Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Nepal Trek Day Six: Machermo - Gokyo

Over the next three weeks, I'm taking a trip down memory lane with a look back at our trip to Nepal last December. For all of the entries about our trek, click here.

Though I woke up feeling better today, things soon devolved once we hit the trail. It was slow going for me, as I felt quite lightheaded and didn't want to pass out while walking along sharp boulders. Luckily, today's walk was fairly low-key and the trail was mostly flat as it meandered alongside the river.

Like usual, the scenery was amazing, and today's hike featured a walk past three lakes as we made our way to Gokyo. These lakes are part of a group of six lakes that make up the world's highest freshwater lake system. We opted to take the trek up to Gokyo upon the recommendation of a friend back in Laramie, and the scenery did not disappoint (though the elevation was a bit of a pain for me). Each lake that we passed seemed to have a different sound to it -- lake one featured the cooings of the Brahminy duck, while the second lake featured the sounds of groaning ice and sloshing water.
  
{Bharat and Dilip show off their climbing skills}

 {Gokyo lake 1}

{Gokyo lake 2}

{climbers camp}

{Gokyo lake 3}

{Gokyo}

Upon our arrival in Gokyo (elevation 15,720 feet), we checked in to our lodge and dropped off our gear in our room. I ordered a hashbrown dish for lunch, which was covered in a funky cheese that nearly did me in. Following lunch we retreated to our room, where we bundled up and spent the afternoon reading and relaxing. 

{Gokyo lodge}

In the late afternoon we ventured outside and explored the lakefront as the sun set behind the craggy peaks. It was a seriously gorgeous viewpoint. I think I would have appreciated it even more if I didn't feel so miserable.

{Gokyo at sunset}

Around 5p we headed to the dining room for dinner; meanwhile, my general malaise was getting worse. D chatted with our fellow lodgemates, including Lara and Dylan, a couple from Japan (formerly from Nevada), who were making their way back to Namche after crossing over the Cho La Pass to Gokyo. Our original plan was to continue from Gokyo over the Cho La Pass and on to Everest Base Camp (EBC), but given my condition, it didn't seem like this route was going to happen for us. I managed to eat most of my dinner, even though I felt fairly terrible. I think the best way to describe how I felt was that I felt drunk. Everything seemed to be coming to me through a haze, and I felt quite nauseous. Not fun at all.

After dinner, D and I broke out our deck of cards, and we played several rounds of gin rummy, as was becoming our nightly ritual. We also shared a large pot of black tea. Lara offered me an extra Diamox pill that she had, and I took it, just in the hope it would make me feel a smidge better. (Clearly, though, I would have needed a whole regimen to have felt better. But at that point I was willing to try whatever.)

D and I retreated to our room around 7p. D, who didn't seem to be affected by the altitude at all, packed up his gear to make the hike in the morning up to the summit of Gokyo Ri (elevation 17,988 feet) in the morning with Bharat. I knew that in my condition, I would likely be sleeping in instead.
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