September 19, 2008:
Chele (3,050 m) to Syangboche (3,800 m)
Breakfast was at 7 am. The Germans were already in the dining room. I had an omelet with pancake.
Today was a tough day. We left a little after 8 am. Right outside Chele, we had to climb up pretty steeply.
After this initial climb, the trail flattened out for a while and we reached a deep canyon. While a hanging
bridge lead to the other side of the canyon to the village of Ghyakar, we stayed on the eastside of the
canyon and continued to climb up. At times, the trail was pretty exposed. For the most part, we continued
to travel with the German and Austrian groups. We finally made it to our first pass, the Taklam La at 3,624
m. I was up there ahead of everybody else and was feeling pretty good.
From the first pass, we climbed up another
pass to 3,740 m, the Dajori La and from
here went slightly down to Samar where
we stopped for tea. This teahouse was
pretty nice and we made a mental note to
stay here on the way back as we could
make it from here to Kagbeni easy in one
day (but we never stayed there on the way
back). After Samar it was down again a
pretty steep canyon and, what goes down
must come up, so we had to climb up on
the other side which was really steep!. We
had lunch in Bhena. This was a little place
with just a couple of houses. Yam was
cooking our lunch. We sat along the side
of the room and watched how he prepared
our food. The Austrian group came in a
little later. I had fried rice with mustard
veggies for lunch. It was quite tasty. We
left Bhena around 2:15 PM. One more
climb and we were at the Yamda La at
3,860 m. From here it was downhill to
Syangboche, basically consisting of two
guesthouses.
Suzi and I got adjoining rooms off the dining hall in one of the guesthouses. The Austrians were camping
outside but spend most of the afternoon/evening in the dining room with us. We got to know them a lot
more and found out that one of the ladies used to know Heinrich Harrer (Seven Years in Tibet) as well as
Bruno Baumann (Austrian Writer of Travelbooks) quite well. Great conversation and they even invited us
to try some of their chocolate cake!!
Suzi and I went downstairs into the main kitchen area where we had our dinner. The room was full as
pretty much all porters and guides of the 2-3 groups staying in Syangboche had their meals here. Yam
prepared fried potatoes and fried rice for me. After dinner, I went back up to the dining room and
conversed some more with the Austrians. Went to bed around 8:30 pm. Made the mistake to not go pee
one more time, so I had to pay the price and get up around 11pm, get somewhat dressed, go outside into
the cold, find the loo and then back to bed. Overnight it started to rain heavily.
Canyon and Footbridge to Ghyakar
Taklam La
Inside the guesthouse in Bhena
Yamda La
Dinner and my room in Syangboche