Still in my adopted Tenzing group, and feeling rejuvenated I was ready to face the hard slog ahead. For the first half of the day, we were again treated to the beautiful mountain-hugging views, as we followed the glacial water through the hills.
The group naturally segregated into 3 groups, based on speed. At one particular ascent, I was treated to a Kodak moment. Blinky had become sandwiched between 2 groups of ponies on a bridge. For quite some time, the stubborn animals just refused to move. It was an unusual sight, as most of the herds of yaks and ponies we had seen, obediently moved along the trail carrying supplies.
It became common to hear “yak attack”, as a bumbling herd clattered down the steep rocky trail towards you. A brief but welcome break for the old feet!
At our first tea break, I asked Bill for help in finding some sort of WC. The food hut had broken toilets (long drops) and so I was directed to a hillside where there was a little wooden shack (rustic little hut, which could have been helicoptered in from a Clint Eastwood Western). It was really not unpleasant - great views too!
Lunch stop revealed some unlucky trekkers, who had been hit by the dreaded diorreah. Some poor chaps complained of having to make 7 toilet stops already. On our trail that was not ideal.
Bowel movements were steadily starting to become a prominent topic of conversation. I was feeling ok, all apart from my coordination and logic (which some would argue was missing from the start). P handed me an iodine tablet at lunch, which I confidently put into my lemon tea, instead of my water bottle. I think the altitude had started to affect my brain?!
That afternoon, we had 3 Indiana Jones-style bridges to look forward to. I developed my own approach, using the rather traditional method of – ‘don’t look down!’.
This was the toughest part of the day/trip, which I lovingly named Hell Hill. It was the end of the day, and energy levels were starting to flag. It became a real struggle for our diarrhoea crew, with a 900m ascent ahead of them – humour failure starts now.
The toughest part came with the relentless ascent, which was 2 and half hours of constant uphill winding trail. With the altitude starting to take effect, and the increasingly slower pace, many of us were quickly running out of water.
Following a final break, I set off with Milo and Kinsey. Kinsey and I exchanged usual knee-banter, whilst Milo set the pace. Not long into our walk, and it was clear that Milo was becoming increasingly sluggish, whilst swaying across the path. We made him stop, as we could see he was dehydrated. Unfortunately for him, we were all on our last dregs of water. Passing DC, Milo was able to take some of his water, and then luckily we found a water pipe coming out of the mountain. Putting on my “Mother” hat, I insisted that Milo take dyroloyte, which offered some hope.
Still struggling, we took a very slow final journey to the hostel and luckily came across a small hut in the forest selling water. The journey was slow, and I was really worried, as Milo’s energy seemed to fade with each step. We made it - Milo was prescribed bed, whilst I self-prescribed a much needed shower.
A simple shower trip became one of my comedy highlights. JB emerged from the shower having forgotten his towel. Using his t-shirt to cover his modesty, whilst keeping his rear against the wall he edged along the corridor. However, by successfully turning his rear away from me, he was giving the laundry girl a full view. After an embarrassing exchange of laughter he regained momentum shuffling off into the distance.
That night we were divided into camp Tenzing and Hilary, which was a shame but necessary as there were so many of us. The usual banter and card/perudo tournaments kept everyone amused, until passing-out time.