After the relaxing rest day we were back on the move. A short but sharp climb out of Dingboche followed the same path as the acclimatization hike the day before. It was still as steep and got the blood flowing early in the morning.
The valley was fairly gradual and it was a good walk surrounded by high mountains. Summer pastures and huts provides shelter to the Yaks and Yak men during the summer months. We passed above the village of Pheriche in the deep valley below, in a few days time we would be returning via a tea house below.
The path dropped down to a bridge across a river of ice cold glacial water before a short uphill into Thukla. This one horse/one tea house settlement is at a natural break point, and was pretty busy with groups of trekkers.
After a garlic soup and toast (and probably a Twix) we had a hard steep climb up around 200m. Again this doesn't sound much, but we are now over 4500m up so the altitude is kicking in. In a most unusual turn of events, I climbed at the head of the pack without any issues. I had the headphones in and just climbed, even whistling along to a few tunes, much to the disgust/annoyance of others.
At the top of the climb are the Sherpa and climber memorials and time for a slow wander amongst the cairns. The prayer flags and surrounding mountains make this a stunning place and perfect to remember those who have died on the ultimate climb.
The path flattens out along another valley, with the glacial moraine to one side. The village of Lobuche isn't the most picturesque but our tea house was comfortable with decent food.
A short walk to the top of the glacier gave further great views and our first glimpse of the Everest Base Camp.