The toughest thing about this day has been the lack of oxygen in the air. Even when one stands immobile for minutes, one still feels out of breath. It’s very frustrating and uncomfortable, especially since one’s most basic instinct is to assume one is suffocating.
We started off at 8 and soon caught up with Bernie and Camilla, who had stayed somewhere else and set off earlier than we had. At this point, the boys and Darya kept ahead with Bernie and Camilla while the girls fell back considerably. Conversation flowed steadily within our group and this, I think, lifted our mood, or at least it certainly gave mine a kick. I discovered that Camilla knows friends of mine in Edinburgh. The world really is minuscule. Gorakshep was reached by lunch time and Camilla went off to find Bernie who had powered ahead. Our lunch was a welcome break but took so long to come that when we set off again, we were sleepy and rather unwilling. The trek was corrugated and thus frustrating. We witnessed several avalanches along the way and the glacier is breath-takingly awesome. Base Camp was reached around four in the afternoon and the feeling of relief was just immense.
Everybody was laughing and hugging each other, taking photos and drinking whisky. I felt very tired but quite content. The journey back was miserable as it began to rain but the evening was spent by the wood-burner drying clothes and drinking hot lemon. Played Cheat and Old Maid and went to bed at 8.
One of my better days.