).
Post-lunch the scenery changed dramatically. Trees gave way to clumps of juniper bushes. We reached the village of Dengboche at around 2:30, and checked into a lovely lodge, right at the edge of the village.
In the evening we went for a walk down the village. Sudhir took lots of photos. Its getting very chilly at this altitude – I have on my t-shirt, light sweat-uppers, down jacket, woolen cap with ear flaps ( i just love these), nice woolen mittens appapappa had bought for me from Seattle, and a woolen scarf. One pair of tights and my hiking pants on top. Now I’m really cosy.