Sunday 9 April 2017
It was another fine day and we enjoyed more stunning views of Everest. Today I’m finding the walking a bit more tiring, probably because of my cold and the fact that my nose is constantly running. In the end it got too annoying to keep wiping it so my buff is now functioning as a temporary handkerchief, positioned just under my nose … sorry if that’s too much information!We made good time again for lunch, and just as we were tucking into our food there was a commotion and suddenly a run-away yak burst into the courtyard! There were two long tables set up; as you come through the opening they were to the left and right. The yak somehow ran behind the back of the left hand table and got penned in by the back wall. There was a moment of panic as everyone on that side got up and ran to the relative safety of the side I was on. The yak stood stock still, not knowing what to do and we all stood staring at the poor thing not knowing what to do either!
This was actually one of our yaks as it was carrying Xtreme Everest packs and it had a red tasseled rope around its neck. We later found out that the naughty yaks get the red rope so we had a naughty yak on our hands … after a bit of a stare-off a couple of the Sherpas approached and after much shoo-ing they managed to encourage it to go out the entrance way, only for it to start running down the mountain instead of up. A few minutes later there was a clatter of hooves as it came back up, someone had chased it and managed to turn it around, and it tried to get in again but there were Sherpas with walking poles at the ready and eventually it went off where it was supposed to go. After all the kerfuffle we settled down to finish our lunch and continued on our way to Pheriche.
We are now above the tree line so the landscape is more bleak but at the same time it’s also beautiful. I really feel like I’m approaching the ‘roof of the world’ now as Pheriche is in a long valley by a river and to either side are rocky mountains as far as the eye can see. When we started in the morning the weather was warm enough for one layer but when we arrived it was noticeably colder and the wind more chilly. And about time (not that I want it to be cold of course) as we are now above 4,200m!
On arrival we stepped into a lovely lodge, comfortable and warm, with a bar, a western toilet – and soap! It was, however, too good to be true as after a cup of hot lemon we were told to get our stuff as my group would be staying somewhere else. Now all of us were feeling quite tired and when we got to the other lodge we nearly cried. If, in Lodge terms, the other one was a 5-star this was a 1-star. The toilet didn’t have a seat and really smelled and the rooms were cold and miserable. We sat around for a while bemoaning our fate and then as you do in these situations we accepted it and went back to the other lodge for dinner as we were all going to eat together, so that was something. While we were socialising back at the first lodge we were approached by one of the trek leaders who had some Good News; we could stay at the nice lodge! We ran back, well we walked slowly as by now even turning over in bed gets you out of breath, to get our stuff and were given our room keys.
We were put in what I personally called the servants quarters, but what became more commonly known as the ‘cell block H wing’ amongst trek team A (my team). It was a line of about six rooms with a solitary toilet (no hand basin) and over the courtyard from the main lodge. This was where they were originally going to set up the laboratories, but when the trek leaders saw the other lodge they decided it was unfair to make us stay there and swapped the arrangement around. Beggars can’t be choosers and we were just happy we weren’t at the other lodge so were in good spirits as we went in to dinner. I went to bed with a bit of a headache, hopefully it will ease off overnight.
Yak Attack video (courtesy of Amanda Martin)