Day 7: A Whole Day of Trekking
It's morning. Already, we had grown accustomed to hearing the retching/coughing sound of the locals, where they would quite literally cough up muck from their lungs. This is due to the dust/thin air of the mountain. At first we were slightly put off by it, but now it's a familiar sound! After a porridge breakfast, a massive jug of boiled water was brought out and we all filled up our bottles before setting off for our morning trek.
We walked for 3.5 hours up and down a mountain, stopping at Jorsale for lunch which was very similar to the day before. We went past some beautiful waterfalls. The sun was very strong and I made sure I wore my factor 50 on any part of uncovered skin, but I had to take off my hat as my head was getting too hot and I found out later that my scalp got sunburnt!
We saw the most spectacular view of what I thought was the summit of Mt. Everest, but after asking the guide (who laughed at my naivety) we discovered that it was Thamserku, a mountain which stands 6608 metres tall. It was hard to imagine a mountain over 2000m taller!!
After lunch the walk began to get much harder. It started off medium-difficult but ended up being incredibly challenging! We got to a point where we were walking up steps for hundreds and hundreds of metres, never stopping. The views continued to stun us with their beauty. We got to a suspension bridge where two rivers join, one river running from the top of Everest, the other from Tibet; they join at this point and run into the Ganges. The wind was getting stronger and the flowers were becoming scarcer.
Very gradually, the Everest Base Camp Trek was becoming more and more challenging, every few steps we'd have to stop to breathe and I felt exhausted all the time.
The climb was getting steeper and there were times where many of us just wanted to turn back! I was told today that someone actually thought they would burst into tears they were that fatigued. My toes began to hurt a lot. My boots have never been a problem before I've had them for about 5 years, but I think they may be too small! A combination of wearing thicker socks than usual, and my feet being constantly swollen. I've put on blister plasters underneath my big toes to reduce the pressure on them.
The walk was about 4 hours long, when we finally saw Namche Bazaar (3,500 m) in the distance (our next destination) it felt incredible - but it still took what seemed forever to get there as we were moving so slowly! Namche is in the cloud line - we were literally level with the clouds!
When I finally got to the hotel, I collapsed in bed and slept for 2 hours unable to move. My back felt very sore as did my feet. After eating a fantastic Dhal Baht we fell asleep looking forward to having a lie-in before our rest day that would follow.