Start: 16,100 ft End: 12,900 ft Total Time: 7hrs
Today we continue our condensed trek down the mountain to Lukla airport where we can fly back to civilization. What took us two days to climb up we will be descending in just one. And it was a mighty long day.
As we expected it was easier to descend than climb but both my Mom and I underestimated how fast we would be descending. The climb from Pheroche to Lobuche Base Camp took us 7hrs up and only 1hr 50mins down! In addition to descending we are also finally getting more oxygen back in our lungs as we descend. I’m hoping I can keep all these extra red blood cells from acclimatizing for my marathon in Big Sur in 9 days.
I was glad to remember some of the major landmarks because it made the descent much easier knowing what was coming up. It makes a huge difference to know when you are getting close to a pre-determined rest stop to help allocate my energy appropriately. We’ve found that Mars bars are a great energy boost because the sugar hits you fast and it’s gooey consistency helps keep your mouth from drying out.
As we got into Pangboche I was very excited to finally have internet access to work on posting and updating pictures for some of my blog posts and it was one of the more bizarre experiences I have had in my life.
After settling into our lodge our Sherpa guide directed me to head 4 minutes back up the mountain to a cyber cafe we passed on the way in. As I approached this internet I heard American Rock Music blaring from speakers and walked in to find the owner checking Facebook on one of the computers. They didn’t have wi-fi but for $12 an hour I could use their desktop computers and relatively fast (for Nepal) internet. He graciously turned the music down and offered up the computer to me.
Pretty quickly as I began copying over a few entries I had written on my iPad earlier in the trek, I realized I was being watched. A teenage Nepali boy was sitting watching (and likely reading) everything I was typing. Odd, but as these blog entries are public I wasn’t really bothered. I figured he would get bored after a while and leave before I went to check my email. Instead of leaving, after about 10 minutes the crowd had grown to 2 as a teenage girl joined him in scrutinizing my every move.
As I posted my blogs and moved on to my email I decided it was time for some privacy. I asked my two onlookers to leave which prompted a giggle from the girl who walked away and a stoic stare from the boy. He really wanted to read my email. After 60 seconds and numerous requests, he finally realized I wasn’t going to do much more while he watched and silently sulked away.
I really am willing to go through a lot to get internet access.