|October 9, 2006:
Namche Bazaar (3,450 m) to Khumjung (3,790 m)
Slept pretty good until about 4 am. Got up at 6:30 am and no cloud in the sky. Great views out of
my window of Kwande Ri (or Kongde Ri) towering above Namche Bazaar. I saw Bharat downstairs
on the terrace and we decided to hike up to the Museum Viewpoint before having breakfast. So we
got up to the Museum and there it was: Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Taboche,
etc. in all their grandeur. Took a few pictures and went back down to the lodge and had breakfast.
After a while, we continued our hike to Khumjung to the Hilltop View Lodge where Papa was
staying. We got there around 12:30 pm. Papa was in Namche shopping. Bharat and I had lunch,
fried rice. Then we both went on a tour of the twin villages of Khumjung and Khunde. These are 2
beautiful villages. This is where many sherpas live and there are only a few lodges, which means
fewer tourists. First we visited the Khumjung Monastery. Inside there is a big statue of the Guru
Rinpoche. This monastery also proudly displays a Yeti skull. DNA analysis conducted years ago
showed that this was the skull of an antelope, but tell this to the Buddhists....
Papa was back in the lodge from his trip to Namche. He had already spotted us from far away and
was waiting for us outside. We spend a nice afternoon and evening together. Dinner was tomato
soup, fried rice with fresh tomatoes and carrots which Papa bought in Namche. We were the only
guests in the lodge. Of course, the big family of the lodge owner was there as well in the dining
room and kitchen area. Papa wasn't quite sure, but he thought the lodge owner had something like
5 daughters and 5 sons, but then, some could also be his grandchildren, he hadn't figured it out,
and he visits twice a year! After dinner we all watched TV. Interesting to se how the Nepalis were
glued to the TV watching those Hindu soaps and Hindu music videos. Went to be around 9 pm and
slept good until about 4 am.
Mt. Everest and Lhotse
After breakfast, we started our hike to Khumjung via Syangboche and the old airfield. We
continued on to the Everest View Hotel where we sat on the terrace and had some tea. Great views
of Lhotse, Ama Dablam and Thamserku. Everest was already obscured by clouds. Lots of tourists
there, but for many, that was about as far as they went.
We then strolled slightly uphill to Khunde through potato fields. We visited the Khunde Hospital
and then we hiked up to the Khunde Monastery. The Khunde Monastery was a letdown, quite dirty
and small when compared to the Khumjung Monastery. But the views from up there of Khunde
and Khumjung were great. We strolled back down towards Khumjung through the fields. We
stopped many times and soaked up the views and sights of the village life around us. Back in
Khumjung, we visited the High School with the statue of Sir Edmund Hillary, who is the founder of
this school. Then it was back to the lodge.