The final frontier, dirty stop outs, showers, breast massages and drunken chats!

Another great sleep, oxygen is underrated in day to day life! Roomy seems ok this morning after her sickness last night, bless her, let’s hope she is ok on the walk. Someone else however was ill in the night and there’s blood sick in the sink, what a delight. Still cleaner than at the base camp tea house, and is has a light and a flush still working in the morning. At brekkie I find out that Mexican and mini miyagi didn’t come home last night. They went out drinking during dinner but the tea house locks it’s doors at 9.30pm. They tried to get in at 2am and couldn’t so slept at a shop owners place until 6am when they came back home. Poor mr miyagi who was going spare all night wondering where his son was! Oh to be young and in the party mood! Mexican pulled a Danish girl but wasn’t interested, he said she hadn’t washed for 8 days so that was gross. Erm hello who are you calling gross?? So of course we took the mick out of him for hours!
I seem to have lost my trouser legs! When I stripped to shorts yesterday i have left the bottom halves on the mountain somewhere! Oops. Last day of trekking, hooray. This should be a two day hike but because we couldn’t fly on the first day this is where we make the day back up. So off we go, shorts and t shirt as it’s very warm being so low down. I can’t remember the route up here but others remember there is lots of uphill for us as we had lots of downhill on the first day. Oh joy. First part is good, roomy is struggling so I stay with her at the back and have a chat about jobs, travels and just life. I don’t think I had asked her all trek what her job was. She is an airport controller ground staff dude, (can’t remember the actual name). As usual we meet a stray dog who follows us for ages, he even starts to come across one of the long bridges, very brave. My dog at home won’t even go over grates or drains. But the poor doggie freezes about a third of the way in, and good old gragma and his puts his own fears aside and encourages the pooch across the bridge and they conquer it together. Gragma says it gave him something to think about other than the fall to your death below! We pass the last view of Everest. Sad to say goodbye after two weeks of the views. I will really miss sagmartha!
Our first stop is at our tea house from the first night. So much has happened since we were last here. This is where we met the doctors climbing Everest, and I got my bubbles out for the first time. It seems like such a long time ago. Roomy still feeling rough and is just about coping. Gragmas tooth ache has disappeared with coming down the mountain. Mr bean is dripping with sweat it’s gross (I know he can’t help it), he has an army like outfit today which is green and just shows the sweat!
Second part of the walk is not too bad, down and up hill sections, still loving the colourful horizon and butterflies etc. Lunch is at the stop that we would have been staying at, lovely view, quite busy though with people on their way up and down. We have passed lots of people on day one of their trek, looking all fresh faced, out of breath and clean! I have continued my namaste tradition so far and am again on about 95% response rate. Sad keeping count I know!
I have momos for lunch and order vegetable ones but get meat. Didn’t want meat on the mountain but never mind, taste quite nice. We sit and chill for a long lunch, nice surroundings, sunny, life is good.
The afternoon drags. I walk at back with ex pat, gragma and roomy. She is really struggling with tiredness having hardly eaten for 24 hours. I find out that mr miyagi is actually a doctor/consultant even though he told everyone he was involved in finance. Why would you lie for two weeks? Ex pat found out at the hospital they visited when he said to them he was a doctor. All in shock at this bizarre lie. Also just realised that hagrid has harboured an annoyance (to put it politely) with mr miyagi all trek. I had picked up on the odd comment but didn’t quite get the whole picture. Others have told me today and I had heard some sarcastic comments from hagrid on the walk this morning. Maybe because I walk at the back I don’t see so much or I’m just not paying attention?
Passang had told us the walk would take about two hours after lunch, at the two hour mark he says it’s about an hour left. Very annoying when we are so tired of walking and you set your sights on finishing times and it changes. All having a good old moan this afternoon, and Passang still hasn’t said two words to me since being ill! We stop for a well needed drink by a little shop. There are three little girls that live there and they are having their feet washed. Looks like its a treat to be washed but the youngest screams when being scrubbed. Bless her. We continue up some very steep sections, I really don’t remember going downhill so much on day one but it’s bloody hard. My legs are pretty knackered. After a mere 6 hours of walking today (and three and a half after lunch!) we get to the gate that marks the start and finish of the trek! Roomy makes it but looks spent! Hooray, hooray, hooray!!!!
The tea house though is another half hour walk through the town as it’s beside the airport.
We traipse through at a very slow rate, passing lots of shops, pubs, tea houses, restaurants, kids playing in the streets, stray dogs sunbathing. We lose half the group into a pub we think, but the rest of us continue to the tea house and toast our triumphs with a glass of wine. Pleased to be at the final hurdle, relaxing and cheerful. The tea house has flags and signed t shirts all over the walls and ceilings. It’s nice to have a read of them. Lots of kiwis and Australians have been here. The rooms, well what can I say, en suite!!! What a luxury! Cold showers, toilet roll and flushing toilets, as well as a sink with running water. We don’t bother with the shower, there really are no clean clothes left to put on so it is a pointless task, well maybe not for sweaty mr bean who stinks but for less sweaty people like us girls!!
I sit outside and watch the last sunset over the mountains. Very relaxing out there, looking over the runway. The guides head off to see family and friends. Mi-ma lives in a house just down from the runway, I see him playing with his daughter outside. Ne-ma goes off to, I think his parents, and Passang visits his aunt. So it’s just us Trekkers at the tea house for the afternoon. There’s a really annoying American dude in here. Loud, a bit weird and just annoying to listen to in general. Quite funny though, his room mate has gone into town and taken the key with him so he is locked out. Shame!
The missing group members return, some a bit worse for wear!! Kiwi lass is rather drunk, they’ve been at the Irish pub and she only had a couple of drinks but clearly can’t handle them.
We have a celebration evening, the porters come for food and to be given their tips from us. We all put in about $80 for the porters and assistant guides to share. There are 8 porters and 3 assistant guides and with 14 people putting in a total of around $1300, that’s a pretty good tip for these poor boys who don’t get paid much. Their little faces were so happy when they got the money, so appreciative and came and shook all of our hands. I ordered yak steak for my dinner, just because one should try the local delicacy. Well it was burnt to a crisp so i can’t tell you what I thought of it as couldn’t taste it!!! Never mind, you live and learn. We ordered red wine to drink this evening, old mr miyagi has taken over the choosing of the wine, rather than hagrid or indie, not sure why but as long as it’s nice. Kiwi lass is getting more drunk, and starts playing the guitar again but it’s out of tune so she tries to tune it. Oops, she breaks a string so it looks like no guitar playing. However Passang manages to source another string so kiwi heads out the room to tune it once more. Maybe interesting whilst drunk!! She appears about an hour later with a tuned guitar, and manages to play well whilst drunk!
