24.01.10 – 8.10pm (2.28pm UK)

It was great to get online earlier today & update the blog. I’ve just been typing away each day & hadn’t realised that the last blog upload was day four! No wonder there were some concerned comments & emails – sorry all. Thank you for your continued & faithful prayer support – it has been invaluable & certainly felt from even this far away. Despite earlier assurances, our lodge for this evening doesn’t have internet – guess where the man with the key is…?! Not here, that’s for sure!

A late blog tonight as today has been a long long day. We arrived at Monjo at around 5pm, sitting at 2840m (9372ft), giving us a total descent for the day of 3600ft. The walking took about 7 hours, but in addition to this we stopped at Namche Bazaar for lunch & a rest for 2 hours – & also to upload the blog!

Underfoot was really unpredictable – hidden ice, fine dust that travelled straight down your throat into your lungs, loose rocks, obscure angled rocks, boulders… it was hard going throughout. Not without its fair share of steep uphills either! Sadly the uneven surface eventually took a casualty – the first of the entire trek miraculously – & Ruth fell badly. Fortunately she didn’t break anything, but she’s left with a really swollen ankle which we’ll have a better idea on in the morning. Maybe we’ll have to take it in turns slinging her over our shoulders for the last bit of the return trek!

Psang had negotiated a good rate for us at the lodge in Monjo, so we have ‘en suite’ rooms tonight (don’t get excited – I’ll have a photo to upload tomorrow to show you the level of luxury…). Of course, with my track record on showers it wasn’t long before our room had slipped into calamity with a flood! Rob had managed his shower successfully, but not me… oh no. As the bedroom filled up with water, due to the shower not draining away quickly enough, Rob banged on the door & told me to switch it off. I did – with my eyes full of shampoo – & waited for the water to subside, which it did slowly.

I then finished the shower to a small trickle & waited while the lodge owners descended on the bedroom to mop up. My towel, of course, was in the bedroom. It took them about 15 minutes to mop up, meanwhile my body temperature was quickly dropping in the shower room as the window seemed to be fixed ajar… & so it went on.

Fortunately, all ended well & actually the outside temperature here seems considerably warmer than previous nights – I assume this is because we have dropped down in altitude so much now. It just feels very cold when you’re standing there in your birthday suit, wet! It was not a pretty sight!

We’re all fed & watered now, after another banquet of eggs, potatoes, cheese… you know the drill by now! The only addition tonight – & last night actually – has been the introduction of alcohol! It seems to be so much more concentrated than when we first ascended. When we went up, we’d think nothing of ‘a few pints’ & be fine – now, wow, how potent?! Amazing.

I’m certainly looking forward to getting back to the hotel the night after tomorrow & relaxing in a nice warm (unflooding) shower, a warm room, a comfy bed & a decent glass of red! I’ll save myself until then for the booze I think! Although Bob’s ‘hot toddy’ was warmly (no pun intended) received last night by the rest of the group – visitors included!

Normal wake up in the morning, with set-off by 8.00am. The aim is to be at Lukla, where the airstrip is for our return, for around 3.00pm. We’ll stop for lunch on the way. We’ll stay overnight at Lukla & fly back to Kathmandu the next day (Tuesday).

Lukla, our final stop of the trek, sits at 2866m (9458ft) which although is higher than Monjo takes a lot of ‘upping’ & ‘downing’ to get to & will no doubt be a tiring final trek for us to remember our adventure by. I’ll let you know…!

OK, signing off now. Most of the group are dancing around the dining room now in a more & more exaggerated way – even Yak Man is giving it large. One of the kitchen staff has just joined in & John seems to have very elastic hips (not Foss, although I’m sure his hips are very nice Brenda). Dr Jess has now joined & is swaying her blond locks from side to side. All this to the tunes on Psang’s iPod which currently seems to be running through ‘The Best of Bollywood’. I have my face buried in the blog so that I don’t get hauled up for a boogie, Mike, Rob, John & Bob are sitting in a line with their arms crossed looking on in fine spirits, & Judith is talking to Ruth’s ankle.

The latest development is that Yak Man seems to be trying to get Trevor to dance… oh, no, Yak Man is sitting on Trevor’s knee… no it’s not worked. Trev’s having none of it. Looks like it’s the yaks again for you Bhim!

Right, I really am going now. It’s a crazy crazy world in which we live… nite nite. 4 sleeps…