from Namche to Thyangboche
of the Khumbu
that got us there
On the trail between Namche Bazaar and Thyangboche: scientist Freddy Blume and I are walking along together just past the Ama Dablam tea house not far from Trashinga. We've come down from the high, scenic traverse that runs along the upper edge of the cliffs above the Dudh Kosi and are working our way down to the river yet again. It's still a long way to the famous monastery we have yet to descend to the Dudh Khosi, cross it, then work up the big hill to the village of Thyangboche.
We just file along behind him as two young Sherpani (Sherpa women) come up behind us. The two girls are laughing and talking with each other as they walk along just behind Freddy and me. The guy with the yaks is making a lot of noise, too: most of the time he just whistles in a continuous and steady but always shifting, minor-key tone, oddly beautiful, soothing his beasts. At times he emits sharp grunts and low yells: commands, apparently, to his big, hairy, docile animals.
Between the lilting laughter of the girls behind us and the mesmerizing whistles and calls of the yak guy, Freddy and I sink into a kind of hypnotized state as we walk under the pine forests and rhododendron groves at about 12,000'. It's a delicious day in the Himalayan foothills, a moment completely out of real time. I really dug that trail music, and I'll never forget it.