Day 8: Acclimatisation Day on Everest Trek
When I woke up and looked out of the window I was speechless. I couldn't see a thing out of the window; the whole of Namche was enveloped in a cloud! For this reason the gallery below shows photos from the day before; our approach to Namche Bazaar.
Today was an acclimatisation day AKA "the rest day". It's built in to the trek allow the walker to acclimatise to the altitude and reduction in oxygen. On this day however, you don't completely rest as you might expect. We were told that it's a good idea to climb up high and then come down again and sleep to help with the affects of the altitude.
We climbed up to Namche's Everest museum which had all sorts of information about porters/sherpas/the history of the mountain and people and loads of photos. For example: we all thought we'd been seeing yaks all over the mountain carrying loads of luggage but we had in fact been seeing cross breeds - ½ yak, ½ cow called Dzopchoik - male, or Dzoom - female. They were smaller than yaks with shorter hair. They are also better at handling warmer climates. We'll apparently see some real yaks as we climb higher.
After the museum, we ascended about 400m up a smaller mountain. It took over 2 hrs to get to the summit where The Everest View Hotel standing at 3880 metres boasts incredible views of the mountain range. The walk up was strenuous and when we got to the view point the sky was so densely filled with cloud you could barely see 2 feet in front of you. It was disappointing that the weather hid the view. We noted the silence around us as we stopped to catch our breath and it was eerie. Some of the mountainside looked how I imagine the moon looks like!
Once we got back we had lunch. By this point there were many (including me) in the group who began to feel the effects of altitude. You ran out of breath climbing up a flight of stairs in the hotel.
We were expecting the altitude to affect us at some point, and we knew in advance that people react differently. Check Kirsty's expert post on acclimatisation and altitude. There were some among the group who had dodgy stomachs, a couple who had almost completely lost their appetite, some with awful headaches and fatigue and many people have been having weird dreams! We used the rest of the day to relax and walk around the town.