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Wide awake

Sun 31 Oct 2010 06:12 » Jon

I seem to be suffering from a weird form of jet-lag, caused by regularly getting up in the early hours for summit attempts and going to bed when it gets dark (around 8pm). Last night I had about 7 hours of great sleep, but woke up around 02:30 and haven’t really slept since then.

Yesterday evening was pretty quiet, even by our team’s standards. As soon as we’d got our drinking water/hot water bottles after dinner we all hit the sack.

The plan from here is to head to Pangboche tonight, Namche tomorrow, then Lukla on Tuesday for an early flight to Katmandu on Wednesday.

My main priority is to get clean though. I had a reasonable wash in a bowl 2 days ago before we climbed up to high camp, but there’s been a lot of climbing since then… Unfortunately, even if I do wash, there are no clean clothes left. On some expeditions you can keep things ticking over by washing clothes in a stream or a lake, but the only water we’ve camped near was the lake at high camp, which was our drinking water, so not ideal for washing in. Warm water is in short supply – we get a bowlful each to wash in most days, and a few bottles full to drink, but it all has to be gathered from a stream or lake, or melted from snow, and the kerosene to warm it has been carried from Lukla.

The situation in the lodges is only slightly better – we haven’t had running hot water since Katmandu (now 17 days) apart from 2 showers we’ve had to pay for.

The other thing that’s been pretty basic is the toilet situation. In all but one campsite we’ve put up a toilet tent over a hole in the ground, but Lobouje High Camp was too rocky, so we just fended for ourselves. Things are slightly more luxurious in the lodges, as there’s normally a squatter and occasionally a normal sitter. The difference from normal toilets is that flushing is done by pouring in a jug of water from a barrel.

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