The dirty stop outs from last night can’t take the pace and aren’t drinking tonight, both on soft drinks. I’m pretty sure I could drink night after night at mini miyagis age, what a Larry lightweight! We had a lovely final night but most are still knackered after the walking so it’s not a late one. I’ve had about three quarters of a bottle of wine so did need to drink some water half way through the night so I’m not too drunk, just merry!
Last wake up call, I’m going to miss this! ‘Good morning, washing water please’. I was sound asleep again, still loving the oxygenated air! We leave any unwanted clothes and toiletries for the porters to share out. I leave some t shirts and jumpers, gragma has brought loads of Adidas clothing to give them. Wish I had more to leave. We didn’t have time for breakfast and shot off at 6am to get to the airport, it’s only a quick walk down the alley to the check in. It was all a bit rushed, bags were opened and checked, hand luggage weighed, then told to go through security. Didn’t even get to say goodbye to the guides. Passang travels back to Kathmandu with us but the others live here. The women had the longest bloody line at security, men through in a minute. We had to queue for about eight minutes as the security were looking through bags, body searching and then asking loads of questions. Security lady even opened my lip balm tin to check it was lip balm and made ex pat empty her tampons from her pocket. However never checked our camera bags? Clearly the men look less suspicious than us women!!
Finally through to departures and we are flight three so shouldn’t need to wait too long. I had a cup of tea whilst waiting and an alpen bar for breakfast! First flights land and out go flight two, then four, then five. What about bloody one and more importantly three? Passang was on flight four so he’s gone already, let’s hope we aren’t stuck here if flights suddenly get cancelled!
It’s ok flight three gets called next to a big cheer from us. Poor flight one though! I wondered who would get in the front seats this time, pom and gragma did on the way out so would only be fair for others to get to see the view of take off and landing on the way back? Nope, Pom rushes to the front and gets front view again. Very selfish but am I surprised? At least gragma sat near the back. Ex pat got the other seat. Less bumpy journey this time and thankfully I didn’t feel sick. Lovely views of the Himalayas as we fly away. Touch down nicely and herded onto a bus that takes us to baggage reclaim. We have no idea what time we can get our rooms at the hotel as it’s only 8.30am, but fortunately do find Passang at the baggage reclaim and head off to the bus and to the hotel. You forget about the dirty, dusty, noisy streets. I miss the mountains already. Random cows in the road again, horns blaring as we sit in traffic. Everyone so angry and in a rush. We get to the hotel an unsurprisingly the rooms aren’t available so we all go to buffet breakfast which costs a whole £6! We eat like we haven’t for a month! Western breakfast what a treat. Pancakes, bread, croissants, orange juice, normal (well cats piss) tea. Lovely. Rooms still not ready after brekkie so some of us head to the pool to sunbathe. We do look a sight in our trekking clothes and trekking bags taking over the joint! We don’t swim though as we don’t have our gear and quite frankly we are filthy! As others guests start to come around the pool we start to go inside and wait, free wifi and all that and then oh yes the rooms are ready! Roomy lets me shower first, age before beauty I know!!
Oh yes, what an awesome experience. A hot, powerful, luxurious shower! I spend probably an hour in the shower. I have to shave, wash and condition my hair, wash more than once to get the dirt off my legs for a start!! It feels good to be clean!! Roomy was sorting her suitcase out in that hour and still hadn’t finished!
Roomy and I head into town to visit the huge Sherpa store. We get a taxi from the hotel but they misunderstood us and took us to the Sherpa mall. No idea where we are so just walk to the shops we know. I drag roomy into several trip companies, up seedy stairwells, down alleyways, all in the name of getting me to white water raft and paraglide in my few days before I go home. It looks possible though, I can head off to white water raft on Saturday, then afterwards continue the coach journey to pokhara stay over night, then paraglide the next day, stay another night then fly back to Kathmandu. Can’t spend another whole day on one of those coaches. They are so uncomfortable and it’s a 7 hour journey! And all of this for about £160 what a treat!
We get a rickshaw back to the hotel just because we can!! And then head in to see what others are up to and hear about their awesome massage, so off I head to get a massage. It is the funniest thing ever. The first half she bends me into all kind of weird positions, I feel like I’m going through the karma-sutra book! Then she offers me a bottom massage. I say yes why not! Then I have to ask her to repeat herself as I’m in shock at the next question, ‘do I want a breast or tummy massage?’. Really, a breast massage???? What kind of massage place is this!! Hilarious. I decline!
I feel quite battered, bruised and slightly abused after the hour and a half massage, and I’m covered in weird smelling oil, but I’m sure it did me good?? Now it’s time for my eyebrows to be threaded. Now what a treat that was as well. Into another building that has no electricity so she’s doing it in partial darkness only helped by light through the windows. She kneels on me to get close to my eyebrows. I do feel like a giant next to this petite Nepalese lady, probably only about 4ft 8. After some painful plucking and asking me to check, I can’t really tell, it is dark after all I think it’s all over. I say yes it’s great (get me out of here!!) she then notices something she wants to change more than once! I finally leave not sure I’m relaxed or more beautiful but still. (Back in the Uk I realise my eyebrows are very uneven!)
Back at the hotel the group are all sat down discussing the trip. Hagrid is not happy with the finer details of his tour. He’s tried to work out why it costs so much when we now know the cost of accommodation and mountain passes etc. He also didn’t get picked up from the airport when he arrived so isn’t best pleased about that either. It is bloody expensive. Tour cost is £1500 without flight or food so it’s cost me about £270 for the 21 day tour! Maybe they should put us up in a less expensive hotel before and after the trek, because to be honest anything is luxurious after trekking and it might reduce the price! I find out ex pat accepted the breast massage, in her words ‘it’s the most action I’ve had in weeks!!’. Love it.
We discussed at various points, getting tour t shirts. I love a tour shirt myself but don’t think I discuss it with the right people. Ex pat is not a t shirt girl, and roomy just nods along. Mr miyagi would of helped me organise it but seemingly we have run out of time!!
We head off for our final meal out as a group. Passang is with us and we go to a nice restaurant down the road. I order the special that is from BBQ Wednesday! More because the man behind the BBQ looks bored stiff and I want to give him some work. Passang and indie headed off to get souvenir rum in bottles shaped like a Nepalese knife and are gone for about forty minutes?? The meal is supposed to be a goodbye to Passang as well as all of us but he hardly sits at the table as he’s off chatting to friends constantly. Bit rude? But then maybe we shouldn’t have put him on the end of the table with mr bean and mr miyagi beside him. Should of been with all the other men in the middle so he felt more sociable? Or maybe he’s just not that fussed to spend time with us Trekkers?
