Everest Base Camp Trek, Days 4, 5 & 6

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Day 4:
Another pretty easy day… 10 kilometers flew by!  I left with my guide at about 8:30 and we were to our lunch spot by 10 am.  These early lunches are killing me, but better than no food at all. The hike to lunch was mostly flat ad provided breathtaking views of the valley and Everest at the end of it.  No matter what direction I looked, there was beauty.  The lookouts showed incredible distances and a look at the hike of the first 2 days trek in.
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Straight after lunch is the big hill to Tengboche, where the monastery is. As we prepared for the climb, my guide lit a cigarette and claimed “I’ll catch up”.  It’s said the hike up to Tengboche lasts about 3.5 hours, but it took me about an hour and 40 minutes.  All of the guides give times, but it never takes that long to complete. At this point in the trek, I am almost positive that my guide doesn’t like me.  Aside from barely speaking to me and unwillingness to hike in the mornings, he constantly had been saying he would catch up. The majority of the entire trek I did solo, with patches of friendliness from the guide.  The solo part of this trek was truly that, solo.  He doesn’t really talk to me, eat with me, or hang out unless it’s to explain the next days trek or say “no” to starting earlier. At first, I felt kind of lonely, but I m beginning to savor it instead.  Don’t dwell on the things you can’t change, just make the best of any situation!
So, after he lit his cigarette and said he would catch up, I crushed the hill and proceeded to wait for 45 minutes in Tengboche for my guide to stroll in to town.  Since he couldn’t say where we were staying, I explored the area as I waited and drank tea.   I have to admit though, this is when the thought, “HY THE HELL AM I PAYING FOR A GUIDE” began to cross my mind. Aside from that, I finally had my first sunny day of hiking ad it was a sight to behold.  The mountains here bring me awe and silence, and in every direction I look, the beauty is overwhelming.  I have been taking many photos, but I have my doubts on them ever doing this place justice.

I have also read half of Outlander… I don’t think the book will make it past day 7.

Day 5:
Well, it’s official. I’m almost positive the Nepalese people think I’m effing nuts.  We are hiking at 4000 meters this morning and I’m in leggings and a bright pink tank top.  It’s partly cloudy, misty, and everyone I have come across is in a puffy.  If it wasn’t clear before that the mountains are in my blood, it is now.  I feel great, I can breathe easily, and I still haven’t gotten tired.  My guide keeps asking if I am alright, changing up the general silence that our relationship has been with polite but very stifled conversation.  I believe we have two very different styles of being in the mountains.  I am trying y\to respect his, but he very clearly doesn’t think I am stopping enough to take photos or something.  Perhaps he doesn’t think I am seeing these spectacular views around me.  I, however, prefer the journey of appreciating the places as I move.  I have taken plenty of photos, but I move quickly… I always have.

At 11:18, I got to Dingboche, my next stop for 2 acclimatization days before heading up towards Base Camp.  My guide was insisting on stopping for lunch at a little place around 10 am, claiming another 4 hours of hiking to go.  But, after catching him fibbing about times and things on the trek already, I refused.  So, he wouldn’t let me sip my water on the trail and instead herded me in to the lunch spot he had chosen! He lit a cigarette and ordered tea for both of us even after I politely declined. Insisting that we had to stop at this place, he sat for 20 minutes AND ordered tea for me.  I don’t mind stopping to wait if he needs a break, but ordering stuff that I have to pay for without my consent was making me a bit grumpy.  BUT, it was time to get over it.  No point being grumpy, I was after all hiking in the Himalayas!

Despite stopping frequently for my guide, the trek in to Dingboche (4400m) was straightforward and simple.  It is a quaint town in a valley over-looked by Ama Dablam.  Deemed the Matterhorn of the Himalayas, it towers up over the valley with absolutely stunning views. I was certainly looking forward to an extra day of rest, hiking, and acclimation time here. The peacefulness was incredible.  That evening, I went back to the teahouse to meet my guide for dinner and he simply didn’t show up, so I ate and went to bed early in hopes of a solo sunrise hike.

Day 6:
Today literally started a little shitty. I ran out of tp. So, I had to break out my med kit and in to the stash of emergency towels! You’d think my med kit would have better stories around it, but so far I have used at least part of every feature and all of the burn stuff after my motorcycle incident in Vietnam. After those shenanigans, the was the only crap part of the day… Tee hee!  I woke up at 5 to see that the cloud coverage was still pretty heavy and a think layer of frost had covered the ground overnight.  I was in a tea house that left a little to be desired (for example, having a door that closed), so when I looked at all of my gear, there was thick layer of icy frost all over that as well. Good thing I snuggle with my camera at night to prevent the cold draining all of my battery!
By 5:45 the fog had cleared up and the sunrise was STELLAR. I leaped up to catch the sunrise, read more of my book, and headed in for an early breakfast in anticipation of the hike I had planned for the day.  I think my guide felt guilty about no-showing dinner, because for the first day of the whole trek, he was up before 7 and ready to hike by 7:15 am.  Woo! The clouds had parted, the sky was warm, and the hike was absolutely perfect.  The solitude of the peak above Dingboche was peaceful and warm as I watched the clouds slowly tart to roll back in again.  My hike took me up to 15,000 feet, allowing for a bit more elevation to hit then head back down, helping the acclimatization.
Ama Dablam was picturesque, giving me the perfect shot of the feeling I get looking at the mountains (below).

Ama Dablam
Ama Dablam looms tall over Dingboche

When I began my trek back down in to town, I passed the heaps of people hiking up for the same hike I had just completed.  Because of the early start, I had missed the crowds and the clouds, while the weather started to take a turn as the crowds started their trek upwards.  It was a great and social hike down, however, as the majority of the hikers recognized me as the girl in the tank top from the trail and stopped to chat and make “speedy” jokes about my pace up the mountain the last few day.
For the remainder of the day, I read my book at the local cafe.  If you purchase $5 worth of food and tea, there is free charging, so I spent the day reading and watching Everest.  As my friend Tim said after the movie that day, “That’s not the movie you want your girlfriend or wife watching when you leave for the Himalayas”. Everest ended the same way as every time I have watched it… they died </3

6 days down, 5 more to go! The higher I trek, the less cloudy the days are and no more rain! Yes, I have now started to trek in the snow, but that is where I feel most at home!

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From the Himalayas,
Jess

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