I got to take a shower today! Well, sort of…they have a solar heater, so they have a small booth/shed with a sprayer and a bucket. I borrowed shampoo, conditioner, and soap from another trekker (thanks Adrienne!), and enjoyed getting somewhat clean. The only thing missing was some clean clothes to put on afterwords, but oh well. Seriously, best $5 I’ve ever spent.
Today’s acclimatization hike was a climb of just over 1000 feet, and…it was rough. I was slow, and at one point, I just stopped and needed to rest. Interestingly enough, everyone behind me stopped to rest too. We got some great photos and had great views of Makalau and Ama Dablam. The way down was pretty crazy too…I think we lost the trail at some points and were just coming down the side of a mountain. Great hike, but like I said, pretty tough. And made me more concerned about Kala Patthar. Some of these hills have been pretty crazy, and that’s the longest and steepest of them all.
This afternoon, Brian and I walked around Dingboche – pretty small and quiet. It seemed as though it was just lodges, each one offering a restaurant, a store selling sundries, and various lodge amenities – hot shower, heated room, bathroom in room, etc. which I guess makes sense if these places grew up around the trekkers. But, I wonder where they all are, plenty of people on the trail today, but no one out walking around. Nothing like Namche. We stopped at three places that advertised telephone services, but found out quickly that none of them really do.
Since there wasnt much going on and there werent any souvenir shops, we headed back to the lodge for the afternoon. Some people from the group are playing dominos with the guides (some are sherpa, some are not). While theyve been playing, we’ve been talking to them about the mountains, becoming guides (they typically spend three years as a porter, then move to the kitchen, then guide/assistant guide, sirdar, trip leader), what sherpa means (people from the east). Our sirdar told us that he enjoys talking with us and answering our questions because it helps him learn and practice English.
In other news, the weather has improved and has offered us some great views of the mountains. However, the lack of daily rain has kicked up the dust. Despite wearing a buff nearly constantly, I’ve added the “Khumbu cough” to my list of issues. There is dust everywhere….on the trail, in the tent, and in the air.
Tomorrow, we head to Lobuche, where we’ll be able to stay in a lodge. We’ve been assured it’s nothing fancy and wont be heated, but will be a nice change from the tent. I’m excited not to have to unzip my front door and to get dressed standing up.