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Nepal Day 07 – Namche Bazaar to Tengbouche

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On to Tengbouche


Even though it was bright and sunny that morning, the temperatures outside hovered just above freezing - a sure sign that winter was just around the corner. Despite the cold, I quickly packed up my gear, eager to get back out on the trail and on to Tengbouche.

After making my way up the narrow shop-lined alleyways to the Northern side of Namche Bazaar (elevation : 3440m), I turned right along the trail that began to lead Eastwards out of the town. As the buildings started to disappear and Namche Bazaar faded away into the distance, the mountains gradually began to open up to proudly showcase their majestic splendour. The air was clear, crisp, and completely invigorating; the narrow trail that we were to follow seen over huge distances, winding and tracing its way up and around the gulleys that lined the sides of the Dudh Koshi River valley.

Trail to Tengbouche

The trail continued on in a North-Easterly direction and slowly began to descend down to the Dudh Koshi River. The magnificent spires of Ama Dablam (elevation : 6856m), that were to dominate the skyline for the next couple of days, lay suspended on the horizon infront of me, keeping my eyes transfixed and my thoughts enchanted as I walked on. Ama Dablam means 'Mother's necklace', apparently named because of the ridges that curve down towards the center - akin to a mother protecting a child. The mountain is also known as 'the Matterhorn of the Himalayas'.


Grunting Yaks


I kept my eyes peeled in the hopes of seeing some wildlife, such as the Himalayan tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus) or a musk deer (Moschus moschiferus), but the only wildlife I saw (apart from birds) were yaks - lots and lots of yaks.

Tengbouche Yak Tengbouche Yaks

Most yaks (Bos grunniens) are domesticated and are used not only for their milk and meat, but also to transport goods up the mountains. The dried faeces (which doesn't have much of an odour) of yaks are also used as fuel all over Nepal and Tibet, mainly because there is no other source of fuel available above the treeline.

There is also a small population of wild yaks that, although not technically considered a sub-species, are given the taxanomical name of Bos mutus, meaning 'mute ox' - most likely because yaks are not known to make the 'mooing' sound that cattle make and instead just 'grunt' (hence the name 'grunniens').

Domesticated yaks tend to be friendly but yaks in general are distrustful and are known to 'bluff charge' (as can be seen at the end of my video) when they feel threatened, when defending their calves, or just when irritated. I would always advise to err on the side of caution when confronted by a yak as they are heavy, powerful animals and can be very dangerous.

Yaks of Tengbouche

Route Playback

Suunto Movescount Stats

The information from the Suunto Ambit for this part of the trip can be found on my Movescount Page

For those who also have a Suunto GPS device and would like to use the move as a route, please click on the following link : 

Check the route in

Next (Day 7) : Namche Bazaar to Tengbouche (Part 2)

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Tengboche


After eating lunch (NPR620, MYR22) at the Zambala Lodge and Restaurant at Phungi Thenga, I continued along the trail to Tengboche, and up the steep 400 metre ascent through the rows and rows of pine trees (Pinus) that fringed the path.

Tengbouche Children

Tengbouche Grooming

The tiny settlement of Tengboche (elevation : 3867m) that is inhabited by the Sherpa people ('sherpa' means Easterner - a name that was derived from their migration from Tibet hundreds of years ago), is mainly known for its Buddhist Monastery, being the largest gompa in the whole Khumbu region. There are also several lodges located there, to cater to the droves of hikers that pass through the region, as well as a small bakery. The settlement is located at the top of a hill that is situated at the confluence of the Dudh Kosi and the Imja Khola rivers, adorning the place with spectacular views of the snow-covered mountains as one looks down the valleys, with Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Ama Dablam to the North East; and Thamserku just to the South.

Tengbouche Sunlight

The lodge that I entered had a small counter for registration at the front of a small common area. There were small tables packed around the room with a fairly large and environmentally friendly yak dung burner right in the centre. The room was already very crowded with several large groups scattered around chatting with each other and causing quite a commotion. I ordered some fried yak with my dhal bhat (NPR800, MYR28), paid for an hour's charge of the EN-EL15 battery for my Nikon D7000 (NPR200, MYR7), and paid for my room for the night (NPR200, MYR7), before settling down in a corner to relax with my Kindle, the din that surrounded me fading away as the words from the book became etched into my mind...

Tengbouche Monastery

Route Playback

Suunto Movescount Stats

8a

8d

The information from the Suunto Ambit for this part of the trip can be found on my Movescount Page

For those who also have a Suunto GPS device and would like to use the move as a route, please click on the following link : 

Check the route in

Expenditure

End of Day 7 Expenditure (RM)

Transportation : 0

Entrance Fees/Visa : 2

Gear : 0

Food : 50

Maps : 0

Medication : 0

Misc : 0

Internet/Charging : 7

Accommodation : 7

TOTAL (RM)

Total

: 2266

: 339

 : 446

: 286

: 24

: 14

: 28

: 25

: 97

: 3525 

Next (Day 8) : Tengbouche to Dingbouche
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