Thursday, October 9, 2014

EBC: Beginning of the end

Day 10 – we left Peak XV at Lobuche around 8 am and reached Thukla tea place at 9:30 am. The descent to Thukla wasn’t easy for PK but she was in good spirits. As usual we had masala tea and started for Himalayan Lodge at Periche - our lunch venue.

Per original plan we would have made to EBC & back to Gorakshep on Day 8 and would have stayed overnight at Periche on Day 9. Since EBC happened on Day 9, Periche as a night halt was out of question (so we stayed at Lobuche) and now Periche was too close to our starting point so we settled on Rivendell lodge at Deboche for the night halt. It made sense both in terms of distance from Lobuche and our fondness for the place.

Himalayan lodge at Periche is much better than Moonlight lodge that we stayed at in Dingboche and altitude difference between two locations is not significant. So I would suggest that you stay at Periche (instead of Dingboche) en route from Deboche to Lobuche.

We left Periche around 1 pm and started towards Deboche. Soon I was walking alone and since the return route was known to me, I didn’t care for a porter or a guide. I kept walking at my pace listening to music. At Pangboche, about an hour before Rivendell, I saw our duffel bags on the road side and instantly knew that porters were around. I was reassured that I was on right track and proceeded alone and reached Rivendell at 3:45 pm.

By 4 pm, I was in the shower. Some things that we take for granted in our everyday lives are luxury in these places. I was so enamored at encountering a working flush again that it brought a smile to my face to see water rush out at the push of a lever! Since my last shower was 4 days back at Dingboche, hot running water felt heavenly to my weary bones and I didn’t leave the bathroom till the water ran cold. After this amazing shower, I wanted a change from the masala tea, so I decided to try the “by glass” slightly sweet red wine

Rest of the group except PK was in before 5 pm and there was no sign of her till 6 pm. Though Mingmar was with her, I started to get anxious and insisted that Nima locate them using his phone (as our N-cell connections were useless) Finally PK reached around 6:45 pm – in immense pain and close to tears. However a hot shower coupled with a glass of red wine helped lift her spirits. I was already down 2 glasses of the same sweet red wine and now relieved that she had made it in one piece, I just wanted to crash and retired soon after dinner.

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