Views like this are what keep me going:
The first part of the day’s trek was fairly easy-going. Once we had climbed a steep incline for about 100m, the terrain became fairly flat with the odd undulation. There were herds of yak dotted haphazardly across the landscape along with odd shepherds’ huts of stone. We crossed a rushing river just before lunch and the sun came out as we sat down.
After midday, the climb up a very steep hill dotted with boulders too about two hours which were fairly hellish. Once we’d reached the top of this however, the surroundings were spectacularly eery. This is where many of the memorials to dead mountaineers are situated, and they stand inconstantly speckled across the area for about a mile. There are prayer flags everywhere here.
The accommodation at Lobuche is the very poor, the rooms are essentially huts. No windows, just white corrugated plastic on the ceiling – one of the girls has seen mice.
My headache, thus far mild, has fairly exploded and is very painful. There was a planned hike in the afternoon after we had arrived a Lobuche but I was kept in bed to rest (no sleeping allowed) Nyema, our head sherpa gave me the world’s greatest head massage with Tiger Balm and felt miles better afterwards. Dinner was the usual carb-fest. I went to bed very early and slept fitfully. Kept waking up in a panic because thinking I was choking, a side-effect of the low oxygen levels at this height. Everyone’s been getting it apparently. At this point, I just can’t wait to go down.