Monday, 24 August 2009

Day 12, Trekking Day 11

Last night there was bad atmosphere in Camp Tenzing. A coupla guys didn't get picked for the team and the guys that were picked didn't feel that the whole thing was handled well. It's not an easy decision and it's not an easy job for anyone. The pressure has been on the Captains and vices to make a good choice. I guess the idea to film it gave the whole thing an unnecessary weight, taking it away from the camaraderie, the team spirit, the good feeling that everyone started this journey with. Shame really.

There was an announcement made from that there may be people trying to sabotage the match tomorrow and that we'd better watch out for people who would want to do that. It was suggested that someone be posted to watch over the pitch so no one steals it. James Peterson and a couple of others decide to take it up and roll it up and take it inside to protect it. It'd be easier to roll out now that it had already been set out from yesterday.

Joe was really noisy in his sleep. We chatted for a bit, about his disappointment, his theories about who was picked and why. I don't know if this is normal for Joe, but he does makes noise in his sleep like a baby bear being molested. Perhaps it's bad dreams, perhaps it's the altitude. Perhaps it's the disappointment of not making the 11.

The next morning Joe was up early, putting his uniform on, the pink Tenzing 20Twenty uniform, like pajamas. Undaunted by yesterdays decisions, he wanted to play cricket and be involved in what was going to be a good day.

Babywiping down, getting changed in that wooden khazi, getting all my equipment together - 2 cameras (need to check on George), sketchpads, water, purification tabs, chocolate, I set out to the other teahouse.

It's buzzing down there, Glen is about to make his selection. Apparently, they'd spoken to the people who hadn't made the cut earlier so this was no surprise to them. Yes, there was disappointment, but really, not as much as last night in our teahouse. After a rallying speech, the boys get ready for the match. I manage to get a set of batteries from George, he's feeling much much better, there's more colour in his face thank god.

Stepping out from their teahouse, the pitch had been set out already. There was an electricity in the air, the embankments around the oval were getting dotted with people who were there to watch the game. They'd heard about it from all they way up the track, from even before Lukla, the posters had been distributed all over the region. Some people had made it down from EBC to watch the match. Wow.

Team Captains Glen and Haydn

Yesterdays Avalanche

I'm not going to blog about the match itself as I really know not that much about the sport (a funny story that I was promised not to repeat by 3rd umpire Helen Curr was a few weeks before we left the UK, HC and Brooksie and I went round to Paola and Alex's house to have ice-cream and watch cricket so HC could explain things to us, from what she had learnt. Halfway through the DVD, I did have to ask 'So.... what's a run?' - I wasn't sure whether it was there and back or just there. But it did sound like I didn't know what a run was at all. The girls were in creases on the floor, until one of them sat up and looked at HC and said,'So, what is it?')

I set up my spot near one end of the wicket, not too far from George. There were lots of photo ops from the day. Lots of photos of the guys and gals and the locals watching the match. From the opening speeches by James Markby, the goodwill hugs from friends on the opposing teams to each other, this was the moment that possibilities are open. Who was going to win?

I'd make sketches of the mountains and the game while it was going on and every so often I'd make my rounds around the oval, to see if I can get a good angles of the match. At one point, I saw Joe Williams near the boundary and he called me over and asked me to take a picture of him, posing, walking away from the match towards me with Everest in the background. Something happened in the game and he turned away to run towards the match. I snapped one more photo of him starting to run. (I wouldn't know how much this photo would mean to me until I got back to England, but more of that later).

You can real Alan Curr's blog about the match here.

In the 2nd half of the match, I went for a higher view of the pitch and went up Kalapatthar.

Amazing. I came down and did more sketching. I also had to pose with the other Trektators while the the ITV guy took some shot of us cheering so they could edit into their programme.

James Butler and Graham The Mallard

Suddenly the game was over. People cheering, team captains were celebrated, losers commiserated, champagne was poured, cake was presented to everyone on the teams and trektators, made by the chef teams of Nepali who came up with us. It was all over. Photos, photos and more photos. Celebration drinks. I had one beer and 1 swig of champagne as I was watching the pennies. I couldn't afford much as I'd spent my dosh sending updates to twitter and facebook. I had my first cigarettes since day 4 of the trek. Feel a bit sick. Up earlyish tomorrow for the long trek down. The decision has been made todescend in 3 days to Lukla instead o f 4. Sounds like a good idea to get there earlier but might it take it out of us?

Oh, and this was what Creative Minds, our promoter made of it: This Amazing Video

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