Today was definitely much more difficult. We climbed to 3440m where the village of Namche Bazaar has become home for an acclimatization day. That is, we must get used to the "thinner air" of higher altitude before continuuing upwards. This prevents what they call altitude sickness, which can manifest if the form of headaches, nausea, dizziness, and in extreme cases, death. The only cure is to descend, and the most common cause is climbing too high too fast. So tonight and tomorrow, we stay put! We will hike in the area to see the Edmund Hillary school and hospital. You do know who he is right? Shame on you if not! He is the first person to climb Everest, way back in the 1953. He returned to the West (he was a New Zealander on a British Expedition) and collected donations to go back to Nepal and establish these facilities.
As for the trek today, it started off well. A great breakfast from the See You Lodge in Phakding put us on our way. The first four hours were relatively easy, minus the ice patches through which we slipped n' trekked. Thank goodness for the good human nature of trekkers in making sure I made it through the ice! The second two hours were our uphill climb...or rather up-mountain climb. They were...ummm...not easy. But, not terrible either.
Feeling good now, we just finished playing cards, trying to warm up, and eating dinner. I have started my new novel: The Immigrant by Manju Kapur. And that's it for tonight.
I leave you with one last thought: can altitude affect eloquence? I sure think so...
Our daily stats:
Start Location: Phakding
Time Started: 8:30 AM
Destination: Namche Bazaar
Time Reached: 3:45 PM
Final Altitude: 3440m
Total Distance: 12km
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Location:Namche Bazaar, Nepal