4 days walking from Phuyian...
Phuyian Travel Blog› entry 4 of 17 › view all entries
October 14th, 2008 – by: cja17
The overall plan was simple - walking six to eight hours per day without ever really covering much distance would acclimatise us slowly to the increasing altitude. Mornings dawned cool and clear and each day the temperature built to surprising warmth before the clouds rolled in and the coolness descended once again. Our route passed through a network of villages linked by steep paths and, as we walked, life in Eastern Nepal went on around us. Every mile or so we would approach a cluster of Mani (prayer stones), always passing around them in an anti-clockwise direction, a superstition understandably ignored by local porters struggling under impossible loads far in excess of those carried by our crew - working with foreign trekking companies clearly has its advantages.
The two senior sherpas, Pemba and Gyalzen explained the local area and culture to us with endless patience, whilst we simply went where we were told, ate when we were given food, and slept wherever the tents miraculously appeared from, responsible for nothing except placing one foot in front of another.
Towards the end of this phase, our night at Chalem Kharka was one to remember.
The next day included a stiff kick over the 4500m contour for the first time and, as I thought it might, our first altitude related problems arose. Sian, who back home runs ultra-marathons for fun, was reduced to vomiting trailside and clearly had an awful headache. It really was sobering to think that the fittest person in the group was hit first and hardest by the altitude - Sian had a good 24 hours of misery before her body started to accept where it was.
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