So i reckon i am probably at one of the highest internet cafes in the world at 4,400m- though i am sure someone will be able to say otherwise!
The last few days have been great, and we are now having a rest day in Dengboche, before we cross tomorrow into the Khumbu valley and make a bee line for Everest basecamp.\
Feeling good in terms of altitude, can remember being at Manaslu BC at 4,800m last september and feeling a lot worse- so very positive reaction to altitude so far.
The team is fast and we are making lunch stops and night stops well ahead of schedule, meaning there's plenty of rest time which suits me perfectly- i find it difficult to bumble along without purpose- i have to go at a good pace and then be completely lazy all afternoon!
Fantastic walk upto a monestary the other day- was lucky enough to witness a ceremony with the monks- they chanted for over an hour in a temple with a huge buddha, we sat on the floor and watched with no shoes on. I shut my eyes and naturally my thoughts instantly drifted to the climb ahead. I pray for strength, and to make the right decisions.
Hygene is going down the pan pretty fast and toilets are foul, worried about getting sick though so far nothing to report, fingers crossed it stays that way.
Base camp in 3 days time, meeting loads of trekkers along the way and simply saying that i am heading to basecamp, when in the lodges at night i am happy to get into conversations with other trekkers, but its awkward mentioning that im attempting to climb the big E, i prefer just keeping my head down and reading micheal crichton.
Had the most wonderful experience last night of being given an i-pod to listen to music, re-discovered my love for Bob Dylan and realised how much i missed music! Shame to have to give it back, but battery power is so precious here there is no chance of idley listening to music for hours on end.
After that the yak dung stove broke and smoke filled the lodge, we had to 'evacuate' and ended up having supper in the kitchen, huddled around a small table in our down jackets with hot water bottles clutched to our chests. We watched as a nepalese woman cooked our food to perfection despite the stress she was under with her guests all watching. It was priceless getting to see the lodges from the otherside.
The terain is more like what i expected from the walk in- long walks through valleys with mountains towering around us- i spotted Pumori yesterday and Ama Dablam still shadows over us- perhaps later will take a hike up onto the ridge above dengboche and try and catch Makalu at sunset. it really is an amazing place- this morning we had breakfast in the dusty yard of the lodge, surrounded by some of the most famous mountains on earth. Just incredible.
I am really itching to get to BC now and take on the hill, on the flip side, i would love another week down here acclimiatising- this is the most important part of acclimatisation and heading to 5,300m in 3 days seems quite fast though there is no reason to do otherwise as we are all feeling fit and ready. it always seems on these expeditions that it is a race against time- will we be ready? will we be acclimatised? what if the weather window comes early?
Every night i fall asleep with a million questions running through my head- at the moment i am worrying about fluids on summit day- the fear of water bottles freezing is already keeping me awake. Things like that i suppose every climber is going through, we can prepare but we will only know what the outcome will be when we are in the situation.