The starters come out and I am suddenly adorned with my Wednesday BBQ meal that turns out to be a starter!! Oh great. About 6 bits of BBQ meat for my meal. Luckily loads of people have large meals that they can’t finish so I clean their plates for them and get more of a meal than a starter!!
On the red wine again and kiwi is drunk once more! She pulls the funniest faces when drunk, looks so serious you laugh. Hagrid has a steak but sends it back. I’m sure this is about the fourth or fifth meal this trek he has returned. His steak is just a plate of gristle, so fair enough that he wants a piece of actual meat to eat!!
They have these lovely cosy looking seats at the side of the restaurant so kiwi and I head over for a lie down. I could sleep in there, like a cocoon! We are a bit like Billy no mates mind, no one joins us so we head back to be sociable and well it’s desert time too!!
There’s a band playing at the restaurant which is pretty cool. Although we are the only people here to listen to it. Hagrid does a little presentation for the constantly AWOL Passang. He brought over a necklace from New Zealand and presents it too him. We then say our goodbyes and head back to the hotel for drinks! The oldies (well not all oldies) head to bed but 8 of us stay up in the bar and socialise. We have tequilas due to Mexicans influence, cocktails because they look nice and generally have a fun evening! Ex pat with some Dutch courage asks mini miyagi why his dad lied about his job. His response “he’s just a bit weird about it!!” Mexican opens his heart and tells us that his girlfriend died in a car crash last year, and that’s why he’s come on this trek to try and help him clear his head. He then pays for all the drinks, apparently that’s what they do in Mexico and we are not to argue it. Must be a fortune with 8 people drinking shots and cocktails!! Bless him, such a lovely man and not voldermort like at all! As the bar closes I am knackered and head to bed as do a few others even though there’s a continuation party in hagrids room. However when I get to my room I decided its stupid to go to bed, I’m only here once so have a cup of tea to sober up and head to the after party, although I’m on water now. Party ended up in ex pats room and the late night party animals were ex pat, roomy, Mexican, mini miyagi, Pom and Swiss! So hard core!
Mexican spills his heart out some more, said he didn’t love the girlfriend who dies and feels guilty about it. Poor boys head is a bit of a mess! Swiss and Pom head off at 1.30am in true weasley twin style, following each other, the rest of us last until 2am before ex pat kicks us out! What a fun night with my new friends!!
In the morning we get up at 8.30 to say goodbye to kiwi and indie. Pom left early doors. It’s sad to say goodbye. The group is dispersing! After a huge hangover breakfast it’s time for more sleep, so much so we check out late!! What an awesome experience these last three weeks have been, namaste.

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Back to civilisation-toilets with flushes, seats and sinks with working taps!!

Had the best nights sleep of the whole trip, I don’t think I moved all evening, walking down 2000m clearly enabled me to finally sleep. If only I’d had this kind of sleep yesterday I may have been less poorly! I did however wake up all worried about the poor trodden on dog left outside, worried that she’d have broken ribs!
I am so awake I even get my sleeping bag into its bag for the first time in about 5 days, such a relief!!! Head down to breakfast full of energy for once and what did I do, bloody trod on the dog! The poor thing, she was all curled up by the seats and I didn’t see her. Feel so bad! I fed her half my alpen bar to make up for it and let her sit on my lap.
I chose Tampa porridge for breakfast, it’s gross! What a waste of a meal. Little cliffetta broke my heart, she didn’t care about me, went off to the other group to get fed, how rude! Found out the loud annoying group from Australia weren’t all together. Father and son and then a single traveller, then a group of three friends. That’s got to be hard when the other 5 in your group are with friends and you are the only solo traveller, glad I’m with my group of independents! However she is so bloody loud, it’s like she’s trying too hard to be involved and noticed, and she would do my nut in! The tensions are showing in their group as well, the two separate groups of three are moaning about each other’s timings, lateness and generally making little digs and it’s only about day 3 for them. I am very lucky to be in our awesome Harry potter group!
So the Harry potter names that gragma and I came up with what seems like weeks ago:
Swiss and Pom the weasley twins,
gragma-dumbledore (the wise one)
roomy-hermione (everyone likes her),
me-professor mcgonagall (it’s the teacher in me, although not sure I liked being such an old character),
hagrid need I say more,
mr miyagi-mr weasley,
mini miyagi-Ron weasley,
indie-mrs weasley (she was mistaken for mr miyagis wife earlier in the trip, with her Indonesian looks and his Japanese roots),
mr bean-neville (the nice guy of he group),
Mexican-voldermort (it’s the quiet mysterious ones!),
kiwi-ginnie weasley (another quiet talented one),
ex pat-madame pomfrey (she is a doctor after all),
Lead guide Passang -snape (although there is nothing nasty about him but he is integral to our trip as snape was to every movie),
The three assistant guides, Draco, malfoy and Crabb! Just because here are three of them,
and finally luna because she is just so special!!
It was a fun time naming everyone and I will never see Harry potter movies in the same light!!
So off we head once more, chilly morning so started in full waterproofs but soon got hot and ended up in shorts and t shirt. Everest for the first time had the wind blowing in the opposite direction, It’s weird seeing the snow blown the ‘wrong way’! To use my excess energy up I say namaste to everyone we pass, must be over 100 times. I reckon I had about a 94% reply rate! The small things to pass the time hey. I am more positive today after the hell of yesterday. I have talked to kiwi and indie and they would do Kilimanjaro with me if we can find a good cost and date. Positive plans! Roomy has blisters on her feet that she burst and treated this morning but she isn’t walking very comfortably. At least it’s on the way down they have become bad. Going to be a long day for her though. I realised today that our guide hasn’t spoken to me since he sent me down the mountain yesterday apart from briefly saying am I feeling better. Maybe he was annoyed I went back up the mountain I don’t know, but he does seem to be avoiding speaking to me? Or can he sense is as bloody annoyed he didn’t really bother to help me? I chatted to ex pat, roomy and gragma a lot today. Roomy is thinking of getting a campervan and touring Australia. Of course I encouraged it!! Although she is only 21 so has her life ahead of her. I do like gragma, he is so lovely and doesn’t bitch or moan just listens and chats. I should learn from him! His children are awesome table tennis players and compete for Australia. He is their and the teams coach so gets to travel around with them. Pretty awesome. His boys are in china at the moment competing or promoting or both can’t quite remember which. Quick pace today but it is downhill, even the uphill parts we whizz past other groups who are struggling, with our oxygen filled lungs! We have a long break at a village by a monastery. This is the place the group at our last tea house moaned about. The town is lovely, awesome bakery, a few shops and the views of Everest are superb. We had hot chocolate at said tea house and well the toilets are luxury! Flushing toilets, sinks with taps and mirrors! No idea what they were moaning about and boy do they have some treats in store in the next few days!
We could see a fire in the valley ahead, Passang tells us that it is the cremation of one of the Sherpas who died in the avalanche. It’s very moving to see the smoke rise up in front of Everest.
At the tea house we met two Londoners who have been travelling for a few months. The bloke however is ill and can’t even walk to the shop without wanting to throw up. Ex pat gives him some drugs but he has already booked and paid for a helicopter to take them back to lukla so he can try and recuperate then try again to get the base camp. The helicopter was a mere $1000!
What a lovely drinks stop, very chilled and enjoyable. Befriended another doggie that we fed scraps too. We head off and back over the long bridges over the valleys. Good old gragma went across with no hands. He had a fear at the start of walking across bridges and the heights, and held on for dear life to both hand rails and cut his hands doing so, so to walk across without holding on was awesome! We passed a dead yak on the way. Horrible to see, it was just laying there lifeless on the path with its eyes open. Poor beast.
At lunch it was boiling so we even aired our smelly sweaty feet for an hour. I saw a yak hearder go past and commented on how nice it was that he was letting the yaks go at their own pace and not hitting them, as everyone turned and looked he bloody whacked the yaks so hard, and everyone laughed at the irony after my comment! Hagrid was desperate for wifi contact and shopping so he didn’t stop for lunch and went off early with luna. He must of left a good hour ahead of us so you knew people would try to catch him after lunch. Luna is the slowest walker in the world. This lunch stop had one of my favourite toilets, a hay long drop. No dirt, no smells just a simple hole and hay dropped in it! I’m so weird about toilets now. There were some village kids next to the tea house so I got my bubbles out and blew them over their way, they were watching with intrigue so I gave them my last bottle. Job done! Last part of the walk until we are back to namche. Ridiculous that it takes 2 days to get back but 10 days to go up! Madness. Gragma informs me that lots of men are checking my legs out, well I’ll take that as no one in the UK will bother so good for me! We pass a yak with a wig on, how cool, and a bright red one at that. Nice to see the hearders having some fun. As you watch the world go by on the walk you notice the change in scenery as you come back down, butterflies fluttering around again, flowers adding colour to the views and bins once more! It is however so dusty on the track and we are all filthy, not that we were particularly clean! It took me, roomy, mr bean and gragma an hour and 40 minutes to get back down to namche, most of the group had shot off miles ahead. I’m not that fussed about wifi and would like to enjoy the scenery on one of the last few days before Kathmandu and it’s pollution is all we see. We did however have to put up with mr beans running commentary all the way down. ‘Mmmhhh steep, mmmhhh nearly there, nice view’…..aaaahhhhhh!
Back to namche and it was nice to see civilisation again. The room looked bright and airy, clean and comfy. The toilets looked luxurious with sinks to clean our teeth in. We all laugh about how our standards dropped dramatically over the weeks. This tea house didn’t seem luxurious 12 days ago when we last stayed here!
Roomy nearly breaks our being dirty pact. She’s talking madness about having a shower, it’s ok though as I manage to convince her it’s a pointless exercise and how nice will the shower in the hotel be in Kathmandu after 15 days!
After a quick change of clothes into town we head. I buy some souvenirs, go on wifi, went to get some nice jewellery for my mum but mr miyagi and I clearly had different ideas on what is a nice necklace as these were cheap and cheerful not a 70th birthday present. Back in the bakery and meet up with hagrid, gragma, roomy, ex pat and the weasley twins. All on free wifi and drinking beer! Think the men will have a good few beers over the next few days, hoping they are happy drunks.
At dinner roomy is sick and can’t eat, heads off to bed early. We watch the movie Everest, well I say movie, they don’t have movies out here they are documentaries! It’s from the same year as the book I read so interesting to see another perspective. Very sad story. I write some postcards, chill a bit but am left alone at 9pm when everyone is in bed??? I do wander down the street to get free wifi and see if my mum has replied. The streets are deserted at night, very different feel to namche, the odd cak passing but otherwise very quiet. One day to go then we fly back to Kathmandu and a clean, comfy bed. I can not wait!!

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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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On the way to base camp when the biggest disaster in Everest history occurs!

Roomy found a porter crying in the toilet this morning. Bit weird, he just ran off apologising when she opened the door. Not the nicest toilet to sit and have a cry one other! Feeling down and miserable again, cold room, dirty toilets etc etc!! Another restless night feeling ill, need to be sick but can’t. Then realise period has started, what a time for that to happen, just before two tough days! But as usual once I am up and walking love being here!!! I’ve set today’s daily roomy challenge after a break yesterday. Photo bombing! Who can bomb the most photos. So funny to start with, even at breakfast I jump into hagrids picture, we both keep popping in everyone’s photos on the walk in the morning including random people to. I saw a. Woman taking a picture of a statue so quickly walked into shot and posed!! Ex pat noticed and had a good laugh at me. We do soon realise that we may become annoying to everyone though but at the moment everyone is laughing at us. All good fun. First part of the walk is desert like, baron, windy, never ending, reminds me of the friends scene when Joey is left in desert after film folds, so I keep humming the tune (I walked through the desert with a man with no name? I think??). Warm weather again so back in shorts, getting a bit of a tan on my pins!! we stop for a drink at Thukla which is a busy point just before a big climb, but not stopping for food because it’s apparently the least hygienic place!! No one even dares use the porter loo! Nice. It’s now very busy, loads of tourists about. Hagrids response was ‘fuck it’s the first time I feel like a tourist!’. Miss the quietness of the last few days, we’ve been lucky going off the beaten track. Lots of helicopters passing today, we’re all hoping there’s not injuries from people starting to climb Everest as it’s that time, we’ve heard camp one is climbers current position.
We start the walk to the memorial stones along with hundreds of others. We bump into the 5 lads from the hotel who are doing island peak. All seem fit and well however they do tell us there’s been an avalanche near base camp and six are dead and 15 missing. We are all in shock, how awful. That’ll be what all the helicopters were about! The mood changes as we wait to hear more info from other guides and groups. Passang our guide has friends who are missing so it really is close to home.
As we continue our walk we pass many people struggling to walk up, music blaring from stereos, phones and the most colourful outfits going. It’s a great place to people watch!! It is a tough up hill walk and it’s pretty hard at times, I’m glad I’m with a group as you can stop and chat to each other, encourage one another, and generally have more fun. At the top you walk into a huge area of shrines. Scott Fischer from the 1996 disaster is the most colourful and decorated. But I take time to read even the smallest. So many tributes, so sad. Even more poignant today after the sad news of the avalanche. Many Sherpas have memorial stones as well as tourists although never as lavish or prominent. The update on the disaster is maybe 21 dead. Worst ever day on Everest.
Our walk continues to lobuche, 4950. In the book ‘into thin air’ it was a shithole in 1996, as base camp was over flowing with climbers loads stayed here, and there was literally shit everywhere as toilets overflowed. Fortunately we find it fairly clean and pleasant. Busy tea house unlike most of our stays where we’ve been the only people. A large Chinese group are in one corner, we take over another and then some kiwis take the last large table meaning any small groups have nowhere to sit!
As we start to relax our minds turn to what our families will think when they hear the avalanche news on the tv. I know my mum will panic when she hears about it. I have no phone signal though!! Were off for a walk up higher to see base camp from afar so I take my phone up in case I can get a signal to call home. I have a signal but it won’t bloody work! Damn orange phone. In the distance we can see the colours of tents which is base camp, tiny little specks. Not what I expected to be honest. I think I thought it would be more like a small town of tents with some other facilities? Just tents though.
Back at the tea house I pay for wifi and message mum and Facebook status of I’m alive! Feel better now that people shouldn’t worry! On the web thee are various stories of the disaster, all who dies were Sherpas or guides, no climbers. Just shows you how much these Sherpas give up to help westerners climb!
The long drop toilet has a bonus point for its lovely mountain view out of the window, if you face backwards, however someone has missed the hole and left a nice present in there when facing forwards so it’s in your bloody eye line!! Pleasant hey!!
Chilling in the communal area and in walks a black man. I realise it’s the first black person we’ve seen all trip, wonder why it’s such a white excursion and why it made me double take?
The news on the avalanche is that 17 have died, 2 of our guides friends included. Passang tells us that there was an issue with the ladder so there was a queue which meant they were just trapped when the snow fell on them.
Gragma was quiet today. We find out he has an awful tooth ache and felt like absolute shit and didn’t complain just got on with the walk, poor thing.
The tea house rooms are basic, but do have a lovely painting on the door to brighten the corridor up. There is a bucket with a tap for running water, that’s quite a luxury. Now back at home I’m not sure many of us worry about how much toilet roll we use, however suddenly when it’s on rations you become quite pedantic about it!! 2 sheets at a time unless a number two! Note to self though, be careful wearing a head torch to the long drop toilet, by instinct you look down to place your feet and I got a lovely view of a pile of shit mounted up looking at me!! What a great sight just before I go to sleep. Off to bed Early to bed as up at 5am.
Not a great nights sleep, creaky floor boards, lots of noise from people going to the toilet throughout the night. Have a bad stomach ache to add to the tiredness, may be a long day!! My bloody socks are wet when I go to put them on, clearly too damp in the corridor where they are left to smell and to dry so have to put dirtier socks on from another day. After a quick brekkie off we walked heading to base camp. Mexican headed off ahead of us and as he had his music on he couldn’t hear us tell him to stop! So we didn’t see him until lunch as he just kept walking and walking. Walk was awesome today, the glacier in view throughout with caves, crevasses and ice formations everywhere to amaze you.
We arrive at tea house we’ll be staying at tonight, very busy, cold as doors don’t shut but seems ok. Just having brunch before heading to base camp. Exciting times! Luna has put suntan cream on in the style of tribal paint! She asks if it looks silly, I say well no but it is a bit different. Actually yes she looks bloody stupid but thats her choice! Off we go, via a sign that says way to Everest base camp so we need to stop for obligatory photos! And we are off!! You pass a lot of wet patches! It hasn’t rained at all, yep you guessed it they are toilet stops, but right on the path, bloody men!! Everest pops in and out of view. Very cloudy so not the best views today which is a shame. Lots of helicopters in and out of camp again today, each time we hear one its a reminder of the disaster.
The group is rushing again today. I started at the front and am quickly near the back as others just trudge onwards. It’s a shame as you miss the views, even in the cloudy skies!!
I didn’t see indie at all, she is suffering with altitude sickness so walks slowly at the back. Hope she makes it, she keeps throwing up. I’m constantly wondering how on earth the yaks manage to walk up the steep hills, over huge boulders, across unstable steps. Clearly they are fine as they do it every day but I’m clearly such a softy!! There’s the Danish guide who pissed off some of our group with his talk on how Everest is now a commercial climb, not for real climbers. And when they said our guide had done it last year he just dismissed it, arrogant arse is what hagrid called him! Anyway we pass him on route and he manages to annoy a yak shepherd on the walk, makes the yaks stop so some of his group can pass, then stops 5 mins ahead so the rest of the group who are behind the yaks can catch up. The shepherd calls him an idiot and rants in Nepalese! Love it. He cuts up gragma without an apology as well so not the most popular guide around. So there it appears, Everest base camp, you arrive at a memorial stone with hundreds of prayer flags. Lots of us have photos, I lay a prayer flag and write a message on it, roomy leaves one for her nan who died last year. Have a photo and pom and hagrid photo bomb me, very funny!! Everyone poignant but happy. Swiss and Pom head into the camp itself, we’re not supposed to go there. I head down to near it, call home. Dads still in bed but mum is pleased to hear from me. She thought I’d died! Tells me how when she heard the news she ran to my dad and cried, then saw my message saying I was ok. Silly mare, bless her though. My dog was ill and she thought its because he could sense I was in danger?? Er no I never was mum but whatever you think. Whilst on the phone I see a helicopter with a rope and what looked like a body bag on the bottom, I later found out it was. They’d found another body in the ice fall. Very sad. Bloody Danish man turns up with his group and stands in front of the memorial talking about base camp etc so no one for 10 mins could get a clear photo for themselves. There really was no need to stand there for the talk, plenty of space elsewhere. So base camp is literally loads of tents, satellite dishes and flags on a glacier, nothing glamorous, nothing spectacular. We spot the English doctors on their way back to base camp, think their trip will be over as it’s rumoured the mountain is closing for the season after the disaster. Indie makes it, really pleased for her! So we get a group shot although the weasley twins are missing. I have an Everest beer to toast the achievement with mini miyagi and Mexican!
After a lovely hour at the memorial we started to head back. No sign of the weasley twins still as they are still in camp? It takes two hours to head back, pass lots of people on the way try and encourage them. It’s tough and we had more acclimatisation with gokyo. Back at tea house and we get to relax again. We find out that our assistant guide lost his cousin in the avalanche, the stories just get sadder. The weasley twins turn up covered in snow 3 hours later. They went right into camp and even sat in on a meeting about the mountain that Sherpas led. They were with our guide so didn’t just invite themselves. It’s snowing hard outside, typical as we have the highest climb tomorrow and now it’ll be freezing and cold under feet making it harder. What a day though, Everest base camp ticked off the bucket list!!

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Hairy women, runny noses but making out way to base camp!

It’s a clean trousers and shirt day. Oh the simple things!! I seem to have a bit of a cold but think that’s the norm here, you spend all day with a runny nose due to cold wind. Didn’t want to get out of my warm doona (duvet) this morning, feels like Groundhog Day. Wake up to ‘good morning, washing water please’, feel crap, cold outside, have to wash in luke warm water then put dirty clothes on (treat today with some clean ones obviously!) Clean teeth outside in freezing cold, go to breakfast in freezing cold, then head out still bloody freezing! We walked a fair bit today, lots of downhill and into warmer climates! From 4400m down to 3935 and 8 km. I walked at the front just because I could after my shitty efforts yesterday. Such a competitive person!! However at about half way of the downhill steps my knee started to hurt so got my poles out and slowed down. As it got so warm we all stripped down to one layer. I kept my legs covered mind as far too hairy! Ex pat had the hairiest armpits and realised it after about 5 minutes so stopped lifting her arms. Hagrid stripped to his underpants to get long johns off!! No one cares though, we’ve lowered our inhibitions after a few days together. So the nicknames we have, some are just so apt. Luna lovegood really is a space cadet. Plods along at the back, miles behind everyone. Not a care in the world, smiling all the time, in her own world. The weasley twins take twin selfies constantly, and play pranks on each other. Swiss was having a pee stop and pom made a spectacle of him! Hagrid, well he is just the BFG. Stand him next to a porter and he engulfs them, so funny. And need I say more about mr bean? He even stands like mr bean, arms folded kind of waving his body forward and back. Now may I add I didn’t come up with all the names, roomy and gragma had quite a day in it.
We pass back along the route from a few days ago, past ice falls which have melted somewhat. Ex pat chatting lots today, getting along well as a three with roomy too. Just me being hard to talk to maybe at start, really like her. She does like to talk rather than listen though. I’m enjoying the trip again after the anguish of yesterday, I think the warmth helps. A little local boy walks up the hill with us, very sweet. I give him a Mars bar, others give treats too. He keeps some for his sister, others he eats. Dirty chubby little face, as is the norm out here. At the top of the hill we are at the village, and are greeted by a stupa, quite a nice entrance. Photse is the town, a mixture of old and new. The tea house is nice, our room not by a toilet, hooray, ex pat has that joy this time, but they are squats. Curtains have a 101 dalamations pattern on, quite a nice touch. We had a free afternoon so lots did their washing. I have enough clothes to spread out across the trip so wasn’t intending on washing stuff, but did smell my fleece armpits and decided that needed a wash!! Soap, warm water and drying in the dusty air!! Ah well. May be cleaner smelling but dirtier in other ways. Roomy due to illness hadn’t cleaned her teeth for two days. She said they felt furry, I’m not bloomin surprised. Ex pat and I take the mick big time!! Boys shower again, so clean! The shower is a woman standing on the roof pouring a bucket of hot water into a container, high tech stuff! I do at least shave my legs so I can be in shorts with some respect. Ex pat also shaves and plucks eyebrows, we all openly chat about it. Just roomy who is going hairy, even her top lip (not that you can notice but she’s aware)! We take a trip to the local shop. It’s half house, half shop. Cheap biscuits but that’s because they are out of date! I buy some Horlicks to fill flask with at night. It will make a change from tea. I buy a 30p face towel to help washing routine, wet wipes are running low. The house had satellite tv, it’s weird seeing a tv after so long and in the mountains when they have limited electricity. The other side of the house has about 7 beds, the kitchen at the back of the room and no idea where the toilet is, maybe outside. So basic here.
There’s a guitar at our tea house so kiwi plays some acoustic music, she’s pretty good. More than words sounds amazing. Passang the guide also has ago, very shy with it though. Guides shower and wash clothes too, so us girls lead the dirty way. Roomy loves my English sayings like ‘buggar off’ and ‘Sod off’, she laughs when I say them.
Washing didn’t all dry outside so it was brought in to dry by fire. Hagrids pants were steaming, his response ‘they always are darling!’. What a man hey. Some of the lads upset passang. He explains that tomorrow we can’t boil water at lunch as porters are further ahead than us. That if we want water then, that we can buy it. Now at the start we all paid $40 for hot water morning and evening along with washing water. We’ve been spoilt at lunchtimes quite often getting extra water, so when Hagrid and pom pipe up saying we should get water it’s rather harsh. All feel rather uncomfortable and passang tells us he’s nervous talking to us all every day. Poor boy! The girls all smile and say it’s all fine!
As we try to sleep the bloody chefs or cleaners, who knows, are shouting at the top of their voices, bit bloody rude I say. Night night!
So today is a 7 hour day, starting our journey towards base camp!! The miyagis had soup and noodles for brekkie. I was chatting to mini miyagi and asked how he slept. He thought I asked how his soup was so answered. I just played along but roomy heard. She then asked me how my soup was and I nearly choked with laughter. Easily pleased me!
Back in shorts with my nicely shaven legs!! Lovely views, lots of yaks, waterfalls, rockfalls. However we are now on the more popular route and pass so many other people, Hagrid called it a bloody circus! We stop for a toilet break, and the delightful squat toilets have carved footprints so you know where to put your feet. That’s kind, I’m always unsure!
Group must be tired as not much chatting and lots have ear phones in with music playing. Roomy is bouncing along to her music in front of me, just like a little child skipping along the path, very funny. Ex pat and I gang up on roomy a bit, laughing at her dirtiness!! Not that we can talk. Due to cold and tiredness I’ve been a bit homesick so called parents at lunch. They were so pleased to hear from me, it’s good to talk!
Mr bean at his best ‘oh it’s steep’, ‘oh nearly there’, ‘oh yak’. The weather turns at lunch and we all wrap up for afternoon walk. Snowed again as we arrived to town. Dingboche. Last big settlement before base camp. There’s shops to buy supplies etc. Again the boys shower! Us girls can’t even be arsed to get wifi at cafe so sit and read in communal area. There’s the funniest toilet here. They’ve tried to mimick a western toilet with a box but then carpeted it, all above a long drop. The carpet is stained and gross, the squat is our preference for a change, however kiwi and indie chose to take a seat on the loo!! The tea house fire doesn’t work so we’re a bit cold, but I do manage to get my camera batteries charged all in an hour. Result. Power monkey charger still bloody shit, 15% from a day in the sun. I would not recommend it. Roomy a bit poorly still so orders plain boiled potatoes. They arrive unpeeled!! Love it, so she has to sit there and peel them before eating them. There’s chocolate pudding on the menu so quite a few order it. However it looks like shit!! Not good. I’m feeling a bit ill, upset stomach. Hope I can sleep it off. Swiss and mr bean have blocked noses so are treated to a eucalyptus steam session. Big girls blouses.

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That Groundhog Day feeling and hairy body parts!

It’s a clean trousers and shirt day. Oh the simple things!! I seem to have a bit of a cold but think that’s the norm here, you spend all day with a runny nose due to cold wind. Didn’t want to get out of my warm doona (duvet) this morning, feels like Groundhog Day. Wake up to ‘good morning, washing water please’, feel crap, cold outside, have to wash in luke warm water then put dirty clothes on (treat today with some clean ones obviously!) Clean teeth outside in freezing cold, go to breakfast in freezing cold, then head out still bloody freezing! We walked a fair bit today, lots of downhill and into warmer climates! From 4400m down to 3935 and 8 km. I walked at the front just because I could after my shitty efforts yesterday. However at about half way of the downhill steps my knee started to hurt so got my poles out again and slowed down. As it got so warm we all stripped down to one layer. I kept my legs covered mind as far too hairy! Ex pat had the hairiest armpits and realised it after about 5 minutes so stopped lifting her arms. Hagrid stripped to his underpants to get long johns off!! No one cares though!! So the nicknames we have, some are just so apt. Luna lovegood really is a space cadet. Plods along at the back, miles behind everyone. Not a care in the world, smiling all the time, in her own world. The weasley twins take twin selfies constantly, and play pranks on each other. Swiss was having a pee stop and pom made a spectacle of him! Hagrid, well he is just the BFG. Stand him next to a porter and he engulfs them, so funny. And need I say more about mr bean? He even stands like mr bean, arms folded kind of waving his body forward and back.
We pass back along the route from a few days ago, past ice falls which have melted somewhat. Ex pat chatting lots today, getting along well as a three with roomy too. Just me being hard to talk to maybe at start, really like her. She does like to talk rather than listen though. Gragma hasn’t decided who won yesterday’s challenge so it’s a daw, he says I got the most facts but Roomys were very interesting! 2-2 it is them. I’m enjoying the trip again after the anguish of yesterday, I think the warmth helps. A little local boy walks up the hill with us, very sweet. I give him a Mars bar, others give treats too. He keeps some for his sister, others he eats. Dirty chubby little face, as is the norm out here. At the top of the hill we are at the village, and are greeted by a stupa, quite a nice entrance. Photse is the town, a mixture of old and new. The tea house is nice, room not by a toilet, ex pat has that joy this time, but they are squats. Curtains are 101 dalamations, quite a nice touch. We had a free afternoon so lots did their washing. I have enough clothes to spread out across the trip so wasn’t intending on washing stuff, but did smell my fleece and decided that needed a wash!! Soap, warm water and drying in the dusty air!! Ah well. May be cleaner but dirtier in other ways. Roomy due to illness hadn’t cleaned her teeth for two days. She said they felt furry, I’m not bloomin surprised. Ex pat and I take the mick big time!! Boys shower again, so clean! The shower is a woman standing on the roof pouring a bucket of hot water into a container, high tech stuff! I do at least shave my legs so I can be in shorts with some respect. Ex pat also shaves and plucks eyebrows, we all openly chat about it. Just roomy who is going hairy, even her top lip (not that you can notice but she’s aware)! We take a trip to the local shop. It’s half house, half shop. Cheap biscuits but out of date! I buy some Horlicks to fill flask with at night. Buy a 30p face towel to help washing routine, wet wipes are running low. The house had satellite tv, weird seeing a tv after so long and in the mountains. The other side of the house has about 7 beds, the kitchen at the back and no idea where the toilet is, maybe outside. So basic here. There’s a guitar at the tea house so kiwi plays some acoustic music, she’s pretty good. More than words sounds amazing. Passang also has ago, shy with it though. Guides shower and wash clothes too, so us girls lead the dirty way. Roomy loves my English sayings like ‘buggar off’ and ‘Sod off’, she laughs when I say them.
Washing didn’t all dry outside so it was brought in to dry by fire. Hagrids pants were steaming, his response ‘they always are darling!’. Some of the lads upset passang. He explains that tomorrow we can’t boil water at lunch as porters are further ahead than us. That if we want water then, that we can buy it. Now at the start we all paid $40 for hot water morning and evening along with washing water. We’ve been spoilt at lunchtimes, so when Hagrid and pom pipe up saying we should get water it’s rather harsh. All feel uncomfortable and passang tells us he’s nervous talking to us all every day. Poor boy! The girls all smile and say it’s all fine!
As we try to sleep the bloody chefs or cleaners, who knows, are shouting at the top of their voices, bit bloody rude I say. Night night!
So today is a 7 hour day, starting out journey towards to base camp!! The miyagis had soup and noodles for brekkie. I was chatting to mini miyagi and asked how he slept. He thought I asked how his soup was so answered. I just played along but roomy heard. She then asked me how my soup was and I nearly choked with laughter. Easily pleased me!
Back in shorts with my nicely shaven legs!! Lovely views, lots of yaks, waterfalls, rockfalls. However we are now on the more popular route and pass so many other people, Hagrid called it a bloody circus! We stop for a toilet break, and the delightful squat toilets have carved footprints so you know where to put your feet. That’s kind, I’m always unsure!
Group must be tired as not much chatting and lots have music playing. Roomy is bouncing along to her music in front of me, just like a tough child bounces along the path, very funny. Ex pat and I gang up on roomy a bit, laughing at her dirtiness!! Not that we can talk. Due to cold and tiredness I’ve been a bit homesick so called parents at lunch. They were so pleased to hear from me, it’s good to talk!
Mr bean at his best ‘oh it’s steep’, ‘oh nearly there’, ‘oh yak’. The weather turns at lunch and we all wrap up for afternoon walk. Snowed again as we arrived to town. Dingboche. Last big settlement before base camp. There’s shops to buy supplies etc. Again the boys shower! Us girls can’t even be arsed to get wifi at cafe so sit and read in communal area. There’s the funniest toilet here. They’ve tried to mimick a western toilet with a box but then carpeted it, all above a long drop. The carpet is stained and gross, the squat is our preference, however kiwi and indie chose to take a seat on the loo!! The tea house fire doesn’t work so we’re a bit cold, but I do manage to get my camera batteries charged all in an hour. Result. Power monkey charger still bloody shit, 15% from a day in the sun. Roomy a but poorly till so orders plain boiled potatoes. They arrive unpeeled!! Love it, so she has to sit there and peel them before eating them. There’s chocolate pudding on the menu so quite a few order it. However it looks like shit!! Not good. I’m feeling a bit ill, upset stomach. Hope I can sleep it off. Swiss and mr bean have blocked noses so are treated to a eucalyptus steam session. Big girls blouses.

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Freezing our arses off at 5360 metres!

Wake up miserable!! Sore throat, toasty in my sleeping bag so don’t want to get out in the cold and get washed and changed. Although we are heading to gokyo so that’s positive! The toilet delight this morning was that it had frozen over so we all had to try and defrost it with our warm pee!! No number twos allowed! Today’s even colder, don’t even get my legs out on the walk. Only Hagrid left in shorts, the tough Kiwi! As we pass the lakes we realise it’s so cold the usual blue/green lakes are still snow covered. In fact it starts snowing again as we near tea house. I’m so cold I’m shivering, today should of been a thermal day!
I had to pee behind a rock for the first time today, couldn’t hold it any longer. Nice view though!! (Of the mountains not me!)
We spot some ducks on the pond, orange bizarrely and see snow cocks too. They are a bird before you think rudely, and they make a funny squawk noise that you instantly recognise. Today’s task for roomy and I was to see who could get the most interesting fact about the guides. Loved chatting to the guides. I found out me-ma is a dad to a one year old girl. They live in lukla near the airport and his family run a tea shop. He likes volleyball and is a setter, also good in goal for football. Ne-ma has a girlfriend kind of!! Keeping his options open I think, he’s very good at volleyball and his favourite movie is island peak. (They only seem to get Everest movies/documentaries out here). I was very impressed with my findings! However then I found out roomies facts! She chatted to our lead guide and found out his dad died of lukemia when he was 19 and then an English couple sponsored him to go to university so he could train to be a guide. It meant he only had to be an assistant guide for 5 years to get experience and then could be a leader. Otherwise you have to be a porter for 10 years! She may have won? Gragma is to be he judge! Mr Bean is testing my patience today. Bless him and all but I don’t need a running commentary as we walk, ‘oh it’s snowing’, ‘there’s a yak’, it’s rocky isn’t it!’. Had a fun chat with gragma though. Discussion on lord of the rings because the landscape is a bit like the movie. I decided his alter ego is gandulph! I find out from fellow Trekkers that in Mexico you live with your family until you marry, and in Switzerland they still have national service. Love meeting people from around the world. We get to tea house just before snow storm hits. I am freezing and don’t warm up for about an hour. Ex pat gives me hand warmers and a down vest to help me! Not good. Roomy is in pain with her neck, all down her head and top of spine so she’s in tears, I’m in tears all is not good here! Then we see indie come in and she’s so ill. Been sick along the way and looks awful. They think it’s altitude sickness as she’s had it at this height before. When feeling better we check out the rooms. It’s a good place and top floor is en suite, however not all plumbed in yet including ours. Shame! Electricity though, western toilets and wifi if you want to pay £8 unlimited. I’m not that fussed but do get an hour to send pics to mum and Facebook. £3! Due to snow storm our acclimatisation walk is again cancelled but the hardy four ( Pom, Hagrid, ex pat and Swiss) head out anyway. I get so bored after 3 hours that a trip to the shop excites me!! It’s not even a bloody shop more like a shed to be honest. The shop man is hilarious though. Firstly gives me 300 not 700 change. Then couldn’t add 160 and 180 even with a calculator. Then gives gragma too much change, he does give it back though! Buying a few things took about half an hour. The big kid that I am at heart, meant I had to do a snow angel!! Lucky I put my waterproof pants on! The sun finally came out so mr miyagi offered to take us to see the glacier. Four of us join him, me, gragma, mr bean and Mexican. Steep old climb but awesome views. I forget that Aussies don’t see snow so mr bean in particular is so excited by the snow, and gragma pretty excited to! The glacier is endless and beautiful. Hard to believe it’s constantly moving! I even build a mini snowman at the top!! I helped the Aussies down by staying behind them in case of a fall. At the bottom I looked into what I thought was a shed, oh bloody hell, nope it’s a toilet, a short drop squat so I can see piles of shit. Nice!
Anyway, nice evening. Most of us are turning vegetarian as the meat can’t be killed on the mountain, therefore you don’t know when it was killed! However old Hagrid tries the speciality dish of chicken. It comes out and is pink in the middle! He has to send it back twice and still not cooked. He thinks it’s because they boil it from frozen so middle never gets cooked through. Oops!!
At the toilet area I get another shock, a German man runs from the showers in just his Y fronts, not a pretty sight I tell you! Early to bed as up at 4.30am. Gokyo peak time!!
So after a rubbish nights sleep it’s time to get up! Kept waking wondering if it was time to get up, and freezing cold! Feeling a bit rubbish, headache, lethargic, just not great! No time for breakfast either as kitchen not open, so straight outside into cold with no energy. Glad to see indie up and about and raring to go! I’m all layered up to make sure I don’t get cold again. Six top layers, three bottom. However within 15 minutes I’m overheating, feeling sick from heat so stop start to strip and rest of group march on! My bag is now full of bloody clothes. Feel a bit better but still not 100%. Guides told me to use my poles, got told off pretty much!! Way behind the rest of the group but I persevere through my lack of energy catch up with stragglers and after 3 hours, 600m vertical ascent and 1.8km at 40% incline I’m just near the top and shit, buggar, bollocks, I hit my head on a big rock. The tears start to fall, tiredness and pain together. I carry on. Just above me is roomy. Unlike her to be slow, hope she’s ok. I catch up to her at the top, she’s been feeling sick the whole time. As we reach the summit I just burst into exhausted tears. For about 5 minutes. Eventually sort my sad little self out and enjoy the awesome views. 5360 metres above sea level. Snow everywhere, second longest glacier in the world, Everest, lhoste (4th highest mountain), makalu (5th highest) and cho oyu (6th highest). Amazing. After about 30 minutes at the top and a hot lemon tea to toast our triumph, we head down. Started strong but energy soon left me. Roomy still ill and just wanted to get back so she raced ahead. After nearly two hours I make it to the tea house, collapse and cry again. What a mess!! Mr Bean ill too and struggled to get down and Luna slow as usual just plodding along in her own luna like world! I blame the lack of breakfast for feeling shit. 7 hours of effort on no food is ridiculous, add the -10 degrees to that as well. Roomy sleeping, indie feeling sick again and mr bean looks bloody awful. After a break of a few hours we have to pack up and head back to tea house from the night before last. Poor sick people. . Make the most of the western toilets before we leave, although the water runs out so no one can flush. Wouldn’t have this issue with long drops! I’m feeling better after food and drink. Slow walk and I decide to be anti social and put music on for walk. Love my shuffle, Kylie, Jason, extreme, mika!! Get to tea house and just collapse. Roomy goes to bed as still ill, I chat to gragma and we name everyone from Harry potter, hence some of the nicknames. Some don’t stick but amuse us anyway. A tough 36 hours, time for bed!! Swiss and Pom we name the weasley twins, very apt as always up to mischief together. Due to illness and exhaustion no decision on daily challenge from yesterday was made. We’ll all it a draw I think!!!

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