Besides feeling quite exhausted and being very ready for a shower, one of the things you realize on the way down is the view you are leaving behind. The view this morning, just like yesterday, was absolutely spectacular. I opened my curtains at 5:45 a.m. (we are sleeping in now after all) to the sun shining beautifully onto Ama Dablam. As I looked up valley there was a clear view of Island Peak sitting behind Chukung showing us what we were walking away from. By the time we finished breakfast and were ready to start walking down to Debouche at 7:15 a.m. the clouds were already rolling up the valley. Now the biggest concern is can we get a flight out of here! Supposedly there hasn’t been a flight in days due to the clouds, but I’ve got a good feelings we’ll get out of here no problems.
The trek from Dingboche to Debouche is fast on the way down. Unlike the next couple days, this one is pretty much straight down. The only uphills were over in a couple minutes, just enough to let you know that you were still at altitude and the air is fairly thin, but nothing that stops you from talking. Today’s hike went especially quick as Jonathan and I had a nice conversation for the first 1.5 hrs until my alarm went off and I had to excuse myself because it was time to call Leigh. This was certainly one of the beauties of going downhill and being so close to the cell phone tower in Tengboche, I was able to talk to Leigh for an hour as I made my way all the way to Debouche. I know some nature enthusiasts might say that I wasn’t appreciating the trail or soaking in the experience, but after 17 days apart it sure felt good to be able to take out my cell phone and give her a call – definitely made my day.
We ended up getting into Debouche around 10:30 a.m. We started joking (half seriously) that we might as well continue on another 4-5 hours to Namche seeing how we’d still get there in the early afternoon! However, it’s good to take your time on the way down to give the knees a rest and the real reason being that going from Dingboche to Namche would be a huge strain on the porters. They’ll already be working very hard in two days to go from Namche to Lukla, so it’s good for us to take our time now such that they can maintain some energy as well. The other luxury at Debouche besides the beautiful forests is the hot shower. I enjoy roughing it (if you can call having bed tea, washing water, and three meals cooked for you each day roughing it) and scrambling all over the glacier each day, but it feels quite good to be clean. I’m going to savor this feeling until we continue on to Namche tomorrow.