Sunday, April 6, 2014

Day 65-70 - Nepal: The challenges on the way to Basecamp

My photos are on my camera and I don't have access to the memory card yet. But here's a photo of our 1st sighting of Mt. Everest (mountain on the left with the clouds above it) where I did a headstand (captured on my camera).

The challenges on the way to Everest Basecamp.....

You notice the altitude as your breath shortens and heart rate quickens ascending hills or even stairs in the lodge. In the evenings, I can feel my heart-rate is increased and sometimes I'm short of breathe or a tad-bit light headed the higher we go. All manageable when I employ the motto "slowly but surely, taking pit stops along the way.

When I told some people that I was hiking to basecamp, they gasped thinking it was a big athletic challenge. However, now that I'm making my way to Basecamp, I don't see it really as physically challenging, but more as mentally challenging. (Disclaimer: I did complete the IronMan 7 months ago & my hiking companion is a professional Thai boxer, so our baseline of fitness is solid.)

So far, the hikes are only 2-4 hours each day, which includes breaks and very long lunches. And we are walking realllly slow, just enjoying our time in nature. 

But even with taking our time, we still get to the lodge no later than 3pm with a LOT of time to kill. "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." With the downtime, I can read or write in my journal or nap to escape the cold. There's no technology, which is completely refreshing, but it's also a challenge to keep you and your thoughts occupied for multiple hours. 


I feel like I should put this as a challenge, but so far the lack of showering has not bothered me. Of course, my stench by the end of the 18 days might change my tune. My routine to stay clean is to cycle between my 2 shirts, 2 long sleeves and 3 socks. When I arrive to the lodge after hiking, I clean my face, underarms and girl parts with face wipes. I then put on my 'lodge clothes' feeling relatively clean!


I blame my California roots for why I am perpetually cold. During the hike, I feel fine because I'm on the move. But when I arrive to the lodge, and they have not lit the stove, which is fueled by yak dung, all I want to do is curl up into my sleeping bag until dinner, watching the steam hang in the air as I breathe. (And yes, there also is steam from my pee over the squat toilet.)


Any celiac or gluten intolerant person will have no problem on this hike, but the options are limited:
Breakfast: Rice or oat porridge topped with my flax seed and chia seeds and 2 eggs
Lunch: Dahl Baht (and they give you seconds)
Dinner: More dahl Baht or some sort of potato dish with eggs

Needless to say this gets a bit repetitive, but my post-hike snack of sunbutter and dark chocolate or an energy bar hits the spot!! 

NEXT STOP: Hiking to Basecamp (5364 meters) and Kala Patthar (5645 meters)

No comments:

Post a Comment