Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Kathmandu to Kala Pathar (EBC) Part 2

So on to day 2 in Namche where we remained to allow for proper acclimatization to the altitude. Namche Is quite a prosperous village there are lots of shops and markets here and the stuff you can buy would not cost a fortune as the shop owners are always willing to barter just to get your money so they can make a living mmm except chemist where Bruce tried to barter with chemist owner ha ha but in saying that he did get some bargains and spent quite a lot of money here. Namche sits in a hollow and really is a fantastic place and I would love to visit there and stay for a few days. But today was another acclimatization walk another early start but it was a stunning day warm and blue skies all the way. We were trekking to the village of Khumjung which was such a great village lovely and peaceful oh and I managed to miss the Hillary school lol not sure what I was doing probably just taking it all in it was so nice. We also visited the Everest view hotel this was just stunning sitting having coffee and chips not best combination I know but it was what my body was craving so having this looking out at some fantastic views of mount Everest it was surreal just bloody fantastic I did not want to leave could have sat there all day with everybody was so relaxing just stunning views. Think we all agreed that at that time this was our best day so far but we enjoyed them all. This acclimatization walk lasted about 5hrs when we reached Namche again we were all in good spirits but Andy and April never had a good night as Andy started to have problems with his teeth and April was having few problems to, as I have said in part 1 Andy and April were going on to do island peak a big climb and I hoped that the problems they had cleared before this they had done so much training in Scotland and just deserved to complete this just such a nice couple and as it transpires they reached there goal and like all was so happy for them. So back in Namche we all decided to go for coffee but I managed to lose them all yup I did just like me to lose a bunch of people lol, but met Tina and Nolan we had a search for them but could not find them. So went for apple strudle and coffee then pizza in that order :-)  it was nice and Tina and Nolan paid which made it better ha ha Tina and Nolan are just so easy to get on with I really enjoyed time I spent with them and amazed at there trek around this great world we live in and like the rest of our group I hope so much to meet them all again just loved this about the trek how you meet different people and hit it of so well and I regard them all as good friends and hope they feel the same way hmmmm they better :-) . So after that had look around shops a again then back to hotel and met everybody again they had gone into place that was showing film about sherpas wish I saw it we also met the star of that film later. Had shower was. So refreshing well a bit then had some clothes washed. Gave Helen phone was good to here her voice chatted for few minutes telling her just to keep checking FB and I love her. So tea time warm towel before tea was nice and refreshing to. So after tea we all just chilled some reading some online and mike even teached April how to map read mmm I think. Made friends on fb with Joanna, Martin and Nolan what a great way to keep in touch. So time for bed we had another early start and we were off to Tengboche. I would miss Namche but looked forward to going back.

So up early again 7-30 start we were heading to Tengboche at 3875m walking time around 6hrs, heading out of Namche we headed up until the route to Tengboche became visible today's walk gave us the opportunity to spot some local wild life like the Danphe pheasant we did only see one and it did look big and looked nice but was just a fleeting glimpse. On we went reaching a re-forestation nursery at Trashinga where the trail dropped steeply to cross the Dudh Kosi river again at Phunitenga at 3250m where we would have our lunch we were bit quite today think group was bit tiered and April never had an easy day bit of a struggle for her but hat of to her as she battled on all day and Andy's tooth still gave him bit of bother. After lunch we headed steeply through pine forest toward Tengboche it was a good trek today we had Everest in view for good part of the day we also past some water driven prayer wheels and more rhododendron trees. We reached our goal for today it was a lovely small palace with a big monastery and incredible views of Everest also Kantega, Ama Dablam probably one of the most noticeable peaks in the region oh and of course everest. Think we were all happy to reach Tengboche  and relax it was still warm so we all sat outside and had cup of tea. We were given our room which again were basic but fine and bowl of water to have a quick wash then some of us headed for the bakery for yup you guessed it more apple pie and coffee which once again was bloody lovely. It was a small place Tengboche had quite a big monastery where we were going to here the monks chant in the morning but there was not much else to do part from take some photographs and relax once again which was always good gave you time to chat or just read or do whatever you wanted to do. In Namche we met some south Africans who had completed ebc they told us to watch some of the bottled water this was to be source of fun later when  Jo who had bought couple bottles of water in Tengboche as she looked at them she picked them up and just held them in the air staring at me and Martin but not saying anything just staring there was silence until I looked at martin and then Jo wondering why she was holding them and staring at us were we meant to guess what Jo was thinking lol all I could think to say was nice jugs :-) think me and martin just laughed turns out Jo was concerned about one of the bottles being fuller than the other. Jo was great fun always had a smile on her face and could take a joke. Tea was good tonight pasta with sauce and potato soup. So once again bed was calling another early start as we were going to here the monks at monastery before breakfast then nice 2.5hr trek to our next destination.

