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pocoloco update Trying to settle down.... but where?

tracking towards Everest (but leaving it for next time)

NEPAL | Wednesday, 19 October 2011 | Views [335]

The good news (although a bit late) is that NZ made the finals for the Rugby World Cup. Off course you will all know that, but we didn't until yesterday. Lots of sky here but no Sky Sport.

Anyway, Mika is now in Gokyo, where there is a temporary medical post during the busy weeks. It's only 3 hours walk from Macchermo, but at 4750m a bit higher so more people will have problems with the altitude. Long ago we used to think that Mt Blanc was very high, but in this scenery it would be a dwarf in between many 'hills' of 5000m+.  While Mika is in Gokyo (with Chhewang as coordinator/translator) Sean and Anna will run the main medical post, and Hans is therefore relieved of his duties. That ain't much: going around the lodges early afternoon to announce the altitude talk, then assist with (or sometimes give) the altitude talk for an audience of 30-40 people, and then sell T-shirts, accept donations and answer general questions. Good there's still a doctor around for the medical questions, and to treat the porters, locals and tourists that come in with their problems.

After 2 days of walking Hans is now in Periche, and has visited the clinic of the Himalayan Rescue Association who do similar stuff in the valley towards Everest Base Camp. This valley is a bit busier, and has some really large and luxurious lodges. Currently it's breakfast time (fresh flat bread with omelette) and I'm working on a laptop with WiFi. An earlier attempt yesterday afternoon to do some emailing failed - probably because another 20 people were working on the same network - too slow!

Anyway - life is still very good here, with great views around every corner, and in general stable weather which is supposed to last into December. The nights are getting longer and the mornings are colder, but currently it doesn't drop below -5 degrees. Tonight I plan to camp a bit higher, so I hope my new sleeping bag will stand the test. It's  supposed to be comfortable down to -15, and so far I have not used it will all zips closed because it is too warm (indoors). Will be an interesting test! Plans from here are to head a few hours east to Chuckhung, and then go northwest over the Kungma La pass to Lobuche. Will be a serious climb (over 5600m) but it is supposed to be not a technically difficult passage). From there it takes another pass (Cho La) to reach the Macchermo / Gokyo valley, however that is one that is frequently done by large tour groups with less fit people. Only difference is that they do not carry their own 15kg backpack, so I may take a day of rest between those two passes. After that I'm hoping to meet up with Mika again, possibly in Gokyo (where one of the lodges has excellent apple pie).

Sorry guys: unfortunately no photos this time as the internet is still terribly slow, so I hope to do that in 10-12 days from now when I expect to drop down to Namche again (still a full day walk down, and same up for a bit of internet and chocolate!).

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