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I Just Knew I Would Get Sick

April 25, 2009

It's finally happened - I got sick. It's not too bad so far - I've been waking up every morning with a bad headache & sore throat but then I drink a liter of water & it goes away. But today I have a runny nose and coughing. One of the other girls has been sick as well. Word around the village is that there are 700 people at base camp & 80% have gastro (stomach problems). My stomach is not feeling quite right, probably because of the extreme change in diet, but I still consider myself lucky if this doesn't get worse. Some of the other girls are getting dizzy on the high hikes or having muscle soreness or knee pains. I don't have any of those problems, except being under the weather makes the high climbs even more challenging. Our guides are very attentive, though, constantly offering us medication, which I refuse. Tonight they say they will give me a steam bath, where they'll boil hot water & put my head over it & cover it with a towel. Hopefully it will clear me up because our hardest days lie ahead.

Today we stayed at Dingboche & did an acclimitization hike to about 15,000 feet. I went up pretty slowly because I'm not feeling well but the altiude didn't seem to affect me. At the top, it seemed as if we were shoulder to shoulder with Ama Dablam, which wasn't really the case, but it was an amazing illlusion anyway. The wind was whipping the tattered prayer flags about, and it was so cold that I had to keep my hands over my nose to shield my face from the wind. We've been having great weather, though; it's so strange to have the sun out and it's freezing cold.

If all goes as planned I will be at Everest Base Camp in two days and then will attempt to summit Kala Patar the next day. After that we head down. The amenities are getting sparse and more expensive as we push higher and higher, so I don't know if I'll have internet until the way down. It dropped down to the 20s last night, but I was warm in our tea house. It only concerned me slightly that the old woman who used her bare hands to feed yak dung into the fire is the same woman who is preparing our food. At this point I just want to get up and get down.

Tags: dingboche, himalayas, nepal, travel, trekking


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