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The little adventures of Jo! Travel with me on my overdue gap year around the world :)

Junbesi

NEPAL | Sunday, 6 October 2013 | Views [693]

Altitude: 2675m.

I reached a low point yesterday. A very low one.

We decided to make tracks away from Lamjura La and head here. Before leaving, I felt full of energy and enthusiasm, optimistic that my knee would have completely recovered with a full day's rest and that I was still in the game to have my picture taken at Everest Base camp.

How wrong I was. Despite my knee feeling better and applying a compression bandage around it, the pain began to slowly surface within the first two hours of walking. Walking away from the pass meant going downhill pretty much for most of the way, which very unfortunately started off with a long segment of very steep. By the end of it all, I was exhausted, more mentally than physically, by the frustration of not being able to move at my normal pace. Ngwang (our Sherpa) gave us a lenient estimate of four hours to get from Lamjura La to Junbesi, when other guides we had met said two and half to three hours. I was really disappointed when I got here and looked at the time. It had taken me six hours.

Acknowledging my extra slow pace, I knew and decided that Everest Base Camp would no longer be a reality for me, this time. We made plans for me, at least, to walk to Phaphlu where I could hire a jeep back to Kathmandu. Come this morning, there was no way I could walk to Phaplhu (three hours away normally). My knee had become worse overnight and was extremely stiff. The walk yesterday was too much for it to handle.

After my long walk getting here yesterday, we paid a visit to the local health post, where the doctor had a short conversation with me and decided without physical examination that I needed sprain management. We left with the standard treatment - anti-inflammatories, deep heat cream called "MOVE" and instructions to bandage my knee for compression. I felt like the biggest loser on our long and wet walk back to the teahouse. Surely a sprain shouldn't stop me from achieving my goals! But the more I forced myself to walk normally, the more it hurt. It wasn't going away.

We've come up with a different plan today which will hopefully be alright for my knee, budget and time. Hiring a private jeep costs a lot and the drive from Phaphlu to Kathmandu is a staggering 14 hours which I doubt would be a smooth one. Our new plan is to rest here for at least the next two days to allow my knee to recover, walk to either Lukla or Namche Bazaar where I can stay until our flight out of Lukla on the 23rd, while the others carry on. It's a good win-win solution and I hope my knee agrees.

I've decided trekking is not my thing. What motivated me to go on this trek was purely to have that once-in-a-lifetime experience of actually being in the Himalayas. But walking miles on end with a tangible backpack, sweating profusely without showers to freshen up - it really doesn't appeal to me. Every time I walk, all I can think about is being clean (firstly!) and enjoying myself at a lovely, sunny beach resort or losing myself in a bustling, fun city.

I realised I hadn't even mentioned the rain we had all day yesterday. I thought this was the dry season and my book says October should only get four to five days rain max! I think we have had three already!

Tags: everest base camp, nepal, outdoors, sherpa, trekking

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