Today we would be heading to Pangboche at 3900m but first we were all up early to see sunrise beside everest and we were also going to listen to the monks chant think this was about 6-30 just before breakfast, it was cold as we waited for sunrise and we just managed to see it before we headed to the monastery think I may have picture of it. We headed into monastery which was beautiful inside and very cold. We sat for around 30 minutes listening to monks chant it was a very good experience even though I and rest of us never really knew what it s about but it was very calming oh and sometimes bit sore trying to sit with legs crossed. After the monastery we came out to a really nice morning we all went for breakfast porridge and have to say best we had then it was time to head of. This was a short trek but we had an acclimatization walk later as well. Walk once again  through forest of birch trees , fir , juniper and rhododendrons. Once again keeping an eye out for Danphe pheasant an musk deer but not much luck today. This is when I started to get a headache it had been coming and going for couple of days but today was bit more prominent but still managed to keep it at bay with normal pain killers. So on we headed to Pangbobche after an hours walking we started to ascend crossing the Imja khola and into village of pangboche the peak of Ama Dablam dominated the sky line here it was a stunning mountain. So was time to get to where we were staying for lunch before afternoon walk. After lunch we had bit of time to relax then it was off for nice walk around the village and visit a monastery that seemingly once housed a legendary yeti scalp which has since been stolen I think. The walk took us to just over the 4000m mark I enjoyed as did we all but still had this sore head every time I started walking. The monastery was nice and very quiet we sat there for while enjoying the silence. After a while we headed back down to village and to our lodge. Group in good spirits today Andy and April seemed better but Andy's lip had swollen with this abscess. So once again it was time to relax and do our own thing I managed to dull my sore head for a while. Had our tea then soon it was time for bed. Never had a great nights sleep and my sore head would soon come back with a vengeance the next day.. so once again it was time to say goodnight this kept reminding me of the waltons good night Kate night Jo hey goodnight  martin and mike ooo goodnight GED boy ha ha not that this happened but I just kept thinking of it most nights.

So today we would be heading to Pheriche at 4240m I was up very early and went and took photos was around 5 my head was sore and it had me bit worried but I just had to stay positive and think well if this is all I get then fine its just a sore head. We left 8am yeah late for us :-)  we began to ascend gradually, high above the imja Khola passing tea houses at Orsho crossing a hill and down to our lodge at Pheriche. We had spectacular scenery although we had lost site of Everest behind Lhotse-Nupste ridge huge peaks that towered above eastern end of the valley more than made up for not seeing everest was spectacular. As we went up we were now heading above the tree line it was clear conditions and we would see some great sunsets on Ama Dablam this mountain stayed with us for long time it was stunning to look at. This was to turn out to be worse day I had for headache it stayed with me most of the day but when I reached the lodge we were staying at it hit me like a ton of bricks, when we entered tea house I sat down and my head started pounding like someone was hitting me from inside the left side of my head and screaming at the same time I had to get up and walk out as I felt tears in my eyes I went out and picked a lump of ice up and put it on my head it felt so good. Going back inside I took two strong painkillers and this helped dull it but stayed with me most of night but not so bad as it had been. I told our guide and he gave me Diamox this tablet helps with altitude and got to say it helped me as far as my headache went. Felt guilty for just getting up and walking out so apologized to everyone but they told me not to be stupid never in my life have I experienced a headache like that and was glad to be able to control it a big phew and of course takes worry of getting told you can't go on with trek this was my worry some thing like this stopping me. So Pheriche first place that had a tv we watched a bit comedy with Adam Sandler cheered me up after that head lol. Went to clinic there and got some replacement salts and decided to keep drinking lots of water even more than I had been. Time for quick wash in cold room man that woke me up brrr but hey all part of the experience. Everybody was still quite happy yes  we happy few were surrounded by great views everyday what more could you ask? So that night we all sat watched TV had chat read books just chilled as tomorrow would bring another hard acclimatization walk but one that all of us just loved... Think you get the idea now every where we went we just loved even when not feeling at our best but tomorrow just brought some more stunningly beautiful views. 

Once again photos won't appear in order but they are all from this part of trek so hope you enjoy them. Part 3 soon.