I forgot the wonders of a hiking group. People to make you laugh when you’re down and push you to keep going when it’s tough and you fall behind and you’re so tired and have no energy left in your muscles.
Enter Ollie (Nz), Kelsey and Ashley (USA) and there guide Mingmar. We met in the guesthouse and decided to hike together much to the disappointment of their guide.
I would say usually a guide wouldn’t want random trekkers clinging on to his group, but especially when those random trekkers are super sick and may need to get saved at some point.
Today was the day of Mordor. We began trekking through a new zealand-esue landscape, but eventually we made it above the tree line into a barren, cold, beautiful wasteland. Falling rocks, evidence of landslides littering the landscape.
The altitude was kicking in, luckily it was a slow steady incline for most of the day, nothing too drastic. But every ascent left me breathless. Followed by yet another coughing fit and another and another.
The others were fit and healthy AND they had a porter. I looked in jealousy at there tiny backpacks and there long legs speeding off into the distance.
I had to come to terms with the fact that I was the slow one. Not because I kept stopping to take photos (like on the Annapurna) but because my body wouldn’t let me go any faster.
Anyone that knows me, knows this would kill me inside. I’m highly competitive and grew up wanting to prove that I can do anything a boy, or a larger human can do. I am never the slow one.
As I was plodding along, slowly falling further behind, I spotted a sharp incline. ‘Oh shit’ my lungs whimpered.
But just as I felt my mood drop I spotted a familiar face waiting at the bottom of the incline. Ol’ mate bobby hot shakes. You may remember him from such hikes as the Annapurna Circuit.
He’d started the hike 2 days before me but he decided he wanted his old hiking buddy back and he waited around for me (plus he’d needed an extra rest day for acclimatisation)
Elated, I basically ran down and ascended, not so much with ease, but definitely with less pain than first anticipated.
We arrived in town at the same time as a cloud. So much hiking, so much pain and I’d hardly seen any snowy peaks.
It hit 9pm, my eyes were burning with tiredness, my body ached. I climbed into bed expecting to fall straight asleep but the altitude had different ideas.
I tossed and turned, coughing constantly until 5am when I finally managed to fall asleep. The whole time questioning every aspect of my life and travels. Wondering if I am in fact the strong lass I always thought I was. Will I make it up to base camp? I’ve hardly taken any photos on this hike, am I even a good photographer? Should I just quit and go home where mum will look after me and get me healthy?
I woke up at 9am to a blue sky, unexpectedly sweating in bed (we’re well over 4400m here). Not ideal due to the fact I won’t be showering or washing my clothes up here. (Yes boys, I am single ;) )
My filthy hair is matted over my face adding to the incredibly attractive picture I have obviously created. I feel like a truck has ran over my face but I finally have a view of snowy peaks outside my window!
Finally have a reliable enough connection to update my blog. There are so many pictures I want to share from my Everest Base Camp Trek, but this is the one that took the most effort. After multiple nights of waiting for weather to clear, then learning that the Milky Way actually doesn’t come out of the horizon until after 1am, I finally got this shot outside of the village Gorak Shep at 3am.
At 16,900 ft, Gorak Shep is the last village before Everest Base Camp. At this elevation, it is difficult to sleep, which ironically, helped me get out of my sleeping bag into the freezing night. I’ve never seen so many stars or the Milky Way so clear before.
let’s talk about the fact that when we got to this point we were like “aww yeah, nearly there!!” and then it turns out we were less thAN 1/3 OF THE WAY TO THE NEXT STOP AND THERE WERE TEARS IN OUR EYES AND BLISTERS ON OUR FEET AND DEATH IN OUR HEARTS AND WE WALKED FOR ANOTHER 5+ HOURS ugHH everest - the love/hate relationship is real