Published: December 16th 2011December 16th 2011
Fresh from success on Island Peak I was fit and ready for my next obstacle - Lobuche East.
Unfortunately, fate had decided otherwise and I succumbed to a nasty case of man flu.
Leaving the tent at 3am on summit morning I knew it was going to be a struggle but I decided to have a crack at it anyway.
After struggling up the mountain for a couple of hours, and with the difficult bit about to start, I decided that being lightheaded and dizzy on ice slopes of up to 75 degrees was probably not wise. I therefore headed back towards my tent.
It was the first time I have failed to get to the top of a mountain (more testament to the fact that I have never tried anything difficult than anything else) and I was properly gutted. However the wiseness of the decision became apparent on the descent when diziness caused me to loose my footing a couple of times and slip. God only knows what shape I would have been in had I continued another 3-4 hours to the summit, and what trouble I could have got myself into.
Anyway, rather an
anti-climax to my two months in the Himalayas but at least I lived to fight another day and climb another mountain.
And it's always good to have a reason to return........
My sickness, unfortunately, did not end there.
After my failure on Lobuche I headed back to Kathmandu to recover where I stayed with Binod and family. After about a week he suggested that we all go on a trip to his birthplace - firstly because it would be interesting for me, but also because he needed to get a new citizency card for himself and his wife.
Great idea in theory. In practise however the hygiene standards in deepest darkest Nepal leave rather a lot to be desired, and I therefore swapped my man flu for a very nasty bout of dysentry.
Unfortunately, there was no doctor anywhere near and so I decided to wait a couple of days and see whether it would pass naturally (since my stomach is normally bullet proof).
Suffice it to say that after a couple of days of suffering I could take it no longer and therefore decided to brave a 9.5 hour bus journey back to
civilisation in order to receive treatment. This in itself was a particularly unpleasant few hours, but I am sure that you would not thank me for sharing the gory details!
Anyway, I ended up in Pokhara, a pleasant tourist trap next to a lake which has everything you need to relax without feeling bored.
And so it is that for the last 10 days or so I have settled into a wonderfully lazy routine:
• Wake up, have breakfast
• Go to a cafe, read the newspaper over coffee and cake
• Do a bit of internetting
• Have lunch
• Little snooze
• Shower, then walk round the lake
• Sit and read book
• Dinner, beer
Not really travelling, but after 2 months of walking and a week of dysentry it's just what the doctor ordered (almost literally!)
My thoughts naturally turn to where (and what) next. Weirdly, I will be seeing most of you within the next week or so, so I can tell you about it then!
P.S. I have started my own website about Nepal, aiming to give people lots of information and inspiration about trekking in Nepal. If you
are interested, please visit my Trekking in Nepal
website. It includes sections on the Mera Peak Climb
, Island Peak Climb
and Everest Base Camp Trek
There are more photos below