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We Reached Everest Base Camp!!!!!!!!!!!!

AUSTRALIA | Tuesday, 3 June 2008 | Views [872]

For a while on this trek, it did not look like we might make it.  I had recovered and was fairly fit, but Stef was not so good.  Its pretty amazing we got there in the end! After Gokyo Ri, we were supposed to attempt the Chola Pass - which is apparently the hardest part of the trek.  It is basically walking on pure ice and going upwards for about five hours.  You have to continue walking without stopping as it is too cold (especially with our not-so-ready-for-snow shoes).  As Stef basically had no food in her for over 9 days now, the guides and both of us thought perhaps not.  Especially as it is difficult to get help during this section of the trek. 

So sadly, we had to turn around and do a bit of a backtrack.  Our guides told us we would still make base camp, but it'd be a few days later than scheduled, and we'd have to head down before heading up a different way.  So thats what we did.  These days tended to drag a bit for me, as I felt like we were going backwards and undoing all the hard trekking we'd done the days before.  The good thing though, was that Stef started to get a bit better, especially with the easier trekking we were doing compared to the previous days.  We stopped off at villages which were good and not so good.  At one of them, we attempted washing our hair and this proved very difficult and hilarious as all we were given was a bucket of water. Plus it was FREEZING! Yeah - showers become rare during the trek.  I think we went close to ten days without a shower as it was too cold.  Luckily you don't sweat in the snow!

The coldest and worst place by far was Lobuche.  This was one stop before the Everest Base Camp village (Gorak Shep), and it was freezing! Plus the facilities were horrible (check out the toilet pic in the gallery), and it was just plain bloody cold! Everything became hard.  The toilet was so disgusting i refused to sit on it.  But there was nowhere else.  Plus the stupid thing had a low window behind it and looking out i could see people in the next building having their dinner in the dining hall! Hopefully they did not glance over to where i was :) cause they woulda seen everything! Stupid window!

So anyway, we kept climbing.  I was getting weaker and weaker and stef seemed to be getting stronger and stronger.  I did not know if i would suffer from altitude sickness, but i did.  not badly, but badly enough so it made the last few days difficult.  Headaches, weak all over and dizziness.  Still - we got to Everest base camp!! It really wasn't as amazing as i thought it'd be.  It was beautiful, but a bit dull.  Just a bunch of tents, and as it was cloudy we couldn't really see Everest.  From the Nepal side, Everest base camp is in front of another mountain that the climbers have to climb first before attempting Everest.  Seemed a bit of a let down as i thought i'd get to base camp and be staring up at the actual mountain.  Still - we set a goal and we made it!

Getting down was more interesting.  I woke up the next morning in Gorak SHep feeling very ill and nautious.  Stef and the two guides went up to the Kalapathar peak, but I was the one who stayed behind this time.  It is a similar height to Gokyo Ri peak, and the views are similar apparently.  It is just closer to Everest.  Stef did well - making it there and back in about 3 hrs and once back it was time for us all to head down.  THis is where it got interesting.  Walking along, i started to feel at my worst - close to throwing up again like i did on the fourth day.  Both the guides knew it would be ten times worse if this were to happen as I would have to get carried down or stay behind.  So they both grabbed an arm and started dragging me down really quickly.  As we got lower after an hour or so I definately started to feel better.  They forced me to drink garlic soup which was feral, but I was slowly getting better. 

Stef was feeling fine, and by the next day both of us were happy and healthy again (for the time being lol), and so happy to have reached the top.  Our third last place on the way, we opted out of a hike to a nearby site, and got into the whisky instead! It was great to sit there for the afternoon doing nothing but eating, drinking and being idiots.  The next place we stayed at, Tengboche, was near a buddhist monastery where we sat in on a meditation session.  It was quite interesting - lots of monks all dressed the same walking around and chanting.  Again, the monastery was pretty amazing to look at.  On our last night, the guides bought us some more whisky and we had the best pizza ever! We then went to a buddhist festival and joined in on the dancing! It was lots of fun! Sad to leave, but I was ready to head back to a normal shower and different food. 

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