Let me introduce the group; (I realise I am very inventive with the names!)
Gragma: pe teacher from Brisbane,
Ex pat: doctor from the uk now in New Zealand
Hagrid: real kiwi lad, BFG
Kiwi lass: now lives in Oz
Indo smiler: from Indonesia now in Oz
Mexican: quiet lad from Mexico
Swiss: fit lad from the alps
Pom: teacher from uk
Mr bean: friendly guy from Perth
Roomy: young Aussie girl
Mr miyagi: Hong Kong dude now in Oz, the wise one
Baby miyagi: son of above
Luna: nepalease now American late addition to group.
After our safe landing we are shepherded off the plane and the runway. There are about 30 locals huddled tight against the fence looking in. No idea why, hoping for work maybe? We head off to a tea house to grab a drink, reorganise bags for trekking and meet our porters. There’s the cutest puppy there. We all make a fuss of it. Tiny, chubby thing! By 8.10am we are ready to go, squat toilets used, bags emptied and repacked. Our porters are so short! Bless them carrying bags as big as them? And about 30kg. I struggle with my 5kg bag. As we set off I realise I have my book and phone charger in bag. Don’t need either! Damn it. We pass lots of chubby faced, dirty clothes local children. But all smile and reply to our namaste. Our guides know loads of people and say their hellos as we venture up. We are shown the tenzing and Hillary schools that have been built. Weather is awesome, warm, clear views, just amazing. Chatting to my group. Pom who’s an assistant head teacher got time off work as like me he’ll miss school time. Staff know he’s here but he said he doesn’t know when he’s back. Flights delayed!! Probably miss three days. I’m clearly hydrated as need three toilet stops before lunch! Good squat toilet practice though. Gragma hates heights and we cross some pretty big suspension bridges. He grabs on for dear life cutting his hands from clenching so much. My old boss who’s done this trek asked me to remember him on the bridge. I assume he means the last and highest one! As there’s about 8! Lunch stop we waited probably an hour for food, but out in the sun chilling. Love it. Feel a possible blister on foot so put plaster on as precaution. We pass lots of Hindu prayer wheels on route and spin them for luck. Do this every time we see them. Also must walk on the left side of any religious stone, pole or statue for goo luck. We see half cow half yak, we call them a cak!! They do have a proper name though just can’t remember though. Lovely scenery, trees, paddy fields, pink flowers, kids out playing. Very peaceful. Big change from dirty, noisy Kathmandu.
My backpack is making me sore, too small we decide but make some adjustments and feels better. Damn work colleagues for their advice on cheap bags!! As we struggle a bit on the second half of day I hand out lemon sherbets. Swiss drops his on floor, does the three second rule count when yaks etc have walked and shit on the floor?? I say yes others disagree. Lol.
We see some people pass in jeans, madness I think? 8 hours after leaving we arrive at tea house. We meet some Brits who are off to the summit. Must be bloody rich as it’s about £50k to summit. They were doctors! The rooms are minimal, 2 beds and a bin but nice enough. Porters have put our bags in the rooms already! Some of the group pay for a shower. The boys mainly which surprised me. It’s only £3 but would soon mount up every day so my roomy and I decline, wet wipe wash will be the norm. I order curry for tea and we chill chatting for the evening. The summit group lead man has done the summit 8 times. Wow!! His wife who’s now accompanying him has never done it, that’ll be interesting. Hagrid is a behaviourist. Makes you wonder what he thinks of us all but interesting chatting to him. Bed at 8pm, chat to my roomy who is very sweet, just 21! Off to snodland. Wake up busting for the loo, look at watch it’s 11pm, can’t hold it that long so up I get as quiet as possible! Sore throat too so tablets, drink and back to sleep. Hear caks go by at about 5am, they have bells on their necks, so awake before the wake up call. We get warm water for washing in the morning, and go outside to clean teeth with awesome views of sunrise over the mountains. I put a proper blister plaster on toe to keep it from rubbing. The local kids outside remind me of Peru with chubby and rosy cheeks. This morning was a hard trek. Less shops and tea houses, we were spoilt yesterday! The sun is shining, wind swirling and we get our first view of Everest. Awesome! Wind whipping snow off the top, amazing and so glad to be on this trip. I get my bubbles out across bridge, and at random points. You may wonder what the hell!! My pharmacist who has done this trek said she took some and the porters and locals loved it. We shall see. I’m a big kid anyway. We had three of the high bridges today. The last one so high, amazing looking down over fast flowing river. Chatting to group again. I’m clearly the no gear no idea dude! Learning that my boots are rubbish, I need Marino clothing that absorbs sweat and no smell! Christmas list maybe? Shorter day today. 