Genuine peace, genuine lasting world peace, can be achieved only through inner peace
Day 7 – Acclimatizing at Dingboche
We wake up after a wonderfully restful night’s sleep. I can’t remember the last time I slept so long. We slept around 9pm the night before and we were both soundly in the middle of our dreams when our porter posed the 8am wake up call question of “Hello?” Interestingly, this teahouse leaves a lot to desire in terms of overall quality of construction and materials, but we still seem to like it quite a bit for some reason. The toilet situation was especially interesting, whereas the floorboards leading to the men’s urinal had gaps where you could clearly see the ground outside a level below you. The main toilet room had its own distinctive attribute; a large wooden box covered with a silver spongy material. The Silver Throne was quite an experience to remember for two days of use.
Our room is very cold as we stir about and slowly get moving. The temperature is 1F / -17C and as we head to the dining room for breakfast, we’re thrilled to feel that the stove is lit and already providing great heat. Ah, such a wonderful difference from the previous day’s uncomfortable morning start in Tengboche. This morning’s pace is purposely slow and we finally leave the teahouse around 10am for an easy acclimatization hike above the Dingboche valley.
There’s an initial ridge-line immediately above the town that we gained first on our walk. Here, we see the high plateau that we’ll take tomorrow for the continuation of our trek to Lobuche. Today, however, we are heading up the hill for about 200-300m to gain some elevation to help our bodies prepare for the further gains of elevation to come in the next few days. The morning is clear, sunny, and with a cold wind blowing. We just take in truly spectacular views of mountains all around us. We also get our first views of the famous Makalu (fifth highest mountain in the world at 27,838’ / 8,485m) and the more accessible popular mountaineering destination of Island Peak (20,305’ / 6,189m).
We make our way up this hill above Dingboche along with others trekkers that are going up and down. Throughout the morning, approaching helicopters first become audible and then later visible to us. Most of them are in the distance over the plateau and headed towards Mount Everest and base camp. A few are much closer to us and we see them land in Dingboche. Our guide informs us that they are probably rescue operations and evacuating people to lower elevations. We stop briefly to take some pictures after ascending about 1,000′ / 300m and then zip up our jackets and adjust scarves for the cold and windy descent back to town.
The rest of the afternoon and evening was a relaxing time with two fellow trekkers that we’ve run into previously at teahouses. They are sisters from Canada and we are the only four trekkers in this teahouse for two nights. So, our time in Dingboche is excellent with the acclimatization being completely successful and us feeling great. We enjoy the cozy and warm environment of this teahouse with us playing cards, Julie later getting her hair braided by one of the Canadian girls, and listening to the raucous card game that the guides & porters are playing. I don’t speak Nepali, but I’m sure pretty sure there’s a lot of trash-talking going on as they energetically throw cards onto the table with bouts of loud laughter. Good times.