Welcome to Nepal

Welcome to Nepal

Sunday, 15 April 2007

Monjo to Namche [Day 4]

Hard trek day

I am up early to carry out the daily testing - results for this morning are:
Resting: O2 92; HR 68; BR 12; BP 135/77; 116/78; 120/79. After exercise: O2 87; HR 138; BR 16.

Early morning testing
Early morning photo (courtesy of Felicity)

To reach Namche Bazaar (3,440 metres) today we have a harsh walk along the Dudh Kosi valley, zigzagging the river across wire suspension bridges. It is spectacular. We take it nice and steady due to the heat... and the numerous steps up steep inclines... also the altitude is starting to test us too.

Wire suspension bridge
Prayer flags attached to the 'up river' side
An airy drop
Feats of engineering

The dust rises from the trail coating everybody in a white film. The inside of my nostrils are crusted and filthy and I am really looking forward to the colder temperatures. This type of hot and dusty atmosphere plays havoc with my nasal passages.

Our Nepali guides
Porters carrying massive loads
The hot and dusty trekking trail
Rest break prior to the Namche 'hill'

Climbing the hill towards Namche , we manage to get our first glimpse of Everest through the trees. Once again, the loss of fluids with the combination of heat and dust, seem to bring on a headache. At 1200hrs I have to take another 1,000mg of paracetamol to try and stem the discomfort.

As we enter Namche, an interesting blend of aromas floats by, ranging from sanitation through to cooking. Horses, chickens and yaks wander aimlessly around.

Beware of stray ponies

The climb up to Namche seem to take for ever, particularly the stone steps through the village up to the lodge where we are due to stay. It is important to try and alternate legs to avoid stress on any particular limb. Topping out, we walk past a military camp on the knoll and down into our lodge (which had a crashed Soviet type helicopter in its grounds).

The steep incline at Namche
Hotel Sherwi Khangba

As I am writing my diary, my headache starts to recede - I truly believe the factor is the heat, but I will reserve judgement until I get higher into the colder atmosphere. I manage to send an email to my darling wife at 1415hrs to let her know how I am. It costs 270NR - about £2.00 and worth every penny. My aim this afternoon is to rest, have a shower and do some washing. I manage to go to the loo for a second time at 1430hrs - all OK thank goodness.

Sharing a room with Mike
Not a bad view from our window eh?

I manage to book a shower and find this is scalding (I have to flick water on to me to wash). I feel a whole lot better - even my headache seems to have eased. The shower costs 200NR. This extra spending is a little unexpected and I wish the Jagged Globe briefing had been more upfront with some of these 'extras'. Tomorrow, breakfast is scheduled for 0645hrs and I have also been given my programme of medical tests for the day. This means no food for 3 hours before the CPX at 1100hrs... damn it.

During the evening, there is a small presentation from the Namche Lab staff. I have to say this is not very professional and contains many conflicting messages to those issued by our excellent trek leader. We have been told to keep off alcohol because acclimatisation is hard enough in itself, without getting more dehydrated from boozing... yet here the Namche Lab staff are condoning drinking and the creation of a 'Club Namche' experience on the way up!

Finally, before retiring, Llakpa (our Sirdar) offers to take us around to a viewing point at dawn to see the sun come up on Everest. This means rising at 0445hrs and meeting at 0500hrs - I cannot figure out my watch alarm so I hope I wake up. Strangely, just before bed my headache returns, resulting in a very uncomfortable night.

No comments: