A rooster? All the way up here? Really? Those were my first thoughts in the morning after a too short of night’s sleep in Tengbouche. Must have been the smell of paint that kept me awake. In any event, I rose out of bed with a smile; to the trail we go. But, first, breakfast. Funny enough, being halfway through our ascent, one of the biggest things I noticed outside of nature, was the teasingly long, but limited menu. During high-season, these trails have full-blown English breakfasts, pancakes, noodles, more Dal Bhat, eggs… everything. But, for us, there was only oatmeal and Dal Bhat; which, by this time was starting to get a bit old. Luckily, I had brought with us some dried fruits to add a little something to the monotony of oats and warm water. And when you spend all day hiking, nourishment is nourishment after all. So with a big swallow, Rob and I took in our oatmeal, drank cozy tea, filled our water bottles with our water/tang mixture and headed out for the 3-4 hour hike to Periche.
This part of the hike was really interesting, because our destination- Periche- lies literally in the middle of nowhere. It is nowhere near the larger cities of Lukla (which connect to Kathmandu) nor is it close to the Himalayas notorious climbing peaks. Periche lies somewhere in the middle. To get there from Tengbouche, we began a most immediate descent, which eventually leveled off into a steady incline for a good couple of hours. An absolutely beautiful day was upon us. The sun was shining lightly on our backs, the roar of the Dudh Kosi river within reach, and displays of the beauty of the Himalayas all around us. At one point, we even saw a wild/stray horse perched underneath a view of Ama Dablam. He/she most likely used to be owned by someone, but we could tell from the protrusion of its ribs and wild hair, that it had been a while since a human cared for it. But, more so that it simply looked free, much in the way I imagined ourselves. Free.
After around a total of 4 hours, we came upon a point where the Dudh Kosi river made a deep twisting bend, which required us to climb a bit higher to make the turn. Once we made the turn, I stood awestruck and agape at the beauty that lied ahead. Before us lied a valley of small flowers, rock homes and a babbling brook that shook hands with the Dudh Kosi, close to its twisting bend. Views from most all of the famous Himalayan peaks can be seen from the point of Periche; you simply just have to catch a moment in time where God opens up the cloudy gates and allows perfection to be seen.
Being that it was still early in the afternoon upon our arrival, Rob and I made a point to check out the small village of Periche. To our delight, most everything was closed. Somehow, closure of all of the hotels, shops and so forth, had become a comfort. Somewhere along the line, the periodic closure of the few restaurants and hotels made our experience that much more real. More true. Like we were closer to nature because of it. So, we strolled around Periche, watching the quiet nature of the village unfold.