Where do I begin?
I never planned to go to Nepal, and definitely did not plan to go up to Everest basecamp. From India, Nepal is the next closest country by land. Logically, when I ran out of Indian visa I decided to head over to Nepal. When I arrived in Kathmandu after 30 hours on the bus, I definitely did not think I was going to pack up my backpack to climb up to Everest basecamp.
The first 3-4 days were hard, but pleasant compared to what was to come later. lots of going up and down the mountain range. I developed a bit of a headache on day 3, around 3600 metres above sea level. Just as a comparison, Mount Cook is 3724 metres. I wasn’t taking any altitude sickness pill then, the headache would usually go away after drinking loads of water.
On average, I’d walked up and down the hills for 7-10 hours every day, except for 2 rest days I had – one for acclimatisation and one for altitude sickness. My calves are well defined now.
On Day 5, I developed a full-on altitude sickness. Extremely tired, body ache, felt a bit hungover, and so bloody cold. Took ibuprofen and lots of water, and threw it all up. Started taking altitude sickness pill then, and a good 12-hour nap later, I was all back to normal. This was at 4350 metres above sea level.
Most days were cold, deserted, and painfully slow. Looking back at my journal entry, I wanted to go down from day 5. But I wasn’t gonna go down without getting to the basecamp first. At 4980 metres above sea level, there is only 53% level of oxygen in the air, no shit I was struggling. Towards the end, my ribcage was hurting from my lungs overworking.
But the really painful days were yet to come…