Day three started with a disconcerting rumble in my stomach, but I was starting to feel a little better. It seemed that the Cipro was starting to work its magic. I enjoyed the brisk morning by setting up my camera to take some video notes, and Christen basked in the warmth of her first hot bucket shower of the trip. When you have no plumbing, you get creative in the mountains.
The day began with a short 30-minute hike that was surprisingly difficult. Ah, yes… Everything is uphill in the Himalaya. We had early morning tea and biscuits at an overlook at the monastery where Karma’s uncle is the Lama. We could not go inside because of a flurry of construction work. Some Japanese businessmen had donated $100,000 for the renovation of this picturesque and remote Buddhist monastery.
After spending the better part of an hour at the Monastery, it was up the trail again. Thankfully, we did not have quite as much vertical gain/loss that day. As we were rounding a steep ridge, I marveled at the sheer depth of the valleys. It seemed that the mountains (still called ‘hills’ at this point by the Sherpas) rose almost completely straight up out of the rushing river thousands of feet below.
Along the distant ‘hills’, I could make out tiny little houses and row upon row of immaculate terraces hewn out of the steep hillsides. With no roads into this area, the only way is to go on foot. I marveled at the strength and ingenuity of the people who lived in these little villages dotting the landscape.
In the mid afternoon, we came around a corner to see a spread-out cluster of little homes and bamboo cow sheds cascading down the mountainside. On one border, a sheer cliff hugged the trail. We were finally in Sibuje, Karma’s home village, and it was even more beautiful than I could have imagined.