We leave Pheriche in the morning around 8:30 am. Ngima proposes that we go as far down as Namche Bazar today and stay in the same teahouse lodge where we stayed on our way up. We are happy to go as far down as possible.
On our way down, I see large groups of Trekkers going in the opposite direction, toward the basecamp. On our way up, I didn’t see this many trekkers; it seems the number of trekkers has increased. On our way up, I had eyed the Trekkers returning from the basecamp with a mixture of admiration and self doubt. Now, I can be a bit smug, smiling at the Trekkers on their way to the basecamp. For all I know, the smugness could be unwarranted as some of them might be climbers on their way to the summit!
Around 9:30 am we stop for tea at Pasang Lodge and Restaurant in Showmare. We sip tea, sitting on the terrace, watching the beautiful view of snow covered peaks.
Further down the trail, near Panboche we cross a culvert and find a group of Trekkers standing by the side of the trail. They are watching and cheering a rescue effort going on in the nearby stream. A dzopkyo has fallen into the stream. It is sitting in the shallow waters and doesn’t want to get up. Seven men are coaxing it to stand up; it repeatedly tries to stand up, but sits down again. The men keep trying … Finally, the dzopkyo stands up, reluctantly, and is able to continue to stand. All of us Trekkers clap our hands and resume trekking.
On a relatively flat part of the trail, a group of men comes against us. Their faces light up seeing Ngima. They stop and greet Ngima and chat and laugh with him. After a brief conversation, they say goodbye and go on their way. Ngima tells us that they are his relatives, who are on the way to their work at the basecamp or the camps higher up.
We get down a flight of stairs and pass in front of a row of small houses. The houses block the sunlight, making the trail in front relatively dark. An eight or nine year old boy stops me, stands blocking my way, and says in English, “Give me chocolate.” I tell him I have none. Then he says, “Give me money.” This is the first and only instance of begging I encountered on this trek. Although Nepal is not a developed country, I have not seen any abject poverty here, unlike other developing (and even developed) countries.
I am too tired and am lagging way behind Ngima and Rahul. Ngima asks me whether I am feeling ok and whether I would like to stop. I tell him that I can keep on going, admittedly at a slow pace. I feel like the Energizer Bunny in the TV commercials: I can keep going and going and going …
After a while, Ngima senses that I am too tired and takes the backpack from me. Even the shedding of that bit of weight makes me feel better. We have been trekking for about eight hours. Ngima feels that it will be difficult for us to reach Namche Bazar today, before it gets too dark. So he decides to stop in Lawi Schyasa. We stay at the Green Valley Lodge and Restaurant, which is by the side of the trail. A short flight of stone-steps takes us to the terrace in front of the restaurant.From there a steep flight of stone-steps takes us to the sleeping quarters. We are the only customers at this lodge, which has around twelve bed rooms.
After dropping our bags in the room, we go down to the dining room for dinner. We are the only customers in the restaurant. The cook — a dark, slight man — does not look like a typical Sherpa. He makes us fresh food, pasta for Rahul and fried rice for me. After dinner we stay in the dining room for some time, talking to him. He talks in reasonable English and is well informed. He has a good opinion about U.S. President Obama. But he does not have a favorable opinion about Indian Prime Minister Modi. He feels that India is meddling in Nepal’s affairs: A new Constitution came into effect in September 2015, converting Nepal from a 240-year old monarchy to a federal republic. Many people in Nepal are happy about the constitution, but some communities are unhappy. One such community is the Madhesis, who are ethnically and socially close to Indians just across the border to the south. They do not like the provision in the constitution that the father has to be a Nepali for his children to get Nepali citizenship, putting the children of Nepali women married to a foreigner at a disadvantage. The cook feels that India demanded changes in the constitution, advocating on behalf of Madhesis.
No Fitbit statistics today as it is out of charge.