The Nepal Diaries – Days 6, 7 and 8

17 Jul

I’m currently misting through Istanbul, so I thought I’d speed up The Nepal Diaries, and we can all move on to the NOW 🙂

So without any further ado, the final days:

Day 6

Patches of blue sky in between the clouds!! Not walking in a cloud anymore and the enormity of the surroundings begin to dawn on me. Stunning. Everything is stunning, and still I’m aware that behind the clouds resting atop the mountains surrounding me are higher peaks.

We get caught behind a line of yaks on the narrow, winding trail that overlooks 300 meter drops, and while I’m filming, Pasang yells: EVEREST!!

Through a blue patch in the sky, we see the peak I’m doing all this for. It’s only visible for a minute or 2 before the clouds cover it up again, but it’s enough to lift my spirits considerably.

We arrive at Dingboche under rain to find that everything is solar-powered, which due to the constant rain, makes hot showers and battery charging impossible. Pasang informs me that this is the situation for the rest of the trek. I’ve got 65% of my battery remaining, so I switch off my iphone/camera, sit and watch the rain until it gets dark.

I finish the best book I’ve read in years (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance). Then, start reading it again until I fall asleep.

Day 7

Weather and scenery look even better, and although I believe this improvement in weather will allow for solar batteries to be replenished, thus allowing for the recharge of my iphone/camera, I’m still very economical, in case things don’t pan out.

We climb for 3 hours to 4900 meters and should call it a day, but the final stop is 2 hours away and 300 meters up, so I decide to push it. Just as we leave it starts to rain, but my mood isn’t dampened. The thought of saving myself an extra freezing, bathless night keeps me going.

We spot the glaciers, and in 20 more minutes we reach Gorak Shep, 5200 meters up. They can charge my battery (YES!!)

Up here they seem to feel the numbing cold, and turn on the woodfire stove (which is actually powered by dried yak dung) in the middle of the dining room. I eat a mountain of DahBlat and go back to my room to pray for a sunny tomorrow and bury myself under a multitude of blankets.

Day 8

Pasang wakes me around 6 am to tell me the weather isn’t clear enough to see anything. I’m vaguely aware he’s woken me to tell me to continue sleeping, but before I can dwell on it, I’m back asleep having a very vivid dream of being in Brazil with friends from Sydney, explaining that I’m actually sleeping up in the Himalayas.

Sleepless at 7 am. Nothing to do, nowhere to go. I grab a cup of Nescafe and go for a walk in the freezing drizzle.

Weather clears up a tiny bit around 11, so I wander off and sit by the glaciers listening to them crack and pop as they revolve the terrain. The weather clears up more and now I can see snow-capped peaks a bit beyond the glacier field. A stray dog friends me and we spend a couple of hours listening to the peaks rumble and watching the avalanches.

Pasang finds me and says that although we can’t see Everest in this weather, we can still hike to Base Camp, but he warns me: “Nothing to see there. Only rocks.”

We hike 2 hours over loose rock, gravel and boulders set against an amazing backdrop of glaciers, green glacier lakes, and snow-capped mountains in a constant process of avalanching. “Only rocks”… one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

We reach Base Camp, which in monsoon season is nothing more than a rock with Everest Base Camp scribbled on it and a couple of Buddhist prayer flags, but now we are in the middle of the scenery described above and I am in awe of it all. I shoot some very inspired Tripppin videos, and give in to Pasang’s pleas to leave soon before it all collapses around us.

Back at the lodge, I present the owner with a t-shirt I used for the trek, and I add drawings and signatures of Tripp and Pin. He seems not to mind that it’s an old, smelly t-shirt, and immediately staples it to the dining room wall along with his other mementos, given by other trekkers from around the globe.

Tomorrow, if the weather is clear we’ll try to see Everest from Kala Pathar, the traditional view point. If we’re lucky we succeed.

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