Day 16: Khumjung
Route: Tengboche (3867 meters) ➔ Khumjung (3790 meters)
Distance: 5.69 km
Total Distance: 106.34 km
Time: 3 hours 13 minutes
On our way up, we found out a key bridge had been washed out below Tengboche, meaning all trekkers had to take a longer, more uphill battle to head towards Base Camp (part of the reason we decided to do the Cho La Pass).
On our way down we arrived on just the right day to be some of the first people to use the new bridge. The engineering of the thing was incredible. It appeared that the two sides somehow extended wood planks longer and longer until they met. Construction was still in process and the whole thing was a bit precarious. The previous bridge had been attached on one side to an absolutely huge boulder the size of a house. It had become loose and rolled towards the raging river. We crossed without incident.
We entered Khumjung, a Sherpa village just above Namch Bazaar and offers a far less touristy vibe than the popular Namche. The village sets in a kind of natural bowl at the foot of the holy mountain Khumbila. The Sherpas let their yak and yak-mixes graze on the upper side of the bowl since they can’t actually wander that far.
The area is relatively higher populated and they have their own high school founded by Sir Edmond Hillary, the first man to summit Everest. It would be an amazing place to spend some time teaching.
We walked the town, checking out their impressive stuppa and various other artifacts before returning to out lodge in haste as the rain came down.
As was my habit, I asked if our tea house owner had yak in stock. She did. I ordered a yak steak and potatoes. The following is what I got and you can read about it here. It tasted about like it looks.
Steve had the staple of Nepali food, Dal Bhat. This is the meal I ate more than any other. Its cheap, nutritious, and you often get complimentary refills.
He also had the ever so tasty Tibetan Bread.
Are spirits were high and stomaches full as we retired for the night.