Sunday, 2 August 2009

Day 10, Trekking Day 9 - Holed up in Lobuche

I woke up this morning after not feeling very well last night.

After we got to the teahouse in Lobuche yesterday evening, I found a room and for the first time I was in a room by myself which was unusual. Everyone seemed to have organised who they were sharing with along the trek. When does this happen? I had a headache along the trek and who I would be sharing with wasn't really a concern, not that it was anyway, everyone's a good sort, but it would've been good to see if there was anyone I particulalrly got on with that wsa sans roommate. Not sure why I was bothered tonight of all nights. Though to be honest, it was a relief. Not that 'relief' was going to be any of my activities this evening.

After dumping my stuff on the bed, I made my way to the tearoom and had a milky tea with some paracetamol and ibuprofen. Not feeling well at all. After resting a bit listening to the chat from other people, I wasn't sure what was going on and I thought I might need a sleep. I got up and almost immediately needed to sit down again, dizzy, the room blurring like a photograph.

I asked for another tea and sat nursing it for a few more minutes to see if it was just temporary. I let Dr Nick know and he asked if I had taken anything, there was chat in the room and it was kinda comforting, not that I knew what it was about. I decided that I should try and sleep at least for a little bit.

Someone passed me on the stairs and said something but I'm not sure who it was or what he'd asked (from a conversation I had recently with Curry, it was him. Apparently I wasn't taking anything in, who he was, what he had asked me and dubbed me 'Zombie Zoob' a this point in the book that he is writing about our adventures. I hope it gets published, I'd like to read it). I slept, I think, for a while, Dr. Nick came up to check on me as I'd told him that I wasn't sharing with anyone. When it came to dinnertime I made my way downstairs for something to eat, feeling a little more myself. (No, still, not a 'relief' reference).

It was actually after dinner when I came down but they'd saved some for me and I sat with Paola and Alex and Brooksie. Apparently I looked like death. But I needed to eat and I was greatful for the feed. Not that I ate much of it. Another plateful of fried spiced potatoes really didn't appeal at this point. Kirt came along from the other teahouse and sat with us for a bit. Paola asked me about the poem that I read out last night. I coudn't say much about it, well, nothing intelligent and witty apart from the fact that it wasn't autobiographical, apart from the line 'We were on holiday in Scarborough'. The rest is just fiction with a little of what goes through my head daily. Kirt said that it was the strangest thing that he'd heard. I dunno. It's not so strange is it? It's comedic. Alex recently told me that on the night people were a little wierded out by it, but she was proud that I'd read it out and that she was secretly thought to herself, 'Yeah, he's MY friend, I love it'. Hearing this recently made me smile inside.

So today I wake up and feel a hundred times better. Dr. Nick came to check on me at midnight (I think, or did I just imagine it). After my wipedown with my babywipes, I go downstairs to get breakfasted up and join the teams for the final push. Yes, today we reach Gorak Shep, the end point of our trek up to Mt Everest.Wow.

Joe Williams, it turns out was also taken ill last night and was given the option to stay on another night to fully recover. I asked Dr Nick if I could do the same and she said that it was probably the best idea. We would be joined by Drisla and Simmo as they were on their way up from Duggla. I went to the other teahouse as all our stuff had been collected by the porters, ready to be taken up. I took my sleeping bag and washing stuff out, my diary and writing things, to stay the night. On way way to the other house, I saw the route upto Gorak Shep. It didn't look particularly inviting. I've made the right choice.

Joe emerged looking tired and had some tea and breakfast, we were able to order food off the menu, something I was looking forward to.

More tea and I sat out in the sunshine writing this blog. I'm in the middle of a conversation with some people from Seattle who were on their way up to Base Camp (or B.C. as it's known) and an Aussie bunch (one of whom "isn't on cipro, yet". Tasteful.)

Then another two joined me at the table from up the track. They'd just come down. For some reason, my Malaydar was going off like mad. The chap speaking was an Indian guy from South Africa (I think they call them 'coloureds'). The Seattlites didn't really take to him as he seemed to know too much. "Nobody likes know it alls".

I had to ask. Yes, the other guy was Imran and was surprised as I was to find another Malaysian (yes, though I am semi-Asian, I'm still Malay. We sat chatting for a bit). He's on a 'spiritual quest' which piqued my interest as Malays aren't known for their spirituality. Belief in God, Islam and such the like, yes. But spirituality? Interesting. Not your typical songkok-wearing, tourism-friendly smile Malay here. Imran and the South African finished their feed and made their way down the track to Dingboche but as they were leaving I gave my card to Imran and he looked at it 'Wah, ACTOR!' he exclaimed, smiling, 'It's not every day that I get a card that says "actor" on it. I forget what it was that he does. This wasn't the last time Imran and I saw each other on the trip. I wanted to ask more about his spiritual quest. Perhaps he'll email me. Readers will be interested to know that Imran has since been a keen reader of my blogs and comments once or twice.

Then I met two English guys, Colin and Nick who had met the other team yesterday in the teahouse in Duggla. They'd left Drisla and Simmo who were apparently 20 minutes behind them so I could expect them soon. They did arrive, but perhaps 2 hours after Nick and Colin got there. Colin used to work for the RSC and did LX for them before moving to Leamington Spa to do computer programming.

When Drisla and Simmo got there, they settled and we got some lunch together with Joe. I was hyper-aware that this was probably the first time I'd spoken to Simmo and the first time he'd asked me anything. Bizarre, after 9 days of travelling together. But hey, I hadn't really spoken to anyone mid-trek, everyone's keen to compete with each other on some front or another. I don't go in for that, I find competitive chat tiring, very few of the chaps actually have conversations with each other, I've noticed. Must be a sportsman thing. I'm far too collaborative and silly. Perhaps not quite when I'm so far removed from comfort zones. If you join in I'll play along. Besides, I haven't got a cultural reference for 'Point Break'. It's never been on my list of 'must sees'.

Simmo is a hard-landscaper and quite the humourist, but you have to listen really hard. I have since met his sister who apparently looks like him. She doesn't. Thankfully.

Joy of joys. We all have yaksteak. Feeling the colour coming back into my cheeks already.

The Walker in The Hills

4 comments: said...

This looks like Southwest United States, like New Mexico!

Zooby said...

It kinda does! I know what you mean. The hills look like those of Abiquiu, near Georgia O'Keefe's house.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your nice comments. This isn't the end of your blog yet is it? Hope it continues all the way back to Katmandu. At least I have something to look forward to still. -Imran

Zooby said...

Imran, no, it's certainly NOT my last post! I've been continuing to write my blog but not published them. I'd lost my notebook for a while but now that I've got all the notes back, there will be more! Watch this space (or course!)