BASE CAMP DIARIES 3: THE TREK BEGINS
Travelling to Nepal, I had never felt so nervous in my life. The flight was difficult and I’d been suffering terribly with endo bloating on the lead up to departure. I was incredibly apprehensive about how my endometriosis would affect my ability to complete the trek, if at all.
On our last day in Nepal, we landed at 10:30 am in the morning and was greeted by our trek leaders. We were the first passengers to arrive in our group and our leaders were excited to get us to work. Unfortunately, my endometriosis was not on my side, as I felt I would need more time for my body to readjust after the long flight. I did suffer from terrible bloating on the flight but once I arrived I tried to take it easy in preparation for the long few weeks ahead. I had a small nap before meeting up with some of the group for a drink and rest assured there would be stops to rest along the route.
During Days 2 & 3 we spent time in Kathmandu, organising a few last minute things before we embarked on the trek. Then we set off on a 6-hour bus ride to where we were getting our flight to Lukla, where we stayed the night without hot water but we didn’t even know if we would have a bed.
I was then told that the airport in Lukla, was one of the most dangerous airports in the world which didn’t exactly inspire with the motivation I needed to start the trek.
Despite me being so nervous about flying, the flight went really well. We landed had a quick breakfast and then set off on our 4-hour trek to our next place to stay. I really felt terrible that day. I couldn’t eat anything and my tummy was incredibly swollen. I’d been having my oxygen and pulse rate done twice a day, to check that my body was coping with harsh conditions along the trek. We got to around 2000 meters and the altitude was really starting to hit some of our group. I talked to our trek doctor and he was concerned about my readings, especially given my endo. He recommended fluid replacement and a good night's sleep with my fingers crossed I’d feel better the next day.
On the morning of day 5, we were up at 6.00 am for breakfast and then we set off at 8.00 am. We walked for 4 hours straight up a ridiculous amount of steps and incredibly steep hills! I felt like this day was truly going to test my body’s limits. Oh boy, it did. We stopped for a quick lunch and set off on an extensive climb up to Namche Bazaar.
This had to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. It was continuous steps and hills for hours upon hours. I honestly felt I might not make it.
I put my head down and took one step at a time. It felt like it went on forever, dodging donkeys and porters. We finally made it to our home for the night at 3400 meters. We had a big jump up in altitude and my pulse rate was still high!
Day 6 arrived when we left Namche bazaar at 8 after a well-deserved omelette breakfast. I woke up not feeling very well as I’d had a slight cough and blocked nose for a few days but today it was different, I couldn’t afford to be ill at all, especially on top of coping with my endo. We set off up through the village full of shops littered with western food. I couldn’t believe they delivered such things up so high. (3400 meters) this place was busy with tourists on their trek. The aim today was to climb high and sleep low. So we climbed for around 3 hours, higher and higher until we finally got our first real glimpse of Everest!!! This climb was tough, especially not feeling my best.
We then began our descent, which lasted for around an hour or so. This is when my problems began. The downward terrain was very uneven and steep, this started to cause excruciating pain in my back and hips. Luckily, I made it to a lovely village where the school founded by Sir Edmund Hillary stood and enjoyed seeing the school and hearing about the children who attend it. The kids would have to walk for miles to get to school and it ran 6 days a week with only a Saturday off!
We passed some lovely children who we gave pencils and paper and sweets to. Nothing could have lifted my spirits more than meeting those amazing school children. With them in mind, I was even motivated to trudge on along the trek. I ended up in the back of the group, struggling with the steep steps and rocky terrain. Every step I felt pain shoot through my hips and back. I honestly felt like I had done some terrible damage to my body!
I let my small group know how I was doing. They kept my spirits up and finally I made it to our home for the night.
The group met in the communal room where the only fire was situated, our rooms were so cold. I took a corner seat and took in the warmth. We had tea and a lovely dinner. I fell asleep in the corner of the room. When I woke the pain and cold-like symptoms hit my hard I sat quietly with tears in my eyes. The doctor came to see me but I really didn’t want to make a fuss. He suggested I take an antihistamine and get some sleep. At 3.00 am, I awoke feeling like someone had punched me in the face. My eye was so swollen I could open it!! I listened to Ant Middleton on audiobook try to try to pass the time. I lay awake wondering if I would be able to finish the trek with the rest of the team and if the pain would ever subside...
We are so proud of Jo, deciding to embark on this amazing venture and we are so grateful she wants to share it with her BeYou followers. We love the message she wants to spread to others about endometriosis and we can’t wait to see how she gets on. If you would like to see more of Jo you can follow her on Instagram and her Just Giving page.
Stay tuned for the rest of Jo’s Base Camp Diaries, coming very soon!
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