3 hours and we are done. I’ve learnt that caks are actually a jokoy from our guide? We are now in Namache and here for two days for acclimatisation. Loads of dogs about but well looked after. We find free wifi and chill with drinks and lunch. Although only about 6 people can use the wifi at once? I treat myself to carrot cake, not worth it, damn. The toilets here have often been western or attempts at western. The one at the cafe had signs showing how to use the toilet brush correctly and the toilet. Hilarious. Don’t brush your teeth with the brush! Don’t squat beside the toilet. Love it. Messaged mum I sent some pics of trip so far, checked in on Facebook. Went shopping, bought another fake north face item, t shirt this time so can wear my current t shirts for one day less now! Buy the comfiest and toastiest knitted socks to keep feet warm in the evenings. Rainbow coloured. We went to see the nighttime view of mountains buy moonlight from the steps above town. Dogs just sit there looking out, like lady and the tramp, awesome views of the mountains. My cameras not good enough to capture though but ex pat and mr miyagi do so can get copies. Back to tea house and bed at 9pm.
Porridge for breakfast, not milky but mixed all water so not the same. Cuppa as well although not as nice as the chai at the orphanage. Miss that. The toilets stink by morning as men have missed urinal. Yuck! Shared toilets issues hey. This acclimatisation day is a walk to Everest view hotel. Nice walk, past highest airstrip in the world syanzboc 3750, and we see a helicopter take off out of the dust. Pretty awesome. Swiss and his seemingly now shadow (or vice vets a) Pom head to the air strip to see helicopter. Swiss is going to train to be a pilot in the U.S. Today the group is quite spread out. Some seem to be in a rush, Swiss and Pom in particular. Not as much fun when spread out, feels less sociable. Starting to understand people’s personalities more now though. Mr Bean is just a bit different to us all. Tries hard to get involved in conversations but they just aren’t talking points such as; bit hilly, clouds coming, oh downhill, like me bean! Lovely guy though. Ex pat and I talk about triathlons, along with kiwi lass. Lots do them, nice to chat about experiences. Hagrid takes the mick out of pom but I’m ‘an ok pom’ apparently! Think we’ll get a lot of that being a minority country here. As we get higher much windier, get cold and need more layers on. We get to Everest view hotel and is an amazing view. Worth the extra half hour walk. Great view again of Everest and other Himalayan mountains. Now learning that lhoste is the mountain next to Everest and is 4th highest in world. On the way down the group seem even more dispersed. I’m near back enjoying chatting to gragma. (Name comes from the guides spelling his name wrong in day books). Lovely bloke. My boots are coming apart at front after 2 days, not impressed so I go and get them stitched. £3 and in just half an hour for two boots half stitched around. What a skill! Gragma calls a random horse on street fat as a joke when we pass, bizarrely it then starts neighing at us and following us. So funny. Lunch at a local bakery, we’ve been warned not to have anything that’s sat out for a while. I try pizza again as looks freshly made. Need a poo but this place only has squat. Just can’t get comfy! As there’s free wifi we are all on phones anti social as per life!! After a chilled afternoon, we peruse shops a bit more. Hagrid and ex pat are thinking of buying a piece of art from a master. Wish I could afford it. £120 though is too much. Go back to limited wifi place to watch Everest movie. Scary place to climb! Fascinating to see the Sherpas stories though such hard working. Back to tea house for dinner. Baby miyagi has got a fever from walk today so is in bed sleeping poor thing. Before food we get a hot flannel to wash hands and face with. Lovely feeling of hot water, so rare! Chatting in the evening. Gragma has bought a traditional neck scarf from Kathmandu. He gets it out of packaging and it’s a Harley Davidson one. Very authentic!! Lol.
Bed time at 9pm. Fun day chatting and getting to know people. Off higher tomorrow.
Let me introduce the group; (I realise I am very inventive with the names!)