‘’Monday 1st April 0800
Today we leave Namche and head to Tengboche. My stomach has been acting up – I have no doubt it is the water. I think I may have to stick with boiled water soon though I have no idea whether the platypus will tolerate it.
Namche has been good, we had a day of acclimatisation…’’
And then I had to leave.
So I’ll try my best to remember it for you without the help of my trusty diary.
Namche was actually really good fun. It was, as I said before, the last stop for internet and a hot shower. We all stock piled on medications, hats and scarves and even managed some time to buy and send postcards. My most exciting moment was purchasing a mocha at 3450m, and it tasted good too!
We enjoyed, as I mentioned previously, a fine evening of foozball and fun at the local Irish pub and for us ‘youngsters’ it was a great opportunity to get to know the Sherpas a little. Our team of assistant guides, Pemba, Milan and Nima would soon become like friends also. I miss them loads!
Our acclimatisation involved a walk to the Sagarmatha National Park where we were privy to some spectacular panoramic views of the region. You can spot Everest here:
Some other important spots included yaks and rescue helicopters. Did you know that pure bred yaks get low altitude sickness so the locals have bred hybrids? How cute is that, low altitude sickness?!
Back to the diary…
‘’April 1st 1730
We are now in Tengboche, about 3800m odd. I finally have some time to write…
…There have been a few conversations, as smaller and bigger groups regarding the whole ? arranged married situation. I realised I am no further on from understanding any of that than I was before. Occasionally, I try to remember the reason why I started this whole thing, trying to explain to myself what exactly was the motivation behind it. When I find out I’ll let you know, or vice versa perhaps?
Some other random facts, apparently I know way more Hindi than I had initially thought which has made conversing with the Sherpas really good fun. We’ve also been singing LOADS of Hindi songs which so far has been the highlight of the trip for me…’’
Looking back on my entries around this time, it’s clear I was knackered (or very busy, though I suspect the former). Each entry basically starts with ‘and now I’m at such and such’. No explanation of how I got there (probably zombie like) or what else is going on (well, lots of random rambling but nil publishable!). From memory and from my photos, this is where the monastery was. I’ll give you a picture:
But I distinctly remember not having good thoughts about this place on the ascent, because on the DESCENT I liked it a lot and wondered why I had hated it so much on the way up. Maybe I was already having altitude problems but didn’t really realise it, maybe the physical exhaustion was starting to creep up on me without me really knowing. The one thing I DO remember is ordering a small basin of hot water and I managed to wash my face and hair. It was bliss. The rest I recall just feeling, ‘Looks like it’s going to be quite bleak from here’.
As much as I loved the spiritual side of the monastery, I could not bring myself to get up early and go see the monks in action. My bed felt like a safer place, and I can assure you early mornings are not my thing. I’d already been struggling with sleep (with bedtime being 9pm, I was waking at 3am at the latest) and I really needed to regulate my sleep if I wanted to wake up resembling a human being as opposed to a sleep deprived rage monster. It probably wouldn’t do my energy levels any harm either!
I’m also pretty sure this was the first place I tried Dal Bhat, the Nepalese staple diet for fit and healthy trekkers. It’s basically rice with lentils, potatoes and any other veg. Not to forget, chilli! It’s delicious, filling and warms you to your core.
Oh and, I stuck to normal water with chlorine tablets with a little flask of boiled water for emergencies. In the end, you couldn’t even taste the horrible taste of chlorine. When the body needs water, the body needs water.