Day 8 - Making it to Gokyo
Gokyo Travel Blog› entry 13 of 60 › view all entries
Day 8 - Macchemo to Gokyo
Another completely perfect morning greets us as we head off up the trail to Gokyo. We get our first view of Cho Oyu (6th highest in world) on the Chinese border, looking strangley close. The sight of this beautiful mountain takes our breathe away - more than the altitude does! The path took us across the mountains with snow and ice covering the ground. We gradually climbed up some steep stone steps that took the path past waterfalls gushing down to meet the roaring river below, the waterfalls spilled out onto the path in places. The views from up here were just stunning, with the roaring sound of the river filling our ears and the cold thin air filling our gasping lungs. As we climbed up to the top of a ridge, we crossed over the river on a little bridge and the path levelled out as the first lake came into view, surrounded by mountains.
The approach to Gokyo was simply stunning, the lake glistening in the sunshine and the mounain views incredible. We felt surrounded by the 'big boy' mountains and could feel Everest getting closer! Just under 3 hours after leaving Macchermo, the tin roof lodges of Gokyo came into view and we carried along the lakeside path to reach the settlement.
We decided to go for the Gokyo Resort at the top of the village as it looked like it would have the best views across the lake and mountains and another trekker recommended it to us. We checked in, getting a room at the front of the lodge, which was ideal as we got all the afternoon sun giving our room just a smidgen of warmth. As with all the lodges we had stayed in on the trek, our room was R200 and as usual, we had to eat our meals at the lodge. As expected, the food prices were a lot higher here (well we were staying at 4800m) with a bowl of plain porridge coming it at R280 (about US$5!). The food at the lodge was OK - the pizzas are incredible but anything fried (which is pretty much the rest of the menu) tastes like the kerosene that they use to cook with.
I was still suffering from very strong heaaches in the night so a belgian trekker who we befriended in Macchermo kindly offered me some Diamox. I decided to give them a go and by the second night my headaches were no more!! Most people take Diamox to prevent altitude sickness symptoms and we didn't take any with us thinking we would rather avoid taking drugs without knowing how our bodies would cope naturally. Diamos worked for my headaches though and I didn't suffer from another headache the entire trek.
In the afternoon while the sun was still shining, we went up the hill at the back of the lodge and got fantastic views across the mountains to Cholatse, to Cho Oyu, to the steep-looking Gokyo Ri and across the glacier that has now receeded to what looks like a giant gravel pit.