We had a very easy day today, drifting down from Lumden (4350 m) to Thame (3850 m).  It was interesting to observe the change in vegetation as we lost elevation.  The tiny, thorny shrubs yielded to juniper and dwarf willow, the juniper grew, and then finally, at the edge of Thame, we entered a small forest of rhododendrons and birch.  These were the first trees we have seen in over a week.

The cultural environment changed as we descended as well.  Above about 4300 metres there are no true villages, but only clusters of trekking lodges.  We passed through a couple of real towns today, complete with chortens, mani walls and other manifestations of Buddhist faith.  We haven’t seen many of these in the past week and a half.

We are staying in the village of Thame this evening.  Most of the trekkers just barrel through here in the way to the bright lights of Namche, but we have time to burn so we are able to stay.  Our guesthouse is an older one with only six rooms.  The dining area is very traditional, with a portion functioning as a Buddhist shrine.  We are the only guests.  Our host has made us some delicious vegetable fried noodles with cheese, and built a very warm yak dung fire in the airtight stove.  We are enjoying our time in Thame very much.

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