Hello to M&M and everyone following my trip on the blog. (Mark)
Today, our 4th day on the trail, we departed Namche Bazaar (3440 meters), winding our way through the narrow cobbled “streets” of Namchee and through the busy Saturday bazaar where local farmers sell their produce en route to the world’s highest dental clinic, the Nepal Oral Health Society. The only “dentist” in the Khumba region is a wonderful Nepalese woman who was trained in Canada as a dental therapist. She provides basic services for the local people and runs the clinic mostly on donations. [hint, hint :)]. As we trekked toward our first stop at Kengjuma, we had our first views of Everest, Ama Dablam, Lhotse & Nuptse which we were able to see for several hours until they became cloud covered. We continued to descend to the Dud kosi River (3200 meters), where we stopped for lunch in the town of Phungi tanga. After lunch, we began our ascent to Tengboche (3880 meters). The climb after lunch was steep and challenging and lasted for about 2 hours. Once we reached Tengboche, we had tea and the hiked over a nearby hill (3916 meters) to help acclimitization. The hike was just before dusk and the air had a brisk feel. In fact, we saw snowflakes for the first time. We were also standing in the clouds at the top of the hill and looking down on birds flying below. Occasionally we see helicopters flying through the valley ostensibly transporting people from base camp in need of medical attention. The air is definitely getting thinner and brisker but we are all doing well and the weather has been fantastic. Although the accommodations thus far have been ummm basic, tonight is our first night without hot water and showers and we are all sharing a toilet. But we have great views of the mountains including Everest!
[Mazz :) ]