Yesterday while hiking from Bhandar to Sete we had covered 1000m of an approximately 2000m ascent over the Lamjura Pass which, once we reached the top, would put us at about 3700m. Therefore we started our day from Sete with a 1000m uphill battle which took us about 3.5 hours to complete. This was also the first time we would encounter a potential issue with elevation. Technically any elevation over 2500m can cause altitude sickness but more likely it becomes anything over 3500m. So being at 3700m for the first time we made sure to take it nice and slow and not over-stress ourselves too quickly.
About half way up the clouds rolled in and it got absolutely freezing (and being all sweaty from hiking didn’t help our cause at all). Donning our fleeces and jackets for the first time we trudged towards the top of the pass where we met up with our English (plus one American) friends and ended up hiking with them over the pass and towards Junbessi – our little group of 3 suddenly became a fun group of 9.
Once we got over the pass it became the most brutal downhill yet. It was incredibly steep and there were loose rocks everywhere so you’d think you were stepping on a solid stone and then surprise! There goes your ankle. I rolled my ankles no less than 20 times over the 4.5 hours downhill to Junbessi.
It was so sad (and a total morality killer) to see all the uphill progress we’d made over the last 2 days just disappear in a flurry of curses, falls, and bruises.
It also took us a lot longer to make it from the pass to Junbessi than we thought it would which was even worse for mental moral, especially near the end of such a tough day of walking. I made it through an entire round of ’99 bottles of beer’ then had sung back up to ’85 bottles’ by the time we made it into town. About 15 minutes out from Junbessi it started to sprinkle so we all started basically running down the valley towards the town below.
We ended up staying at Namaste Guest House as the tea house (and its apple pie) was recommended to us on the trail by a gentleman headed in the opposite direction back to Jiri.
Ben, Josefine, and I ended up sharing a room (and again we negotiated for a free room) and after getting out of our backpacks, boots, and disgusting hiking clothes as soon as possible we made our way downstairs to order food as all we’d eaten so far that day was breakfast and snacks.
Ben got the apple pie for lunch and Josefine and I ended up splitting one after dinner later that night. It was huge and piping hot and covered in custard. There should be songs written about this apple pie. It was absolutely the perfect way to end an exhausting day and make us forget that tomorrow we have to wake up and do the same thing all over again. At least they have a nice view here.
At this point I am seriously starting to question my sanity – why am I subjecting myself to this kind of physical and mental torture/exhaustion for hours on end every day for the foreseeable future?
Spoiler for next time: the reason I’m subjecting myself to this physical and mental torture (click here)
View all my posts about the Everest Base Camp trek here!