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Published: August 9th 2017
Geo: 28.0817, 85.4791
The first mistake i realized as i had got to Namche was under-estimating the prices here for food and water and under-estimating that amount of money i would need on the whole trek. Water is 100rs minimum and gets more expensive the higher you go, up to 300rs. Back in Kathmandu i had bought two one liter bottles for 10rs each. So with no ATM's available, I'm really going to have to budget and conserve.
The second mistake was not thinking about anti-altitude sickness pills (Diamox) or buying Iodine for water purification, it was pretty stupid of us to both forget and not prepare for this.
The third mistake was trekking two days worth in one day. Chelsey and Dustin's porter, Krishna, said it was a bad idea as we jumped from 1800 meters above sea level in Kathmandu to almost double at 3400 M.A.S.L. And the fourth mistake was not preparing and researching enough for the trek.
So it became obvious that i was well under prepared and started to doubt if this trek was a good idea if i was already having problems on day two.
We had hit the sack pretty early last night, Radek was out like
a light in 5 minutes but it took me longer. I woke in a bit of pain from trekking yesterday, throughout the whole body, but mostly the lower back and traps from my rucksack. So stretching was a high priority. We had some breakfast and packed our bags as we wanted to camp using a tent.
It was our acclimatisation day in Namche and i was feeling fine with no symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). We headed off for the day to find some information on where to camp. We ended up at the Sargamartha National Park Headquarters on the top of Namche Bazzar, it houses a small museum and information room but we didn't get any information about camping from there, but what we did get was an inspiring and amazing view of Everest, as well as Nuptse and Ama Dablam. It was an amazing clear day as it was the morning, which is the best time to see the mountains. Not a cloud in the sky and the views were spectacular. Every direction you looked a big giant mountain would be towering over you.
The only cloud was coming off the summit of Everest like a volcano before it
erupts. We sat there in amazement and soaked in the views. We noticed a steep trail leading up the opposite hill of where we were which led to the Everest Hotel so we made our way there. There are three routes you can go to Tengbouche which is the next direction, this was the middle and toughest route you could go.
It was steep and thankfully we didn't have our rucksacks. It took us about an hour and fifteen minutes to reach the Everest Hotel and all the while presenting spectacular views towards the worlds highest point. The prices at the Everest Hotel (Altitude 3880 M.A.S.L) were ridiculously expensive, like prices at home and a bit more. I grabbed some biscuits for 180rs and Radek got a lemon tea for 150rs. They weren't serving food as it was low season, so only drinks and snacks. It sounds like nothing, but when you are on a limited budget and use to cheap meals then it seems expensive. The views from the restaurant in the Everest Hotel were amazing though.
We made our way back down, following a group of fifteen who were coming back down from just completing the Everest trek. When
we go back into Namche we went on another search of where to pitch our tent. We finally found a place at the Himalayan Lodge for a charge of 50Rs.
As we were looking around we ran into a Canadian girl, Sasha, who was coming back from the trek. She had told us about the Iodine and Diamox and we were taken back as we both didn't have any of those, so we went on a hunt throughout Namche to try and get some but being in low season all the shops are closed so we had no luck. So we sought out Sasha at a coffee shop and asked if we could have hers but she had run out.
Hearing some of the stories that Sasha told us about people being rushed down at 4am by three porters because they were in a bad state and Sasha herself having intense headaches freaked me out a bit and had me thinking more about how under prepared we were. But she told us to take it slow and that everyone she had spoken too made it to Base Camp. It also had me thinking if it was a good idea to stay and
camp at base camp at an altitude of 5300 M.A.S.L and a night temperature of -20C, nothing was inspiring me to want to.
Sasha was really helpful though, she went and asked the group of fifteen that had come down if they had any spare Iodine or Diamox. While she went and asked, we stocked up on snack foods and grabbed our bags. We were also told that there was a hospital only a couple of hours away if we were that desperate. I started to get real nervous, i knew that altitude sickness was pretty horrible and i knew i would get it at some point in the trek, but all i can do is take it slowly and be smart and have common sense by sleeping lower than the highest point trekked and no higher than 300m than the last point, but that's harder when there is no towns close by. No pain, no Gain i guess.
We grabbed an early dinner and made our way to meet Sasha to see if anyone had any spare stuff. To our luck one guy came through with a little bit of Iodine and 26 Diamox Pills, which would be enough to last
us the rest of the trip. We then went to set up our tent, in the dark, cause i couldn't find my torch. After setting up we went back to Camp De Base. It was packed, there was two groups of fifteen, one group going up and another going down, plus others including Dustin and Chelsey. So we spent a few hours chatting with them before heading to bed at about 8:30 to spend our first night in the tent.
As soon as we woke in the morning we knew that it probably was a bad idea to take a tent. We were on a small slope and feeling both uncomfortable, we both had limited sleep and the -20 sleeping bag i had hired doesn't zip up properly so it's a struggle to keep the cold out. My water bottles were pretty much frozen and the tent was covered in frost making my toes completely numb and cold.
But at least we gave it a go!
Tot: 0.087s; Tpl: 0.049s; cc: 7; qc: 23; dbt: 0.0137s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.2mb