Bea goes to India 2006

A place to house periodic comments from Bea while she backpacks her way through India and Nepal.

Monday, May 22, 2006

EBC [Everest Base Camp] checked off my list!

Just got back from Lukla -- a couple of days early because we asked for more sightseeing time before we had to return to Delhi... I'm waiting for a shower, so thought I would spend a few minutes on the net to distract me from my dirty self! :)

It was different than the trek in Sikkim -- more time at higher altitude, stayed in tea-houses rather than in tents, and I personally had more support [most of my stuff was carried by the porters, although I had my rucksack with what I needed during the day, which turned out to be quite a lot -- water, sunscreen, toiletries, waterproofs, warmer coats, gloves, ... and of course my trusty poles]

absolutely stunning scenery. started out in pine and rhododendrum forests, rose to levels where it seemed absolutely nothing grows, then returned [quickly enough that the sound of calling birds annoyed some of the group!] often quiet -- even a large amount of water might be suddenly heard, crossed, then just as quickly lost in the breeze. quick changes in weather -- completely different in 10-15 minutess -- was good and bad

the actual base camp was different than I expected -- clusters of tents on rocky soil with ice underneath... we spent about an hour there, then returned down to the nearest tea-house... the next morning we took a punishing slog up the hill to Kalapattar [you cannot actually SEE everest from the base camp, but the views from Kalapattar are stunning]

I started out on antibiotics for a throat infection so I couldn't talk well for the first 4-5 days. I also worried about the state of my knees quite a bit... but once I got over Cho La pass, I was confident I was going to make it through [especially if I didn't slip and fall ] My knees are sore, and the effort I put into using my poles has also made my back ache... but in much better shape than I expected to be.

this time we had a guide, two assistant guides, and two porters. A man from the office also went along, more for his own understanding of what the trip is like than to work.

most days we walked 4-7 hours, with a couple of long days thrown in. our rest places were mountain lodges, usually with a dining room heated by wood, yak dung, or kerosene -- for sleeping we had rooms although the staff sometimes was in a dormatory setting -- the toilet would shift from inside to out, and sometimes was not much more than a hole with some bark to throw over your business

prices escallated as you increased in elevation [a shower at the lower areas was 150Rs, where at highest it was 400Rs -- the kerosene to heat the water was hand-carried, so it showed!] the places that internet connections were available charged 20Rs a minute -- whereas here in Kathmandu the typical rate is 40Rs an hour!!!!!

think that is all for now, since I can't think of anything else to write... I'm sure there are more stories to tell, but right now they escape me.

hope you are all well and happy.
:) b