Monday, December 12, 2011

Nepal Trek Day Five: Dole - Machermo

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.

We were up and at 'em early today and headed to breakfast at 7a. Both D and I were fully bundled up; it was COLD! (Machermo is at an elevation of nearly 13,248 feet.) The night before, I placed my camera's batteries, as well as my primary water bottle, in my sleeping bag to keep them warm and prevent my water from freezing overnight. My notes from the morning look a little bit like chicken scratches as I was wearing gloves and could barely clutch the pen with my cold fingers. Following breakfast, per our now-normal drill, we packed up our stuff, and then headed onto the trail around 8:15a. Here are a few images from the trail between Dole and Machermo:

{ice-cold river}

 {ginormous mountain peaks in every direction}

{D and Bharat heading down the trail}

{the never-ending trail}

{heading down the ridge into Machermo}

{view above Machermo}

{D reading in the lodge dining room}

The walk to Machermo was mainly on flat ground, which was a nice change of pace. Here's an interesting Machermo tidbit: according to local lore, in 1974 a yeti killed three yaks and attacked a Sherpa woman in the village. The lodge owner also said that his brother had seen a yeti near Phakding, but unfortunately the photo he took of it didn't turn out (isn't that always the case?!). They definitely take yetis quite seriously around these parts. (And, for your information, yetis are actually reddish-brown, like sasquatch, in color and not white, unlike the imagery typically associated with the abominable snowman.) Our arrival in Machermo coincided with the onset of a headache and general feeling of malaise for me. Up until our arrival in Machermo, I had been doing well with the rising elevation, but now at nearly 14,650 feet, things were getting a little wonky for me. After a lunch of vegetable fried rice, D and I took a short hike up the ridge behind the small village. D went all the way to the top while I stopped about midway up to enjoy the view and watch some yaks chomp on their grass lunch. After our short hike we both returned to the dining room for a little reading time in the bright afternoon sunshine. Not much time passed before I retreated to our bedroom to try to sleep off my headache and increasing malaise. I roused myself in time for dinner, but given the addition of nausea to my headache, I soon returned to the room, leaving D with both his dinner and my dinner to finish. (He definitely took one for the team that night!) I started to feel a little better later that night, but my sickness did not bode well for our future trekking plans. 

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