After speaking with a German man (a doctor from Colon, Germany) for over two hours last night I come to realise I do not even know his name. In fact this is a common thing here in the mountains, that names are not important, only if you are going up or down and what you can recommend to everyone else.
I woke at 4.30am with a splitting headache at the base of my skull. Some say first sign of altitude sickness, I say I miss my pillow. The pillows up here are like concrete! I manage only to doze until 6.30am when we resume the quick dress and pack the porter bag. The second we appear Lucky is off with it. We stay for breakfast: chapatti and vegemite and hot lemon and head off.
The track, if you can call it that, is prblematic and like walking, hopping anf jumping, through a rocky river bed. The rocks range from slippery pebbles to soccer size balls to boulders. It is treacherous and I am happy to say for walking purpose that I hate rocks! The weather is cold and as we climb we start to see walls of dirt covered ice. They are glaciers covered in earth and will slowly make their way down the valley. Three quarters of the way there we start to get a few flakes of snow and as we round our last hurdle we see the EBC glacier and first and foremose, Gorak Shep, home for the next two nights. We have made it.
Gorak Shep is about three to four large lodges built on the edge of the valley and in front of what looks like a football sized sandy beach. It’s a weird site. We have lunch and unpack in our very un-spacious room and have a nap. When I wake I can no longer see the mountain range because it is snowing. It is like a dream sequence from a movie. Everything is still and slowly becomes a frosty white. A little pink bird flutters and flits in between the snow flakes and two ponies wander up a hill.
If the weather continues like this we will not be going anywhere. Whilst sitting in the dining room with about 40 other trekkers a group of about eight walk in after dark covered in snow. They have walked in the dark to get here in the blizzard and they are greeted like heroes. My headache splits my brain some more even though I have taken a truck load of pain killers. So I go to bed. I wake at 10pm in desperate need of the bathroom and as Brett has set the precedence for midnight peeing into a bottle (and it is still snowing) I decide to do the same. In very lady like fashion with my head lamp on I squat over the emergency pee bottle and pee. I feel like it is never ending and taking a look at how ridiculous I must seem begin to laugh. Fortunately I am a good aim and 500ml later I crawl back into bed shameless and humoured.