October 7th - Everest View Hotel and Tangboche

This is Wally Berg calling in from the Everest View Hotel, in route on our trek from Khunde to Tangboche. It is a very cloudy and peaceful day in the Khumbu. We are sitting here sipping tea and coffee and enjoying the view up the valley, even though we can’t see any of the high peaks; Ama Dablam, Lhotse or Everest.

We can see very clearly across to Tangboche, where we will be in a few hours, further up the valley to Pangboche and across on the Gokyo side towards the village of Phortse. It is really an inspiring and exciting view for us. Our sherpa guides are here with us: Kame, Min, Mingma and Nima. They particularly enjoy being here inside the hotel lobby looking at the maps of the Khumbu region. Many of you know this hotel was built by the Japanese 30 years ago, and it has been largely abandoned since then but we always enjoy stopping to drink some tea and enjoy the view.

Amelie in particularly is taken by the Everest Views hotel china, as she collects plates. She is currently negotiating with the manager to buy one of his plates, to take home as a souvenir. I don’t know how we will get it out of here - if she manages to buy it - but it looks like the hotel manager doesn’t want to let it go.

Later on that day - Tangboche Monastery

After we left the Everest View hotel, we trekked over to the Tangboche Monastery. It is an exceptional experience to visit two important Tibetan budhist monasteries in two days. It was only yesterday we left Thame. As I said, the Tangboche Monastery is much newer and much different. We visited the monastery today in a soft rain; we had cloudy weather all day.

On October 2nd 1960, Barry Bishop wrote about entering the Tangboche Monastery in a snowstorm as they approached with their expedition to Ama Dablam. At that time, the Tangboche Rinpoche, the Lama of the Tangboche Monastery, was the same fellow who is here now. He was born 1935 in Namche, on the same day that the Dalai Lama was born in Tibet, and was later identified as the Rinpoche, or reincarnation of the Lama in Tangboche.

Today we sat in a ceremony inside the monastery, which was really peaceful, with about 25 young monks who were studying here, chanting and reading from texts. The entire group sat and listened to this for some time. It was very soothing. I left just before the end, knowing what would happen when this ceremony ended. The young monks are in a very rigorous training program here and when they are finally free, they burst out of the monastery, laughing and being very jovial and child-like as they become free from their daily duty of reading the texts. I had a great time with my digital camera photographing these kids and letting them photograph me as well. The young monks are just like kids anyway, when it is time to play they really have a good time and enjoy it. They are all wearing robes of maroon and gold. Quite a nice scene.

We will descend now to Deboche where we will camp. Deboche is a nunnery just a short distance down the trail. It is great to be trekking through the Khumbu, each day brings new adventures. This group, as I said, is particularly strong, we are all healthy and happy, and having a great time. The trek is just beginning and we will continue to report our adventures as they come along.

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