Well I’m still here in Namche. Tendi declares himself somewhat better….but clearly not up to a day of trekking. It really won’t hurt me to take a rest day either. I feel great but high altitude sickness can jump up and bight the unwary where it hurts. In fact the hotel owner is at this very moment organizing a chopper med evac for a Trekker with altitude sickness which is fast becoming really serious… Her headache from last night has become much worse and now her blood oximetry is falling 95 to 84 in an hour. Pulse rate climbing from 80 something to 110. Now vomiting, and blue lips and difficulty breathing, can’t stand up……. Good thing the weather is clearing.
So ….. More blog time and a few anecdotes from our trek which I didn’t tell you yesterday.
At our lunch break on a high coll below Pikey Peak the owner of the tea shop was taking down his prayer flag pole. The long vertical flag on it was frayed to virtually nothing. Rupert and our porters helped in this endeavour and it was decided they would stay and help with the erecting of the pole once it had new flag was secured. The old flag was removed and tucked into the many wall of which this pole was the central point. The bright new flag was carefully nailed in place. A new evergreen branch was secured to the top with a blessed Khata. Two young monks came out of the smoky interior of the tea shop armed with rice, water and incense. There was a lot of water sprinkling, rice tossing, and incense wafting with the usual chanting. Duly blessed, the flag was ready to be elevated on its pole. Rupert was right in there and up the pole went. Rocks were tucked around the base to secure it and a long string of small prayer flags was stretched out from the top of the pole to a tree on the nearby hill side. Our lunch stop had taken rather longer than anticipated and we still had a long way to go, but it was worth while to have participated and witnessed in this ceremony.
The chanting of monks and the blowing of Tibetan horns in these high mountain Gompas is always a spiritually moving music to me. The other day I was standing outside the small Gompa in Bupsa when across the valley from the opposite mountainside drifted this beautiful, haunting, resonating sound. Carried by the wind from where we’d stopped for lunch in Kharikhola, the monks music drifted from a Gompa so far away it was hard to see. The sound however was as clear as if I’d been sitting within the Gompa itself. This moment of beauty more than made up for the agrivations of that day’s slog on a remarkably awful trail.
T’is a wee small world. Karin this story is for you and it is almost unbelievable. In Bupasa I did a hand wash of a few clothes. (Just before I went to visit the Gompa) There was another trekker there doing the same thing. As we were hanging our clothes we got to talking. She and her husband are from Vermont. When I told them where I was from they said they had friends from the same place. – MJ and Niel Crouch. Well what are the chances? She simply could hardly fathom that I knew who her friends were. So Karin please let MJ and Niel know that Helen and Jake Hollenback send their greetings from Bupsa Nepal.
Tendi has emerged from his room and is looking much more his usual happy self. So I’m signing off now to have chea with him. Back soon.