It’s a foregone conclusion that our trail beyond this point will involve the usual toil and struggle, but after more than a week of conditioning the recurring rise and fall is actually alright for the legs. Just as always, it is the psychological challenge that can make our hike any trouble. So I won’t mention anything about trails and feeling tired, at least until we get to the dreaded village of Lobuche, which gives me about another week in this blog to colorfully describe the villages and flowers and puffy clouds until then. You don’t think I can wander off metaphorically for a few days and fixate on lumbering grey swirls of vapor roiling down to stifle the rumbling chatter of the river valley? Don’t tempt me, or you’ll have to read about puffy clouds all next week. The sight of spry, diminutive yet colorful patches of wildflowers cheering up the thinning, dead grass is still vivid in my mind. As a matter of fact, on a few of our casual conditioning day hikes I stopped, catching my breath, to pluck samples of the yellow, red and lavender wild blossoms to press and preserve in my Nepal tourist book. Saying that, I’m calling my masculinity into question, so I won’t mention what I was thinking about butterflies and unicorns.
Onward, our hike for the day takes us to Pangboche, which finally is on the main route again for eager trekkers. Between upper and lower sections of the village there are quite a few tea houses open for us to choose from if we wanted some noodles and juice. The real draw in this village, at least to those in tune with the spiritual significance, is the presence of a monastery and the residence of the well-known and wise Lama Gyeshi. Look back to my previous account in my blog entry from last October for more details. Pema has great respect for him, and incorporates a visit to his residence each time he passes through on his way for challenging expeditions approaching Mt. Everest. It was fitting for us to stop for a good word and a blessing from the Lama, and it was an opportunity for some shopping, actually, since his daughter has a table set out with some very nice jewelry. Somehow I had made it out of Namche with a few Rupees left after all the Internet and pastry charges, so I picked out a few lovely pieces and took care of some Christmas shopping. I took some video of our time with the Lama, especially to record the ways of the healing ritual. Some would say it’s only meaningless mumbling, but the same could be said of some visits to a doctor’s office. The Lama simply shared a lot of positive energy with the afflicted Sherpa woman to ease her concerns.Buddhist Lama clouds landscape lodge