We set out early on a Saturday morning. It was raining and we walked for about 5 hours. Since we are such experienced trekkers we did not think we would be moving if it would start raining a lot. We were wrong. I was wearing a cottonjacket that was happily absorbing every single raindrop landing on me. Lisa did not even have a jacket on this day. It was pouring and we went through steep, muddy grounds, high bridges and in general very muddy terrain. Destination of the day was Namchee, about 3500m high up. Once we got there, Lisa and I ran to the nearest shop to get new, functional clothes. Happy with our rainjackets and other necessary gear we had a late dinner and went early to bed.
On our second day we stayed in Namchee to rest and get used to the new altitude. We took a walk in the morning and managed to reach 4000m. Weather was lovely and there were not many trekkers along our route this morning. High up in the mountains you will see less wood but since all fuel is fire people make so called “poop-cakes”. They mix dried grass/hay with Jak/Cow/Horse poop and let it dry in the sun. Tadaa – ready to use! Excellent fuel and very good “recycling”. Nature is amazing!
On the second night we wanted to wash our hair – this is usually done under some random tap with cold water. For some reason, we had some extremely hot water pouring out from the tap afterwards. We hurried to get our waterbottles, filled them with some hot water and some cold water and washed our faces this evening with WARM WATER, We had forgotten how nice that felt. Luxurious.
On the third day we took a 6 hour trekk to Debuchee, with an altitude of 3700m. It was a very clean lodge which was nice. We were quite tired and cold upon arrival – it is difficult to get used to the cold since there are no heaters anywhere. Imagine the water being so cold that your fingers literally go numb after getting in contact with it – this is the water we wash our faces with every morning and evening.
We were very lucky with the weather. Day 4 and 5: we arrive to Dingboche which is on 4400m altitude. Fortsatt tur med vädret. On this day I am literally completely exhausted. We went to bed early (7 PM) but woke up because we were so cold despite my 3 pairs of socks, 2 pair of wool trousers, 4 sweaters, scarf and hat in my sleeping bag. It was very cold. The day after we stayed in Dingboche and took a hike up to 4900m. I started noticing some extra efforts in breathing on this height but in general I am (we) are still fine. On Thursday we hiked to Lobuchee (4910m) where we stayed one night before moving on to the Everest Base Camp the day after. This is on Thursday and everyone in our group (8 pax) are fine. My headache started during Thursdays hike though and refused to go away. I started feeling the altitude. Our lodge was not clean and everything felt and probably was dirty – but nothing matters when you are on your way to the highest mountain in the world + when you get a fat, warm blanket. We went to sleep with all of our clothes on.
7 am was our starting time on Friday and today was the Day – we were going to Everest B.C! We came to Gorak Shep at around 10 AM, ate a little and started at 11 AM towards Mount Everest. We were blessed with amazing weather and could enjoy beautiful views of the area and its nature. I had a constant headache, an aching nausea but at around 2 PM, we got there (though for a second I really did not think I would). We were told that there is 50% less oxygen at the Base Camp (5400m). In my opinion it is a slightly “dangerous” terrain to get there, I almost fell/slipped twice but our guide caught me both times. It feels unreal that we made it and an applause to everyone who gets there, in particular to the elderly people because it is not darn easy to get there. WE DID IT!!!
My nausea and headache gradually got worse on the way back from base camp, the hike back to the lodge was terrible – though once I got there I ordered lots of food – so I was all good We were supposed to get up at 4.30 the morning after to go up to Kalappathar and se Mt Everest when the sun rised. Kalappathar is higher up than Everst base camp and it all steep uphill. When it was time to get up we discovered it to be a physical impossibility. My eyes were so swollen, it felt as if they were going to pop out, my head was aching and had been all night, my ears were ringing and Lisa had a bad nosebleed. We listened to our bodies and decided to be happy with the Everest base camp success. We did not feel better until we were back down on a 4000m altitude.
It took us 2 days to get down again. One of the girls in the group felt terribly ill on the second last day and we accompanied her. The rain was pouring but finally we got to our lodge where we stayed for one night. Maud felt much better the day after so we decided to make an attempt to get home since the weather forecast said it would continously pour down for another few days. Lisa and I made an effort to dress high-fashion-like – once we got to Namchee we bought rainponchos, one in purple and one in fuchia. We have never been so trendy.
In general I find it fascinating that Nepal has such tourism. I understand that due to its astonishing nature and mountains people travel long ways to enjoy the atmosphere and experience here. This is good – it occupies/employs many people who can run lodges, restaurants, shops and also porters and guides can make a decent living even though it is very hard work. One can not feel anything but thankful that this is the case.
We arrived back in our vilage of Ghat, Monday evening (14/10) and I could hardly wait until I was back at the Monastery. Lisa did not have any dry clothes so she stayed home the day after. I had a pleasant hike up in the rain and I was wondering if the children had “forgotten” us or if they had gone back to the shy version of themselves. I was curious about what Andy and the new volunteer Dagoberto had been doing with the children these days when even they celebrated the holiday (men are allowed to stay at the Monastery).
Once I got there, Loden saw me, ran off and spread the word that I was back and one after one popped up with the biggest smile and were so happy. It is good that I have a strong and healthy heart that can handle it. I have said it before but I will say it again, my heart melts here, over and over again. Everest was a great adventure with many memories but I was “home” again where the children were and I had missed them so much.