Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Day 14 - Makalu Base Camp Exploration Day 2
Day 2 at base camp I was up early as usual to take pictures of the mountain before the clouds rolled in.
I didn't sleep much again - this time it was Longman and the Sherpa girl watching a DVD that kept me awake at the start of the night.
Longman was up pretty early too - I guess whatever kept him in bed the previous day had passed.
He was mumbling about leaving base camp - I guess he didn't enjoy the cold much.
The expedition cook got the job of preparing breakfast.
While longman and strongman had to sleep in a leanto shed on the end of the teahouse the Sherpa guy got a bed in the dorm with us.
Breakfast was again served in one of the most majestic dining rooms you could ask for.
I really enjoyed this meal and could wolf it down in no time - unlike Dal Bhat which I had to force into myself.
Elaine was not feeling great and really struggled to eat rice of any description while we were at base camp.
I decided to hang around the teahouse and let my blister heal a little before the downhill journey.
I got the blister on day 1. It was a short stroll so I didn't pay attention to my feet. I didn't wear sock liners or tie my boots properly.
I had to nurse this hole throughout the entire trip. Lesson learned..
After Mark and Elaine returned we went to the English camp and bought a few rounds of beer.
They were sleeping in tents but this building in the middle of base camp was set up as a bar / shop / dining room.
We figured we had been at altitude long enough it was safe enough to start drinking.
The porters from the English group were dressed and equipped much better than any other group we saw during our Trek.
I don't recall the name of their company but sounds like it was setup by English Everest climber Doug Scott who was appalled by how bad conditions were for porters.
Money from their trek was still not going to the local community but at least their porters were treated well.
We took our drinks outside to take some pictures with mountains and beer.
The froth on the beer froze as we stood for pictures - it was like drinking beer slurpees.
We returned to our teahouse where dinner was being prepared.
Elaine was still suffering from her rice aversion so she asked for roti instead. The teahouse had jars of all types left by various Makalu expeditions and her roti was served with marmalade.
Total for the three of us was about 16,000 NPR.
The Sherpa lady told us we could have free tea on the last day so we could pay on the last evening.
The guides were charged about 7,000 NPR for their stay. Longman wasn't happy parting with money..
They were heading up to camp 1 around 4am to salvage anything they could from the recent expeditions.
I took this picture late at night while it was pitch black out (at least to the naked eye).
Notice the light coming from the teahouse door.
When we arrived at base camp there was a bowl of frozen water with a cup embedded in the ice. They removed the ice from the bowl and let it sit in the sun. 3 days later as we were leaving base camp that block of ice was still sitting there with the cup still trapped.