One minute I was idly planning a trip at Christmas to Everest Base Camp, and thinking I should make a serious attempt to get fit again, and the next thing I know, there’s less than 3 weeks to go, I’ve been travelling more than I’ve been at home in the last 2 months, and I’ve been ill all week with flu. My attempt at a weekend of walking up steep hills in the Lake District with friends was rather foreshortened by the fact that, unbeknownst to me, I was coming down with flu, I was hugely stressed with work and other issues, sleep-deprived after another work trip abroad, and my back and neck were playing up, resulting in an aborted attempt up the first hill due to breathing difficulties and dizziness. I therefore let my friends climb the Old Man of Coniston without me on the Sunday, and had a m0re relaxing day wandering up some much smaller hills around Tarn Howes at a more sedate pace. All very enjoyable, but not great preparation for my trek!
Next week, I’ll be away for 4 days at a meeting, and the following week another 2 1/2 days. Given that I can’t go running in the dark, that makes it almost impossible to do any fitness training while away, so my remaining time is even more limited, especially with big work deadlines coming up. Still, I seem to remember this happened just before I did Kilimanjaro too, and it didn’t seem to matter as I was plenty fit enough then. It doesn’t stop me worrying about it though. I’ve also just been through a barrage of blood tests and a chest Xray, on my doctor’s insistence, and am anxiously waiting the results, which I won’t get until a week before I leave for Nepal. So if there is anything wrong, there isn’t much time to fix it!
On the upside, however, I have pretty much all the kit I need from the Kilimanjaro trip, so I’m reduced to just worrying about exactly how warm or cold it’ll be in the teahouses where we’ll be staying, whether the floors will be clean enough that I can get away with wearing my down slippers while in the teahouse, or whether the toilets will require a more sturdy form of footwear (after looking at some pictures of nasty toilets, I think I’ll need my Crocs), and just how offensive my usual hot weather clothing (vest tops and long shorts) will be to the Nepalese. Can I get away with my shorts or do I really need to wear 3/4 trousers? Do I really have to keep my shoulders covered if it’s hot? I’ve been warned many times about this in various countries such as Morocco, and never found it a problem to wear sleeveless tops and shorts, but now I think of it, I wonder if that’s why our Moroccan guide took such a dislike to me and never spoke to me if he could avoid it, unless to tell me off? And if so, why didn’t he object to the other girls who wore shorts? Was it the baring of my shoulders that caused him to dislike me so much? Was I baring my shoulders when I first met him (when he definitely didn’t take to me)? I can’t remember. Probably. I really hate wearing any form of sleeve if I don’t have to, it just makes me feel sweaty and uncomfortable. Same with trousers vs shorts – I don’t understand how people in my spin class at the gym can wear 3/4 length leggings and tshirts with sleeves, when we’re all dripping sweat. Anyway, how hot will it be on the first few days in the daytime when we’re trekking? And how am I going to fit everything into 10kg luggage when I only just managed 15kg for Kilimanjaro. I can’t think of anything I could really do without that I took then. I could probably take fewer knickers, but that wouldn’t make much difference.
I thought I’d google a few pictures of Everest teahouses to check what people were wearing, but it didn’t help much. In most of them, people seemed to be wearing down jackets and looking cold.
Still, at least I don’t have to worry about how to pee in a tent this time, although I’ve recently been googling this, as after Kilimanjaro I’ve decided I really must learn how to use a pee bottle – getting out of the tent and stumbling across treacherous rock faces in the middle of the night in sub-zero temperatures is really to be avoided at all costs! I’ve never mastered the art of a she-wee, and never will (I think it’s a skill you either have or don’t), but maybe I could master peeing in a wideneck Nalgene bottle with enough practice (I’d definitely never risk doing it while still in my sleeping bag though, despite the fact that apparently many women seem to be able to manage this). I still don’t understand how any woman could possibly pee succesfully in a moving car, but apparently they do.
So compared with Kilimanjaro, my worries are fairly minimal, but of course that won’t stop me waking up in the night worrying about whether there’ll be sufficient rocks for peeing behind while on trek, exactly how many jelly babies I’ll need to ward off and treat hypos, whether I should risk eating the yak meat or not (mixed reports apparently), and whether I’ll meet a yeti on my way to the loo. Actually, my worries about the loos are fairly minor, I can happily pee in a long drop swarming with flies along with the best of them (unlike many women, it seems). Although, how much loo roll do you think I’ll need?