Everest – Day 8: Namche Bazaar to Thame

April 6 (Saturday)

Today we set out for Thame.  This village is actually in opposite direction than Base Camp but we needed to acclimatize properly, plus our guides wanted us to see where the majority of our Sherpas come from.

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As we learned, the word ‘Sherpa’ is the name of the people who live in the Khumbu region.  Many of them make their living by farming, but many work as porters on the Base Camp trek and higher up on the mountain.  It’s a very sought after job since it pays a lot of money in a very short amount of time (a climbing Sherpa can make over one year salary in just 3 months of an expedition).

Before we left for Namche the owner of the Panorama Lodge where we stayed those last couple of days gave us a blessing and wished us good luck on our adventure.

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It took us about 5 hours and numerous hills to get to Thame and gain 1000 ft of elevation.

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stupa on the way to Thame

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The village was mostly surrounded by mountains covered in a haze, they looked so surreal as if taken out of a sci-fi movie!  Very very beautiful.

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After lunch we went up another 200 ft to visit a monastery where we were allowed to observe a prayer ceremony.  Not to sound sacrilegious, but the whole thing looked very primitive.  There were two rows of monks facing each other, each chanting in seemingly no particular order.  Some of them were using metal Swiss horns, clarinets and cymbals.  The whole thing was so loud that my ears started hurting.  I’m sure I couldn’t appreciate any of it since I’m not a Buddhist and don’t understand the chanting.  Even though I didn’t care much for the whole experience, it was still very interesting to witness!

Interesting fact about the monastery: they take in any small boys whose families cannot provide for them.  The monastery gives them food, clothes and shelter, and raises them as monks until they decide to leave and become climbing Sherpas, porters, or simply farmers.

DAY 9

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