To Thame and Back Again

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Apologies for no blog yesterday – we unfortunately didn’t have any internet connection. Not what you’d expect from the middle of the Himalayas, of course. Before we left the lodge yesterday the climbers were honoured with a Kata ceremony, where we flicked milk tea in a decorated pot with our ring finger up in the air three times to honour the God on the top of Everest and towards ourselves, although we couldn’t work out what the last flick was for. We then had Kata scarves draped round our necks for good luck – these are meant to stay high above the ground and not get dirty to “work”. We left a snow covered Namche whilst it was still snowing; it was so beautiful and such a nice change. The whole day we had amazing scenery with snow coverings on all the trees and all the way down the mountains into the valley. We had a lovely walk down a path through the middle of a forest – besides regularly having snow falling on us it was really quite amazing. This was quite a detour from the regular route to Base Camp as it was to where Lakpa Rita’s parents live, Lakpa is our lead guide for those of you that don’t know, has 15 summits of Everest, and has a brother with 16 Everest summits. A very impressive family, along with being extremely lovely and too modest to contemplate.
After arriving at the tea house about half of us walked up to a nearby Buddhist monastery. I realised before we left that this was actually the same monastery I’d visited on my last trip here – I’m not sure why we went this route, but there was even the same tiny old woman there next to the massive prayer wheel…
Today we retraced 2/3 of our journey from yesterday and then turned back up the Khumbu valley. Only after having tea at Lakpa’s parents house this morning though; it was great to finally meet them. It was much warmer than yesterday and was again a nice day. Khumjung, where we are now, has a nice bakery and we bought some tasty apply goods. I’m still suffering from a cold, but the sore throat’s gone which is good news (at least in part thanks to the lovely Aussie couple on our trip who supplied me with some miracle throat lozenges…). And as I keep telling myself, better to be ill at this stage in the trip rather than later. It seems that there are a couple of people suffering from colds and suchlike, including some guides. We’ve also heard news that the helicopter flying in supplies and our Everest kit to base camp has broken, and our Camp 2 cook is having to have two teeth pulled out so is staying behind for a while to recover. The cook being the most important of these two problems, obviously. However, we’ve been assured that everything will be sorted, and we’re all excited and in good spirits. Even Kelly, who has been studying diligently most evening and practising her Spanish with our Latin American guide Jose Luis. Ttfn.

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