14.11.09 – Today is my favourite day so far, not only because 95% of it is downhill but because the second half of the track we take feels so isolated I feel like our little wayward family of four is the only one on earth. We see only four people as we take the lower valley path from our lunch stop at Thukla until Periche. It is cold but my layering is effective and I wonder how warm the dozens of yaks we pass must be in their wool coats.
Goind downhill my walking poles have saved me more than once from landing on my backside as have my boots saved me from almost certain breakages. The thing about going downhill is that moment when you slip on some lose gravel and your body shoots a shot of adrenalin through you. In the Himalaya this just makes you shiver.
Periche’s Snow Land Lodge is a fabulous place to stay; great pillows, clean room, good food and nice people – what more could you ask for. We even tapped into the internet next door for 20mins. In the morning we are greeted by two ponies eating cardboard. There are some strange regularities here.
15.11.09 – A long hard slog up a hill almost ruined the leisurely stroll we had in the morning. I should have know as most villages are on top of a ridge. Tengboche is no different. This is the place with the monastery and after we arrive and dump our stuff we go for a visit. After about an hour a ceremony is starting and we enter the prayer hall to watch the Lama and about 50 monks pray. It is mesmerising with the sound of all the monks singing, drumming and humming. I was near one young monk ( a very cheeky one) who was trying for the whole hour to make his friends laugh, to the disgust of the old monk in front who kept turning around to scold with his eyes.
Interestingly, Lama’s are reborn, like the Dalai Lama after the existing one dies. Only in Tibet is he reborn and only to a man. Apparently when the boy is three or four years old he will begin to speak and announce he is the reborn Lama or Dalai Lama. He is tested for truth and his posessions and the other monks decide if it is true. If so he resumes the life of a Lama. The Lama we saw is said to be seven centuries old (the Dalai Lama is 60 centuries old).
After the ceremony we sit in our lodge dining room and shoot the breeze with two young American guys. They are funny. We are ushered to bed at 9.30pm by the Sherpas who will sleep in the dining room. This is the best night sleep I have had and am enjoying the scenery more.