Day 5: From Pangboche to Thokla

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I started trekking again at 6am. I started from Pangboche, where I stayed another night after my trek to Ama Dablam Basecamp. I stayed in another lodge, which was popular. Yesterday afternoon, I sat in the dining room with my book. Around 5pm, an Australian couple came in. They were in their early 40s, I guessed. We started talking and we talked for the whole evening (well, until 7.30pm, which is the time we retreated to our room to sleep). The woman was really exhausted. At one point she was even crying, because she felt so tired. The guy told me that his heart monitor indicated that he was burning 3000cals a day, without heavy backpack, because they had a porter. So, he told me that I must burn more, which shocked me a bit. That’s a lot of calories!

I started trekking today without breakfast, because I didn’t feel hungry (I ate more than I wanted to yesterday). I arrived in Periche (altitude: 4240m) around 8.30am and had breakfast there. I almost immediately continued the rest of my trek to Thokla (4670m). It was a bit of a tough climb, especially because I went a bit off track. The route was not that clear and I didn’t know where to go. So, I started to climb up, but all of a sudden I saw porters down and knew the trail must be there. Even with this little hiccup, I still arrived around 10.30am. So, again, quite early.

It seemed there was only 1 lodge in Thokla. It’s really just a couple of houses, not much of a town. I met a nice American couple in the dining room: Mary and Justin. They had already ordered food and the dish Justin ordered looked so delicious I immediately ordered the same. It was a big plate of mixed noodles with egg, tuna, veggies,… I devoured it and enjoyed every bite!
The rest of the day, was again waiting to go trekking again the next day.

The view during each trek is amazing. I am thankful every day, every minute that I have this experience and am surrounded by such a beautiful environment. At moments, it feels surreal, like I entered another world.

I will also mention here that it is aIMG_20160516_115518lmost necessary to have purification tablets with you, so you can take water from any source and purify it with a tablet. I take water from little pools, small streams,… put a tablet in it and wait one hour to drink. Although, I don’t drink as much as I should. I know, I should drink IMG_20160516_115428enough to not get sick, but every time I want to drink, it feels like choking as my body just wants to breathe. I am quite out of breath all the time from walking and I don’t think to drink.

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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.