Failing Kalapatha and starting our decent

So after the triumph of Everest base camp it’s time to chill, as much as you can in a busy, cold and noisy tea house. Good time to people watch though. There’s a woman who’s a throw back from the 80’s, ‘let’s get physical!’ Dressed in a bright pink head band and the loudest voice ever. There’s a lance Armstrong look alike who chats up every woman in the room he can get near and an Asian lady who is horrified to see yak shit being used for fuelling the fire, she squealed in disgust. Despite there being a sign saying don’t sit around the fire about 8 people are in fact huddled around it, therefore no heat circulates. The fact the door doesn’t shut properly and let’s loads of cold air rush in doesn’t help!
Anyway off to bed early again, we do live the high life on this trek, bed by 9 every night!! it’s another bloody 4.30am start, hoping my alpen bars will fuel me this time. The tea house rooms are basic but nice enough, wooden floors in corridors with holes for lighting but currently just holes in the floor. Mr miyagi fell down one earlier, they are a bit dangerous. They have nice wooden banisters up the stair way, clearly trying to make it look good which is nice. However our room has no working light, so head torches it is, and we are next to the bloody toilet again!
Easter Sunday!!
Rubbish nights sleep, wooden floor very noisy throughout the night, toilet very busy so kept us awake and wake up like a zombie. The toilet is disgusting in the morning, I nearly puke when I go to use it! Gross, other toilets haven’t faired much better, the long drop is the best of a bad bunch. Western toilets all good and well if the flushing system works but clearly struggles in a very busy tea house with seemingly very poorly occupants. It’s kalapatha day, 4.30am no breakfast, rushed out to start and it’s -15 degrees, not great. We can’t be too noisy in meeting area as all the guides slept in the communal area, so bodies in duvets everywhere we look.
Out we head, my feet and hands are freezing already, I had brought hand hand warmers with me but they are the reusable ones and nowhere could I boil them for 15 minutes so useless!! I have not overloaded body with layers like gokyo lakes so hoping body heat will get my hands and feet sorted as we start walking.
No one is particularly happy this morning, it’s dark, cold and we are all hungry!! The snowfall makes it harder as cold and wet under foot, and after about 20 mins my hands are sooooo cold I have to put my poles away and this is my slippery slide to decent! I then start to feel sick and dizzy and physically can not see in a straight line. It was bloody scary, and for me to have to stop and sit down means its bad. Passing gave me a tablet, no idea what it was but happy to try any thing! Although he didn’t then give it a chance to work, and pretty much told me that kalapatha doesn’t matter and I should go down the mountain. I was not best pleased at his lack of support, and as I felt like I’d fall of the mountain if I continued I had to give in and go back down the mountain with one of the guides. I was so dizzy he had to hold my hand going down for about 5 mins then my head cleared a bit. I was so gutted, crying, the disappointment of failing anything for me is huge but to be ill and sent down the mountain in this kind of challenge was just depressing. When I got back to my room I just burst into tears, hysterical, what a failure, the only person in the group to fail to complete the full trip, I felt like I would never get over this failure! After an hour or so lie down, I couldn’t sleep so I decided to get up and at least walk about outside and enjoy the sunshine that is now shining over the mountains. I felt so good I decided to start walking up kalapatha to see how I got on, felt great. Passed the others who were on the way down. Swiss was like a mountain goat, skipped down the hillside miles ahead of anyone. Hagrid looked spent, his comments were ‘even Olympic athletes don’t do 14 days without a recovery!’. All wished me well on my second effort. I met the last of the group about three quarters of the way up, which meant I had to come back down with them and the guide. Gutted as I was fighting fit and would of made it to the top. At least I tried though and have some pride returned for the efforts. Nice to chat to people on the way down. Had a good talk with Ram the guide. He was a porter for 10 years, then an assistant guide for 5 but can’t be a guide as he’s not educated enough. Couldn’t go to school when younger as they couldn’t afford it. So sad to hear that this job is as far as he can go, Passang was lucky to get sponsored to go to uni but Ram wasn’t.
When I got back to the tea house my disappointment took over, was just completely down trodden, annoyed with Passang for not helping me, others struggled further up and he was much more sympathetic and caring. Annoyed that I had no friends to encourage me, I was left at the back when my hands got cold. Annoyed with myself for not demanding I get to the top when I met the others as it’s my holiday too and just annoyed with my body for failing!
We head off to our next tea house and back down the mountain after a late breakfast and see a helicopter land by this tea house. A trekker is too ill to continue and is flown off the mountain. At least I am not that ill I suppose. I continue to stew over my failings, don’t speak to anyone, real moody cow. We pass tea houses and villages we’ve stayed in on the way up, but push on quickly to get down the mountain.
By lunchtime I manage to make a joke of it at least and tell people I won’t share my toblerone as it’s for losers only as it’s shaped like the mountain I couldn’t climb. Ex pat and mr miyagi head off at lunch to a local hospital. Ex pats current boyfriend helped set it up years ago so she’s off to see what it’s like. Mr miyagi buys some t shirts so he’s donated to the air ambulance etc. We walk for ages, luckily mostly downhill back past the memorial stones, down the steep steps, we pass lots of knackered people trudging upwards. We pass a Chinese man with a huge doll on his back, very weird but each to their own. On the final walk of the day we have a little black pooch join us, he just pops out the bushes on the cliff and walks with us. I name him cliff! He must walk for about an hour, so cute. He walks all the way to the tea house, and follows us in. It’s then I realise he is a she and so have to call her cliffetta! As we all await drinks and rooms old luna gets a drink straight away. We’ve noticed that every stop she gets a drink immediately and doesn’t ever seem to pay for food. What’s that all about? Just because she was born on the mountain? We do have a laugh at her though, it’s so hard not to! Earlier we heard her saying, “it will be fascinating to see what my children are like”. What a random thing to say?
The tea house is basic, it does have a western toilet, but no running water just a bucket that you can wash hands from. You couldn’t swing a cat in the bedrooms, literally 2 beds and the narrowest of space between them. Cosy! Hagrid tells us we walked 20km today in 13 1/2 hours. Long day. I have decided I want to climb Kilimanjaro to prove to myself I can go higher, that’s the deal I have made with my conscious!
We finally get to wash after 2 days. Warm water, soap, flannel, luxury I tell you. Feel better for it, and a chance to sit down and chill for the evening. Poor cliffetta keeps getting stood on as she’s black and lies in a ball, so they kicked her outside.
There are another group from periguin company at this tea house, two groups of Australians. One set are so bloody loud it’s annoying being in the room with them. They moan about their last tea house saying it was basic, some toilets not opened all day, we laugh and think ‘you ain’t seen nothing yet!’ Lol. The guides with the other group include two brothers of one of ours, very funny seeing them all together. Our guide becomes more cheeky with his brothers around to try and impress.
Mini miyagi is knackered and doesn’t come out of his room all evening, bless him.
Well what an eventful Easter weekend it’s been, full of ups and downs!

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