I woke up with a headache and I’m not feeling great. I know it’s the altitude, but I was hoping that it wouldn’t hit me so soon. I drank some rehydrate and lots of water and took a painkiller. I hoped that I would improve during the day.
Outside, the weather was bright but there were some clouds covering the mountain top. We were getting ready to do our Acclimatisation walk – just an easy stroll up a hill apparently….
We got dressed up and I decided to take my backpack so that I could get used to the weight. I had my trekking poles as well. They have helped me tremendously with my left knee – it is strong enough to trek after my personal trainer has been building it up, but I often feel a bit unstable so the poles really stabilize my steps.
We left the lodge and turned right up a very steep flight of steps After 10 steps, I was already overheating and had to stop to take off my jacket. There were little stalls at every corner selling trekking bits and pieces as well as Nepalese souvenirs. Children and doggies were playing with stones and little puddles while their parents set up shop for the day. There was a crisp coldness to the air that made everything seem fresh and new. The bright sunlight made it even more beautiful, even in the relative poverty that surrounded us.
On our way up the steps, we heard the bells of the prayer wheels ringing. At the top, there was a massive prayer stone with a large prayer wheel behind it. Our route took us up the hill. Under normal circumstances, this would be no problem… however the altitude and my decreased wellbeing made it an arduous task. Step by step we made our way up. It was difficult to breathe, difficult to think, my calves were burning! We stopped for a breather and marveled at a Japanese hotel high up on one of the mountains… you’d have to crazy to stay there and I tell you something, I would not walk to it!
Trekking to the Everest View Hotel
We also spotted some bearded vultures soaring above us. I hope they didn’t have their eye on me because I’m sure I looked like easy prey!
We got to the top of the hill – a mere 400m from the lodge and found Everest View hotel. This was once a luxury hotel where visitors flew in to the local airstrip. They were lured by the promise of views of Everest, Ama Dablam, Lhotse, Choslote and Kumb Yai Lai. However the sudden change of altitude made the guests very sick, so the hotel now only gets visits from trekkers and climbers. It is very run down and is a pity that this beautiful spot hasn’t been made more of.
The view from the top of the hill
After a few cups of lemon and ginger tea, we headed back for Namche.
That afternoon was spent shopping and resting.
I found a beautiful painting of a Nepalese girl, she’s about 4 years old and giggling shyly over something. When I saw it my heart sang – it just captured joy and happiness. I struck a deal with the artist and I’m now the proud owner of genuine Nepalese art.
The artist I found in a corner of Namche
After my customary dinner of omelette (I’m tolerating them now), I called it a night and hoped to feel better the next day.