Day 7, Part 1: Everest mountaineer memorials

In Travel by LauraLeave a Comment

From the journal
As I travel, I keep a journal. This post is straight from the source – documenting the moments as I experienced them. It has been recorded on the blog on the date it was originally written.

I survived the wet hair.

I did not survive the grilled cheese, however. I definitely panicked a bit when, after dinner last night, I had a disgusting visit to the bathroom.

I certainly handled it the best I could, I think. Popped two Imodium. Survived the night. Then, chugged water and rehydration tablets this morning.

Today’s hike was sluggish but I generally feel fine. The best part is knowing I’ve listened to my body and appropriately reacted to what is happening.

Sounds like several others had problems with the food at the last place. They’re all eating plain white rice. I guess that’s one solution.

Today, we walked through long stretches of rolling rocky terrain. It was surprisingly tough considering we all expected it to be our “easy” day. Short ups and downs. Long, gradual inclines. Deep breaths.

Just. Keep. Walking.

Halfway through, we stopped at a memorial for Everest mountaineers. As usual, I walked away crying.

Square pillars dotted the landscape in every direction. Prayer flags hung heavy over the most popular, then lightly jumped the breeze from one to the next.

The bright colors popped against the cold gray stone and icy metal plaques.

Names. Dates. Words to live by.

I sat quietly on a rock while the group took advantage of the photo opp. As usual, the scene of smiles snapped next to monuments of death broke my heart.

It was all sad.

Dawa asked me if I was ok. I could barely croak “it’s just sad” before turning to follow Lakpa with tears down my cheeks. I was thankful for the sniffles of cold noses and the breaths gasping for oxygen behind me. It seems no one could even notice I was crying.

The entire day allowed me much too much time in my own head. Dan said it would happen. Naturally, of course, combine that with the memorial and the generally overwhelming nature of visiting Everest Base Camp tomorrow and it all spiraled out of control quickly.

Across the room, teapots and tea cups pristinely line a shelf near the kitchen window. Coke bottles and Fanta are organized in a cabinet below the main desk. The sun is falling behind the mountains and, at 3:30 pm, we’re already winding down the day.

Boyce and Keith are hiding in their headphones. An Asian couple is rambling at one side of the room while our Nepalese guides converse at the other.

The sherpas who have carried our packs are extremely young. High school aged, maybe? Dawa explained that there are only 5 of them but 13 of us. Each usually carries 2 duffles but G Adventures lets 3 choose to carry extra to earn extra. Still, their pay seems minimal. We’ll have a chance to tip at the end. Hopefully it’s enough. Their spirits are incredible.

Dawa, Lakpa and Depak have also been awesome. What an achievement to get this insane crew up this mountain. The next two days will be something spectacular. It’s genuinely to their credit.

Despite an emotional day, I feel at peace this afternoon. Even my handwriting is more refined.