Some of you have been asking how my trip was, here's a summarised summary.
I'd chosen to trek to Everest Base Camp before I'd even finished trekking back from Kilimanjaro. And I'd decided on that before I even completed the Inca Trail. I don't know where this obsession with altitude and walking came from, I like to challenge myself (sometimes I wish I wouldn't) but give me a marathon and I'd give it straight back to you! Give me a mountain, and I'll climb it.
Having booked this late last year, my friends and I had planned exactly what we needed, been walking, cycling, swimming, gymming and pilates-ing as much as possible to ensure we were going to get there. After arriving in Kathmandu and joining the tour, we actually spent the first 2 days sitting in the domestic airport terminal. The weather at Lukla airport (the airport you fly to to commence the trek) (the most dangerous airport in the world), was to cloudy, snowy, windy, for us to fly! Having given up so much time and money to do this, nothing was going to stop us getting there. On day 3, we flew... to the wrong airport because the wind had picked up again! Finally arriving in Lukla late afternoon, we had to trek in the dark to get to our first teahouse. It was cold. It was dark. But we were there! In the Himalayas.
We trekked through lush green woodland areas, we trekked up, and down!, following the river, crossing over suspension bridges, dodging mules, dodging Sherpas carrying 20kg, sleeping in all the clothes you had bought just to stay warm, then unravelling everything cause you're hot and need the loo at 3am! The landscape changed, as did the weather. Getting fresher during the day, but still hot as the sun beat down on us. Only once did we get caught in a snow storm, a magical snowstorm that decorated the Yaks eyelashes and ours!
On April the 2nd, we trekked for 4 hours to Gorak Shep, the final stop before base camp at 5,164m. Arriving at lunch time, I could finally feel the effects of the lack of oxygen. I moved my hand to reach for my coffee..... and then my hand moved. This didn't last too long, but I was keen not to let the head ache kick in. Unfortunately my husband hadn't been feeling so great, he was determined to make it to Base Camp so we just got going. 3 hours later we arrived. Base Camp is exciting if you can see past the piles of rocks. Piles of prayer flags. And amount of people! We were one of the last groups to arrive. Meaning the crowds had cleared and we had it to ourselves. Seeing the tents of those going to the summit was a little mind blowing - nothing makes me want to do that!! Known as the death zone, I'd rather stay in the alive zone! The whole group made it! We took photos, breathed in the thin air, then started back down.
Once back at Gorak Shep the guide informed us that my husband and a friend of ours needed to walk lower to sleep over night due to low oxygen levels. We set off (reluctantly due to exhaustion) and trekked into the night to get back to where we had started that day. The next morning we walked lower, where myself and my husband were informed we'd be flown off the mountain by helicopter due to his low oxygen levels, and luckily the insurance we had! At first I felt I was going to miss out. But having lost two days at the start of our trip to the airport meant doubling up on the days back down. Next thing we know we're in the helicopter looking down on the mountains winging our way back to a Kathmandu airport.
I'm grateful that my husband is ok, that the helicopter's made it back safely, that our insurance was the best we could get and that we made it to Base Camp!!!! Now those two things are off the bucket list (mountain climb AND helicopter ride) my only worry is.... what on Earth is the next challenge!