Ama Dablam Diary – Welcome to Base Camp

November 19, 2014

bc290‘Where do I find those rocks?’

The Sherpa was groaning under the load of a heavy rock he was carrying towards one of the tents he was setting up. Under my feet is a kind of stumpy heather, alpine cushion plant of an indeterminate type (I need to bring a foliage reference next time – I hate not knowing. When I ask the Sherpas for a name of a plant they look at me as if I am asking to abscond with their wife. They shake their head and walk off.) There are no rocks to be seen.

‘In the stream’ he grins as he stumbles past. Read more

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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