Sam: This is it.
Frodo: This is what?
Sam: If take one more step, it'll be the farthest away from home I've ever been.
Frodo: Come on Sam. Remember what Bilbo used to say, "It's a dangerous business Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Day 10 The excitement is building despite grim accommodations

Day 10
Dingboche - Lobuche
Elevation gain 590m, 4350 to 4940m

Today I saw the most beautiful view of the Himalayas yet. It came after a hard 45 minute climb out of Dugla toward Lobuche. When I cleared the top of the hill I was greeted by prayer flags stretched between two rock formations and stone memorials to fallen Everest climbers. I had seen this combination of snow, sky, mountain, and prayer flags many times. But until this time the snow never looked so white, the sky never so blue, and the prayer flags never so colorful in the Himalayan wind. 

Since the beginning of the trip trek mate had said that Lobuche and Gorak Shep, the two highest overnights were "grim". I had been dreading seeing the accommodations and prices we would have to pay here on up. 

Our room is the draftiest yet. We have only plywood walls separating us from the elements. In other lodges there was another stone wall, I think, outside the plywood. We have one window with glass and one that is a gap in the wall with a wooden shutter. The ceiling isn't solid. There's some kind of fabric tacked onto something and it billows with the wind. 

But the people here in the teahouse are in good spirits because we are near the culmination of our trip.We are pretty much all on the same itinerary: to Gorak Shep tomorrow where EBC is and Kala Pattar to see sunrise over Everest the day after. 

I felt lightheaded in the last 30 minutes approaching Lobuche. I had a mild headache when I sat down on my bed. I'm sure it was both exhaustion from 4 hours of trekking and the nearly 5000m altitude. After a meal of overpriced thin $6 dal bhat, I felt a little better. After a couple more hours and more snacks, I felt almost back to normal. I'm excited for the next two days. 

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