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.

Climbing Mt. Everest

My husband summited Mt Everest. He succeeded on May 20, 2016! A big adventure for bot of us. I went to Base camp to meet him when he came down the mountain. This picture is takIMG_20160522_140629en when he just came back from the mountain to Base Camp. I will write in a few blog posts my trekking to Base camp. It is a beautiful trek! I would recommend everyone to do it…

 

 

 

 

 

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First day of my trek

 

 

The first day I flew from Kathmandu to Lukla. It was early in the morning and the airport for domestic flights at Kathmandu is very basic and not quite organised (to say the least). Everything is very old and it was confusing, also because flights to Lukla get canceled on a regular basis. Lukla is the world’s most dangerous airport and the weather conditions are most of the time not good to land on the very small landstrip. So, you never know when you can fly. I spoke to 2 other people; we were all going around the same time to Lukla, but we all got a different flight numb

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The plane to Lukla

 

er. After a while, my flight number was announced and I could go through. The plane was very basic and old. The flight lasted 40 minutes and we flew around the mountains. The
view was amazing! We landed on a very short strip!! I heard about it, but to really experience it, was something completely different. Those pilots must have great skills. Unbelievable how they can stop the airplane on such a short time.

The first thing I did in Lukla was to have a huge breakfast: masala tea (how I enjoy these!), chapati with honey and oatmeal porridge with banana. It was a bit too much. I could feel it for the next hour in my stomach…
I didn’t have a porter or guide, so I had to carry everything myself: 1 big backpack of 10kg and a small bag of 5kg, going up, I could feel every kilogram!
I started in Lukla at 2860m, around 10am and I took a break in Phakding, around 2610m, around noon. Eric, my husband, told me that I could rest here before going further. But it was only noon and the trek was not that difficult so far. I didn’t feel tired at all, because I was overexcited of everything: the trek, the environment,… The fact that I am finally in Nepal after already almost have gone 2 times. So, this is the 3rd time I planned and finally did go!
I was even thinking of going all the way to Namche Bazar today.
A bit over 1 hour of trekking later, I started to feel that I underestimated it: I started to feel really tired and my energy level dropped significantly. The fact that I got up early and hadn’t slept well the night before because of excitement will have had something to do with this.

IMG_20160514_105018So, around 2pm I arrived in Monjo, 2835m. The first guesthouse I saw, I booked a room and ordered food. After that good meal, I went to my room, took a shower and relaxed for the rest of the day. I didn’t eat anything in the evening. This will be my routine for the whole trek: eat a big breakfast and after my trek, have a big meal, but nothing or just a couple of biscuits in the evening.

 

The eternal question of nurture and nature

I like to analyze myself and other people. I want to know all aspects of life and am curious, so I love to ask people a lot of questions and I read a lot about philosophy, history,… What makes people the way they are? Life is a wonderful journey and I want to live every aspect of it.
Today, I was talking to someone and all of a sudden she asked me: ‘Are you born in December?’ I was surprised by her question and she was right, I am born in that month. ‘You are a real Sagittarius,’ she continued. She was a Sagittarius as well and could relate to what I was saying. I must say, I am a bit in Astrology, but am a bit skeptical as well. I want to believe that we are not only who we are because of a certain day and place we were born in, but also by our environment, our experience: the eternal Nurture – Nature question.

But, I was intrigued and as we talked more and more with each other, I realized that whatever she was saying, I could relate to a lot of it and found that we do think the same. She is from a completely different country, has a completely different culture and still we had so much in common.

ImageAt home, I started to look for more information on Sagittarius and I found that this describes me in many ways. I am on the cusp of Sagittarius and Capricorn, so I thought for a long time that I was a Capricorn, but I could never relate to any of those characteristics. Sagittarius is the real me, I realize now. But, it also leaves me with a big question: Does this mean that we are not that much influenced by our culture, that our personality is shaped by the stars after all?

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I must say that, after I broke up with my ex-boyfriend, someone from China, I thought about this question for a long time. Did we break up because of cultural differences or because of our personality? He was a Cancer, according to the internet: a sensitive person who loves the comfort of home. He wants to have security and stability. Totally the opposite of Sagittarius, who love their freedom, want to philosophize, are adventurous, impulsive, and love to communicate.

So, 2 different personalities, 2 different cultures,… It was bound to go wrong. And still, we had 2 amazing years where we got along very well.
Until, I guess, it became all too serious. We shared a lot of the same interests and this went well in the beginning of the relationship, but in the end you want to have a person who you want to grow old with and that is where it went wrong.

He, being a Chinese man, wanted to go back and live in his hometown close to his family. I felt it would restrict me too much and I would end up in a small Chinese town with no family, no friends, only him to rely on at first (after some time, I could make friends and start a life there as well, I think). We already had some communication problems, because he was very quiet and he never discussed anything with me. Which let to some arguments before. This could be his personality (being a Cancer?!), but also something I observed in many Chinese men: they never discuss something with their girlfriends or wives and they avoid confrontations. Even if the girlfriend would yell at them, they just stand there and don’t react or react in a submissive way. After the girlfriend made a scene, the boyfriend is still doing everything for her. Incomprehensible in Western eyes: first of all, we wouldn’t make a scene in public. Secondly, we don’t like a man who doesn’t react, we want to argue with him, we want to hear his point of view. We want him to yell as well or at least show some emotion and after that we can solve the problem. The way I see it now, is that with Chinese men, everything builds up until it explodes.
So, this is something cultural, unfortunately, because it means that a lot of marriages are not based on love in China, but on a mutual acceptance: let’s just tolerate each other for our parents and have a child, so that our parents are happy. We, as a couple, don’t need to be happy, which, is changing, but it goes slowly. Chinese don’t seem to know how to communicate about their feelings, not even to their closed ones.

As a real Sagittarius I love to communicate. I can’t understand why people wouldn’t want to share a lot of stories, a lot of their dreams and desires with someone, in the least the person they are committed to. We can learn so much from each other, but then we have to talk to each other, no talk, no knowledge, right?

So, Nature РNurture? I guess we are a combination of both, which makes it all the more interesting. If we would be completely like our star sign, we would know people immediately and there is no mystery, but because everyone has their unique life experiences, we can listen to them and learn more from everyone around us. Every person is unique and every person is worth listening to.

I hope that everyone will meet their soulmate and start life’s journey together to make their own unique stories….