Back to the morning tests. My results are:
Resting - O2 89; HR 67; BR 11. BP 149/81; 133/83; 138/79. After exercise: O2 88; HR 116; BR 16.
I am pleased to leave Namche behind, having been based there for quite a few days. It seems a slightly muted 'goodbye' from the XE permanent staff as we departed - maybe the social dynamics with other trek groups were better.
We have a lovely trek out this morning - I have a good chat with Dawa (our guide) about his education and family. I also enjoy the company of Deborah (Trek Leader) talking about different climbing techniques, the management of funds as trek leader and general 'goings on' in the group after I was left behind at Pheriche.
I have Deborah's website address: www.deborahlaugharne.co.uk if you are interested in finding out more about her background.
|Ice cold waters|
|Rest stop for porters|
My legs are slightly sore from not having put Factor 50 on yesterday. I start off with shorts this morning, but as the weather starts to get blustery, drizzly and cloudy, I fasten the bottoms back on my trousers.
We are now at Phakding waiting for lunch. The weather has changed again, the sunshine is beating down and we are drinking lemon teas, white/black coffees and normal tea. This place is about halfway in distance to Lukla.
It is noticeable there are less photos being taken now we are on the way down.
|Relaxing in the warmth of the sun|
I am feeling quite down today... as tomorrow is the anniversary of Sam's death... one of the main reasons for me being on this trip. I cannot believe it is a year since my family were going through those horrendous few days.
It was nice therefore to have the company of an extra companion for most of the day - a very friendly dog. Joining us at Namche, he walks virtually all the way with us to Lukla. He did not appear to be a stray, as his coat was in superb condition. He sits down with me at most of the rest stops while I fuss him and feed him titbits. As we approach Lukla, he seems to know this is his limit and he turns back to make the journey home, wherever that was. He was a nice interlude to my otherwise dark thoughts.
I really hope the research gained from my difficult ascent and the expedition as a whole really bears fruit for Intensive Care Units. According to the doctors who were caring for me... and those in the team... they do say my results will still be valid. If everyone reached EBC without any issues at all, the data wouldn't be as useful. I do hope the Xtreme-Everest research will also benefit Special Baby Care Units around the UK too.
|Dawa and Llakpa|
It has been a very hot, sweaty day... and a long haul into Lukla. Walking down the main 'street' of Lukla, it is amazing how much you overlook on the way out. There were far more shops/outlets than I remember. Tunnel vision towards the mountains... that is what I must have had when I walked in.
We come to the Eco Paradise Hotel. What a lovely hostelry for the very last night in the Khumbu. The lady owner not only looks after the day-to-day running of the hotel, she is also an air traffic controller and a well respected member of the community.
|Eco Paradise Hotel|
We have a enjoyable evening - a couple of beers, nice food and terrific company. I empty my hip flask into the Sirdar's and porter's glasses as a toast to their unswerving assistance throughout the trek. Excellent service.
I am in a triple-bed room... with Mike and Sim, both lovely blokes... and no snoring... sheer bliss.