Trek Day 3

Rest Day at Namche Bazaar  3400m


Monday 13th November 2006


Twelve hours in bed and nearly all spent asleep, although I did get up for a bit of vomiting early on in the evening.

After the morning tea ritual I went down for breakfast feeling very weak but determined to do the acclimatisation walk up to the Sherpa museum.  I tried a bowl of porridge and managed half but at least I kept this down and felt a bit more interested in my surroundings.  The lodge was quite smart as lodges go, in fact on the wall was a notice with a picture of Ex-President Carter, informing visitors that he had been a guest here in the ‘80s.   The Sherpani who was obviously in charge was very bright and spoke good English.  Later we found she spent part of each year in America, part owned another large lodge in Lukla where we would stay on our last trek night, and worked as Namche Bazaar’s dentist!    

After breakfast we went on our acclimatisation walk and as we walked along the bustling street I took in the scenery of Namche for the first time, yesterday’s walk to the lodge being just a blur.  As we climbed out of the town the sun was shining on to the blue roofs and behind them were the snow capped mountains and cloudless blue sky.  I was still weak and finding the going tough and when we reached the museum I bid the group farewell and returned to the lodge and bed, where I slept until Carole returned at 1pm.  I got up for lunch and had a bowl of chicken noodle soup but could still only manage half a bowl.  At about 3pm we went for a walk round Namche, the sun had gone and grey clouds had brought a real chill.  I bought a yak wool hat, nicely lined and very warm and we walked down to look at the traditional Tibetan market.  This was a semi-permanent market of old clothes and Chinese goods which had been carried over the mountains from Tibet at some risk to sell to local people rather than tourists.  Only a couple of weeks ago a Tibetan girl had been shot dead by Chinese border guards not that far from here.  The Tibetan traders were a wild looking bunch and lived in tents that were scattered around the market.  Inside the tents were fires with pots of tsampa bubbling over them, which didn’t look at all safe.  We walked back to the little shops near the lodge and Carole bought a couple of Pashmina scarves, the first of many she would buy while we were in Nepal.


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Carole on bridge


Group rest at porter's wall

Our lead yak


For dinner I had Sherpa Stew, a thick vegetable broth full of potatoes and carrots.  I ate it all and felt better.  Before bed I took my first Diamox tablet. I had been thinking about this all day, should I or shouldn’t I, but I know from past experience that I suffer with sleeping and appetite problems at altitude, and also from experience that Diamox cures this.  As before when at altitude I took one tablet per day, half in the morning and half at night, until I returned to Namche on the way back from Gokyo and I had no further altitude problems.   Some trekkers have a strange attitude towards Diamox, as if taking it is somehow cheating.  All it does is help the body adjust to altitude and reduce the chances of High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE).  You still have to climb the mountains!


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Tibetan Market at Namche



'Sore legs...?'