20 April: Beautiful clear day today as we left Namche. The mountains were out in all their glory, set against a brilliant blue sky. We set off from Namche just after 8 and climbed steadily most of the morning. The track contoured the valley of the Bhote Koshi River. En-route we stopped at the Tenzing Norgay Memorial which offered spectacular views of Everest. It was clear, although some lenticular cloud was apparent. Panuru said this normally means there will be a change in weather over the next couple of days.
As we continued the morning, the views just got better with every corner we rounded.
We had lunch high on a spur looking towards Ama Dablam at a place called Mong at 3975 metres. It is mind-blowing how these little villages can built given most of the material is portered in except the rock for building. That said, all is hand hewn.
The lunches are always sit down affairs at a local tea house or restaurant. Large thermoset of lemon ginger tea are the order of the day. The food has been very good with a good menu choice on offer.
Following lunch we descended down a valley and up the other side to Phortse at 3840 metres. We arrived around 3.30. Phortse is Panuru's village and tonight we are staying at his guesthouse. It is run by Panuru's wife, Pasang. She is a delightful lady.
Late in the afternoon Panuru, Kev, Ake and I, hiked up the hills high above the village to a rock climbing spot. Panuru is the Chairman of the Khumbu Climbing School and actually runs some climbing courses from here. Kev and Ake did a couple of routes.
Getting chilly now with the sun setting so will sign off until tomorrow.