May 8, 2006 - Monastery Moments

Happy Birthday Tim, enjoy your Everest Whiskey!This dispatch is being sent via the excellent internet service run by the monks here at Tangboche Monastery.  It was only yesterday morning that several members of the group visited the Rinpoche, or reincarnate Lama at Thame Monastery.  Now that seems far away and indeed the group has trekked a lot of hard but beautiful miles since yesterday.

I would like to mention that Tim celebrated his 21st birthday yesterday. Bal and the kitchen Staff made a cake for him and we presented him with at bottle of “Everest Whiskey” to commemorate his being of legal drinking age.  Happy Birthday Tim.

Jim Barr told us a great story about getting up in the pre dawn darkness yesterday at Thame.  He walked uphill above town to look at the chortens that stood on the ridge.  The is where one can stand and look north to Cho Oyu and the glaciers coming from the Nangpa La, the pass to Tibet.  When Jim reached the ridge in the brilliant light of a Himalayan sunrise he was intrigued to hear the low resonant tone of the monks blowing their long horns at the Monastery above.  Jim was drawn further upwards of course and in the very early morning he found himself welcome by monks doing their morning rituals and the 350 year old Thame Monastery, one of the most magically situated monasteries in all of the Himalaya.

The Berg Adventures group back together in Khumjung

Later in the morning after breakfast several other members of our group joined Jim for the walk back up to Thame Monastery.  Our group seems to continue to have great fortune.  It turns out that the Thame Rinpoche, had only just returned, after a journey to Kathmandu to formally thank Sir Edmund Hillary and the Himalayan Trust for the rebuilding of the front deck area at the Thame Monastery – just in time for this months Mani Rimdu dance festival.

So several of us had the thrill and honor of being blessed with white silk Khata Scarves presented by the Rinpoche.  Then they had tea and visited with this high lama before continuing on to Khunde and Khumjung where Doc and I were waiting.

Jackie and the Jims snap a quick self-portrait

When the trekkers arrived at Khunde several of them visited Ang Temba Khunde home for tea.  He showed them the Berg Adventures Equipment store room and they later told me they were quite impressed with the quantity of equipment stored in that room.  The amount that is out now with this trekking group of ten people is hardly noticed missing in a room where we keep stack and stacks of North Face VE -25 tents, as well as North Face “Base Camp” duffels with several season of team labels and yak sweat worn in.  Those bright red and yellow bags with team member names and destinations labeled in black marker are souvenirs from great adventures past and they lay waiting for the next expedition loads. They will be put to good use when BAI’s Everest team returns this August for the South Col Route.

Now here at the Tangboche Monastery, as our cook Bal's lunch is being served by the trek staff, Jackie and Jim Barr are off on a baked good quest at the Bakery that is run by some of the monks here.  I see them returning now with some nice looking cakes and apple pie.  There are different forms of enlightenment to be had in religious spots near the top of the world - I can see that apple pie holds great meaning and satisfaction for these two.

All Text, Images and Audio Files © Berg Adventures International 2006

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