Monday, September 24, 2007

September 24th, 2007


We did a 50km + ride to Rombuk today. It was torturous. The whole day was spent not only on unsealed roads but they were graded. In short no amount of speed allowed any kind of smooth feeling. Mental energy was spent trying to avoide the worst parts, and riding in sand which at any other time is dreadful, was actually a moment of comfort.

The ride was a gradual incline, but we were definitely climbing. Rombuk was a monastery at 5000m which was where the camping grounds and guest houses are for those wishing to visit Everest base camp. The final 5km to Rombuk were steep and my legs were shot. Added to this we was altitude. Suddenly there were hikers everywhere, and even they were labouring to walk. Many of the hikers cheered as we slowly pedalled past. It was not until much later that night that I realised just how altitude does affect the brain.

Megan had serious back issues that day and made the last few km's in the truck. SO she had arrived well before I made it to Rombuk. When I came over the final hill I saw a Chinese run hotel, and the thought of sleeping in a warm room filled me with hope. Unfortunately our tour company had not had the foresight to book ahead and we were to camp....not likely. Megan had the same idea as me, and was inside busily negotiating a room. We finally managed to secure a room- no water and no toilets. We did not care. It was warm, and we could stand up to get dressed. That hour when we arrived is really a blur. Altitude ensured that. You really do not think clearly and conversations and thoughts are really scattered.

So on the eve before my 38th birthday we slept inside...bliss. It was freezing and it started to snow. I put on a pair of long pants and they were too big...we were all wearing 4+ layers of clothes. The rest of the group was in a tent...poor buggers.

1 comment:

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