Monday 30th October
I slept badly, tossing and turning, throughout the night. Apparently Peter says that I put my arm round him during the night. I couldn’t remember doing that. But we had a laugh about it and the others took the mickey out of me.
Today we walked from Dole to Machermo. Leaving Dole, the trail continues to climb and flattens out to a pleasant traverse with broad vistas. An hour or so away from Dole is Luza, where we stopped for a drink and a snack. There were some graves here that serve as a poignant reminder of the dangers of trekking. Over the crest and half an hour further on we reached Machermo. It was a lovely walk and we took plenty of photos of the group together. Machermo is located on the valley floor. At the far end of the valley you can see Kjayo Ri, 6186m high, its sharp peak towering in the sky.
There were not enough beds in the first lodge we came to so we settled for the Yeti Lodge. We heard that the missing trekker had been found safe at Gokyo. Apparently the stupid idiot had gone on to Gokyo without informing anyone. It had not even occurred to him that other trekkers would be placed at risk searching for him.
After depositing my rucksack on a bed, I went outside and washed my hair. I took several paracetamol for a slight headache. It could be AMS (altitude mountain sickness) but I am not taking any chances. Tania is not well and has a stomach bug.
We relaxed in the afternoon sun. Lunch was spent chatting away to Jill and Marcia. The afternoon passed quickly and it was soon time for dinner. Paulo came back from a side trip up to Machermo peak. He was full of beans because the views were superb.
Dinner was tomato soup, vegetable curry with rice, and rice pudding. Jill, Marcia and I watched agape in amazement as another trekker, a Japanese woman, was treated to five star service. She had a sumptuous feast of hot dogs, potatoes, beans, etc. Jill’s face was a picture.
We have decided to spend another day here to allow John and Tania to recover from their stomach bugs, and to help us acclimatise.
Tuesday 31th October
Last night I slept well. At breakfast we met Glenna who had stopped by on her way to Gokyo.
Machermo is indeed a relaxing spot with superb views. Marcia, Paulo, Paul and I decided to climb up to Machermo Ri. The trail climbs out of the yersa and then around a ridge. When we reached the top of the ridge we walked along its length. Before us were the mountains towering high on the country’s border such as Cho Oyu, Ngozumpa Kang, and Gyachung Kang. The tail of Ngozumpa glacier was just ahead of us. To the east the peaks of Cholotse and Taweche stand tall.
The views would have been even better if it hadn’t been for the clouds. At least I saw Everest in its full glory although the clouds partly obscured the view. We decided not to climb up Machermo Ri because the clouds did not look like clearing. It would have been a waste of effort and energy. While waiting for the clouds to clear in front of Everest we had a snack and I ate my first Mars bar. Marcia headed back followed shortly by Paulo and Paul, and then myself.
Back at the lodge we had dinner. Jill, Marcia, Peter and I played cards for the rest of the day. We enjoyed ourselves and had a good laugh. The game we played was ‘Your call’ and I paired up with Peter. The first ones to eleven points were the winners, and after being 10-6 down we fought back to win. Marcia also taught me a new game of patience.
John is still poorly but his health is gradually improving. Tania may also be on the mend so hopefully they will both be OK tomorrow.