Ama Dablam Diary – Guest House Log Jams

November 17, 2014

log290The dark frosty night has eased off into grey and I slumber through the sounds of yaks on the track only a couple of metres from my window, resisting the clock and willing it to slow down. I am warm in this sack thank you very much. Our guest house is as rudely constructed as a war time barracks and a dozen of us have made use of a toilet someone has compromised. I am not sure how they did it but I suspect the guilty person has been eating cement. The log they leave in there for the rest of us stays settled on the bottom, refusing any attempts to cajole it on into the plumbing. There is not enough of a head of water in the cistern to clear the bowl. I ignore it for the course of the night – a quick pit stop in bare feet is enough. It’s far too cold at o’dark o’clock to be faffing around cleaning up after someone. A twenty litre bucket of water finally clears the offending turd when I get up for breakfast. I am tempted to say something when I arrive late for that meal but it’s too early in the trip to be barking at people I barely know. Besides, you can only envy someone who has a gut with that sort of constitution a week after arriving in South Asia.

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Ama Dablam Diary – Namche Bazar Respite

November 16, 2014


Hey Bruce, over here.

Bruce! Hey, up here.

I have slowly walked up the main cobbled street into Namche and a steady cold rain is falling. At each minor intersection I pause and look around before fully committing to it. Old habits die hard but in this jumble of lanes and stone buildings it’s a habit that should help me track down where my colleagues are. We have spread out along the course of the track and over the length of the day. At the end of the street there is a T intersection and I pause as I approach it. Ahead of me is a well stocked pharmacy. Always worth noting. I glance right through the grey rain down a narrow street that curves away out of sight. Intuitively it doesn’t seem likely anyone has gone down there. I glance left and spot three or four of the gang on a verandah above me, looking a bit damp and bedraggled. I step forward and left and start towards them. The rain started a few hours ago and I did not stop to change and have continued on in shorts and T-shirt which are now thoroughly soaked. That water is cold down my back but while ever I keep moving it is tolerable. The others soon spot me and shout to get my attention but I was heading their way anyway. It’s good to see them all and I quickly strip off, towel off and throw a merino layer on. That felt good. Read more