Sunday, January 27, 2013

Everest Calling - Tengboche

Tengboche is perhaps the most picturesque of places we have seen in this trip. Namche is picturesque but it is crowded.

What lay hidden behind the mist, we knew not.
What we saw was a neat looking lodge, a significant looking monastery and a very small and tidy market place with 4 to 5 shops, the most prominent of which was the Everest Bakery.

There was a clearing at the centre around which there stood the monastery, our lodge, the German Bakery on two sides and on the other sides, the trees of the forest and the trail that brought us here.
This rolling clearing was covered in sparse grass – yellow and green and there were cattle grazing here and there in the clearing.
It was the fog that made the place look like a dream.
After checking in to or rooms, we went to the monastery. Having been to Ladakh, and having seen a dozen monasteries on exotic hilltops, this was not a new experience exactly, but a monastery is always a charming thing.

After the visit, some of us went to the German bakery.
We ordered this and that but then, as everywhere in this trip, the pastries looked much better than they tasted. It was not so much the taste but the texture, rough, dry that disappointed. Perhaps it was the cold weather, besides shop keepers cutting corners.

There was a clearing yonder, a level one, that was being used at the moment as a football field. Some monks, in their maroon robes, were playing football. And a few of our boys joined them.

It began to get dark. As the fog shifted about jagged blue grey mountains, completely hidden before, came into view and surprised me with their proximity to us.

The next morning, our group leader from the room next to ours told us that Everest was visible. I ran outside with my camera. The picture outside made me forget Everest for a moment.

There was bright sunshine. Some more fog had cleared and the outlines of more and more hills, mountains became clear.
First Everest was not visible, but I knew what direction to look. And then, I saw it. It was small; all except its blunt peak was behind the wall that was Nuptse. But it was there, for sure.

This view, I was told, was what we were to see from the Everest View Hotel when we had just begun our trek. That hotel stood in the same line of view, but behind us.
On that cold day, as we stood in the balcony of the hotel, watching snowfall and looking at the fog covered grey valley before us, we hadn’t imagined there was this charming village down there.

Too bad we had to leave this place in a few minutes. One more day here would be so lovely.

No comments: