Day 4: To Ama Dablam Base Camp

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Yesterday afternoon, I again had nothing to do, so I was reading and went to bed around 8pm again. I woke up around 12am and dozed on and off till 6am. I had breakfast and immediately set off to Ama Dablam Base Camp. It was a relief not to trek with my big backpack! I felt so much lighter… Just outside of Pangboche , I had to choose between 2 trails: one was a big wider than the other. I asked a Nepalese and he pointed at the wider one. I walked and walked and met many others. Ama Dablam was constantly at my right side, but there was no trail leading down. I had to go down and cross a river to go to Ama Dablam. After more than 1 hour, I came to a sign in stone to point to Periche and Dingboche, no Ama Dablam. At that moment, some porters passed by with yaks and I asked them. They told me I had to go all the way back to Pangboche. So, I thought it was the smaller trail that I had to follow, not the wider one. Fortunately, the trail was not that hard and I went back. I took a rest at a bakery in Pangboche. I thought of having a nice snack there, but the cinnamon roll I had was at least 1 week old! I asked the manager the way to Base Camp and my feeling was right: I had to take the s20160517_125411maller one.

I went down to the river, crossed it and the hike was amazing. It was quite steep all the way up, but I didn’t find it that hard (again, the smaller backpack helped a lot!). I think my body is getting trained. I can definitely feel that my clothes are starting to be baggy, even after only 4 days! The view up there was amazing, but the wind was really strong. It was much colder. Ama Dablam Base Camp is at 4600m, so I climbed more than 600m in altitude. I could definitely feel it in my breathing: every step, I was out of breath and my heart was pounding in my chest. I had my lunch up there: a chapati, with yak cheese and… chocolate! I love it that I can eat, and even have to eat chocolate, because it gives you instant energy. So, when you are trekking and you feel tired, you have an energy dip, chocolate is the best snack. I stacked up on Bounty, Twix, Mars, Kitkat,… You can buy these things in every village.

I loved being there all by myself, surrounded on all sides by mountains. I was in awe to be closer to Ama Dablam, 6812m. I will definitely try to summit this mountain! The moment I laid eyes on her, I knew I would climb this one. Every time I looked at the summit, I could picture myself climbing it. It was really calling me. I had a strange feeling the whole time I was there. I knew I will come back here. This is my next goal!

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Day 3: from Namche Bazar to Pangboche

I woke up around 2am. I went to bed last night around 8pm (there is not much to do in these villages and most trekkers go to bed early to rest well before their next trek), so maybe that’s why I woke up that early. Or maybe, it’s because Eric would start his way to the top at 2am this night. It will take him 4 days to go from Basecamp to Camp 1, Camp 2, Camp 3, Camp 4 and finally the top on 20 May!

I couldn’t fall asleep anymore and got up around 5.30am, had breakfast in the lodge and set off trekking at 6.30am. Yesterday, just before coming into Namche Bazar, I met the guy who sat next to me on the plane to Lukla. I told him about the lodge I would stay in and he decided teverest_trekking_map 3rd dayo stay in the same lodge. We had breakfast together this morning, but he left a few minutes before me. Just outside of Namche Bazar, we bumped into each other again and decided to go trekking together. He first thought of going another way: first go to Khumjung and go through the 3 passes, but he decided to do the same trek as me for now and do the 3 passes when he comes back down. The first one and a half hours were quite easy. After one hour and a half, we came into a village and decided to have a milktea. We sat outside and enjoyed the view! We continued trekking, and we went down a lot (from 3400m till 3200m), that made us a bit apprehensive, as we knew we would have to climb up more, later on. And yes, a bit later, the climb started: up till 3800m, Tengboche! I lost the guy on the way. He was slow. At first, I waited for him, but he told me not to wait and I kept my own pace.

I arrived in Tengboche around 11am and had some momo to eat. Momo is the Nepalese variant of Chinese dumplings. You can choose different fillings. That day, I had potato filling and it was really tasty! I continued trekking to Pangboche. The view was amazing! I just kept on taking pictures and couldn’t believe how lucky I was to experience all this… It started to be hard again, because I started to feel tired, but the trail was well-kept and I rested a lot. I was taking pictures and videos, while doing this, I could rest every couple of minutes! I arrived in Pangboche around 1pm, the altitude here is 3930m. Which I could definitely feel. Just walking a few steps makes you breathe heavily in and out. And when I want to drink, it already starts to feel like choking. Your body just wants to breathe!
In Pangboche, I just booked the first lodge I saw and changed shoes. The weather still feels hot and my hiking boots are too warm.

I rested here in Pangboche for the rest of the day, just reading my book. Tomorrow I would trek to Ama Dablam Basecamp at 4600m, without my big backpack. I will just trek there and come back to Pangboche to then stay here for another night. When I first laid eyes on Ama Dablam, a mountain of 4812m, I knew I will summit it one day. I just couldn’t keep my eyes of her… Such a beautiful mountain! I kept on looking at it, and could already see myself going to the top. How something can captivate you immediately and you immediately know what your next goal is! It’s amazing! I will keep on dreaming of this mountain until I reach this goal!

2nd day: Monjo to Namche Bazar

The second day of my trek to Everest Basecamp, I got up at 6am. I did some stretching, because I could already feel the muscles in my buttocks and shoulders.

I had everest_trekking_map 2nd daya small breakfast and set off to Namche Bazar. Boy, was I glad I didn’t do that the day before! I climbed from 2800m to 3400m. It was hard, because certain parts were quite steep and I had to climb onto big rocks. With my heavy backpack, it was quite difficult as the backpack kept on pulling me down. I arrived in Namche Bazar around 10.30am and stayed there for the day. I need to give my body time to get used to the physical part and the altitude.

It was a beautiful trek all through the forest. The trail is pretty straight-forward: very wide and easy to follow. I meet a lot of people along the way and talked to several. A couple gave me a businIMG_20160514_133238ess card of a lodge in Namche, Nirvana home was the name of that lodge. Apparently, the owner is the son of a sherpa who went with Hillary in 1953. That sherpa is the last one still alive from that expedition. As soon as I was in Namche Bazar, I went looking for that lodge and booked a room there. In the late afternoon, I got a chance to talk to him. He is 84 years old and still very clear-minded. He still remembers a lot from that expedition, how they had to cut trees to take them over crevasses, what clothes and shoes they were wearing, how the food and oxygen arrived on the mountain. Unbelievable that they could conquer the mountain in such basic conditions! It was a real honor to have the opportunity to talk to him and he said he would pray to Buddha for my husband to succeed.

The minute I booked a room in my lodge, I went down to get a nice cup of coffee and I ate a nice piece of apple pie with itIMG_20160515_102234. I promised myself to not drink coffee anymore, until I was back in Kathmandu, but I saw a big sign of Himalayan Java coffee and, because I have more than half a day of rest, I treat myself. I won’t drink coffee anymore, until I come down again. Coffee can be dangerous in high altitude as it makes your heart go faster and it takes fluids from your body. So, be careful with coffee, alcohol and red bull. Although, I have seen several people smoke cannabis as it would help to relax and help against AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). Some invited me to smoke with them, but I didn’t dare that too. I wouldn’t know how my body woul
d react in these circumstances.