So we arrived in Kathmandu after 36 hours of trains,buses and walking! Exhausted, we were pointed in the direction of Tamal, which is like the Temple Bar of Dublin - i.e Tourist Trap! But we could not have been happier! lol There are coffee shops, bakerys, nice restaurants, hotels,smoothie shops and sandwich bars. So we went for a lovely breakfast,as it was about 6.30/7am.We even had bacon, made complete pigs of ourselves -excuse the pun - and it tasted so good! Checked into a hotel and slept for a few hours as sleep was minimal for the past few days!
We saw a poster in one of the guest houses, for a table quiz which was taking place that night for the charity Michael's brother Ger volunteered for,so we decided to go to that that evening.So we had a look around, ate a lot more nice food and went to the table quiz. We met Stephen there and some of the volunteers. Had a few drinks and got asked to leave by the police at 12am.Not for being drunk and disorderly or anything but because all the bars close at this time! So being the stupid Irish that we are we decided to continue on to the casino until 6am! Good fun but no need whatsoever!
The next day we took it pretty handy and just tried to plan our time in Nepal.So we went to a travel agents and enquired how much it would cost to trek to Everest Basecamp and we made a very rash and quite hungover decision that we were going to do this for 10days!!
So we bought some gear for ridiculoulsly cheap prices and we also got some from the guy we booked our trip with. We flew from Kathmandu on Tuesday morning to Lokala and the first day we walked for about 3hours and we were at our tea house by about lunch time. Tea houses are what everyone calls the accomodation on the trail. There are actually loads especially at the beginning and they become fewer as you continue further up. They are pretty basic but clean. I think most of the little towns are fake towns that are just there for the tourists. The owners stay there during the trekking season and they all go back to Kathmandu during the off season.
So the second day was harder, we trekked for seven hours, probably eight the third day and maybe only three the next day. The fifth day we had to take a rest day to accliamatise even though we felt fine but in the end we appreciated it! The next day again was quite short but you really notice as you go up how much harder it is to breath and the lack of oxygen! Also some headaches from the altitude but nothing unbearable.
So eventually on day seven we were due to make it to basecamp. We woke up at 4am and waked in the dark for a few hours with our fingers crossed for the amazing views we had trekked for seven days to see! Our hopes were dampened by the cloud cover that sourrounded us all morning. But there was hope when the clouds began to part and we could see the Himalayas behind them! About a 30 minute walk from Base Camp the sun melted the clouds away and the sky opened up and there it was - Everest!! So we were high fiving and in flying form running around like kids at Christmas with our camera!
We got to Basecamp though and was a little disspointed to find out there was no actual sign saying Bascamp and how high we were etc. We had met some people on the way up, who were on their way down who told us there wasnt a sign there. Our guide assured us that there was but maybe there guide didnt take them the whole way there. When we got there though there wasnt one there and a guy who was staying there with people who were going to the summit said it had been swept away in a landslide. We were slightly disappointed but it didnt dampen our spirits, we felt as if we actually were on top of the world!
Our guide told us for a couple of days he was felling really unwell and he felt particularily bad the day we went to Basecamp. We walked for 14 hours that day back to Pheriche which is probably about 1/3 a way down the moutain. He made it to here a few hours behind us so from Basecamp we were going it alone. The next day he was taken to hospital with altitude sickness!! Who would have thought it. Bizarre.
The last two days coming down where extremely hard I have to say. We were tired and our feet and backs hurt and we had already achieved the task we had set out to right - to make it to the top! But we perserved and made it to Lokala. We were really lucky with our flights actually as for the previous five days no flights had gone to/from Kathmandu but we luckily had a nice clear morning. Otherwise you are stuck there for the five days or you can walk to Jiri and then take a bus, which takes about three to five days - neither seemed an appealing option!
We were in need of a hot shower and some nice food and a bed! All of which we received in Kathmandu. ;-) Feeling really good to have made it but really good to be back to some comfort food and comfortable lodgings! An amazing few days and definitely something I would recommend anyone to do. Tough but 100% worth it.
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