We were woken up early the next morning with a helicopter landing outside our window to emergency evacuate two people from our lodge that had gotten really sick because of the altitude. From this point on, almost everyday we would see people from our lodge or same village being evacuated because of altitude.
We got up and ready for the day and had our usual breakfast of yak cheese toast and hot tea. Soon we were ready head to the next town we would be staying in, Dingboche. The first part of the trek ran again through more fairy-like forests with rhododendron blooms and moss. Eventually, we crossed yet another suspension bridge and the trail started heading up, up, up. My body could definitely feel the increase in altitude and by the time we stopped for lunch, I was exhausted. I had some yummy Thukpa, which is like ramen noodles with some vegetables in a spicy, oil broth. I also got canned juice with ‘orange sacs’ which doesn’t sound very appetizing, but was very good.
We continued the rest of the day to a town called Dingboche. This is where the trail splits for many Everest Base Camp trekkers and Kongma La Pass trekkers. Periche and Dingboche are towns both at the same altitude but are on different sides of a group of mountains. Most Everest Base Camp trekkers stay in Periche (or stay in Dingboche but need to slightly backtrack to go to the next town). However, since we planned on doing the Kongma La Pass, staying in Dingboche was perfect for us.
The lodge we stayed at in Dingboche was definitely my favorite place that we stayed on our entire trek. The lodge was ran by a family, as most lodges are, and they had a baby that brought so much joy to everyone at the lodge. We spent the afternoon talking and having pastries with Prakash. We tried our first snickers roll (of many), which are a snickers bar rolled up in a dough and either baked or fried. I also tried garlic soup for the first (and last time). Apparently garlic is used as a natural remedy for altitude sickness and supposedly can help prevent altitude sickness. Sounded like a good idea to me. It was soooo garlicky. I don’t know if it helped me not get altitude sickness, but my digestive system wasn’t a huge fan.
In the evening, we played cards, sat around the hot stove, and watched one of the girls carry around the baby swaddled in quilts, placed in a basket carried by a rope balanced on the girl’s head. It was a night of many smiles and happy moments.