April 1, 2014 was a rest day in Pheriche where the central focus was resting in all forms. Our homebase at Pheriche is the Himalayan Hotel where there are luxuries such as hot showers, a warm dining room, wifi, massive volumes of hot tea and a sunroom. This being rest day most of the day was spent in the sunroom where there was a round-robin napping tournament going on until a late lunch in the dining room. The napping champion was JB, followed by Eric and Greg. Those not participating in the sunroom relaxing took on a hill for some fresh air, both Dave S. and Czarina hiked up a hill that is behind the lodge for some higher views of the surrounding mountains and river valley. Dave Z. and Jasmin both made good use of the free day and the wifi connections. Colleen, Tony and Suzie all successfully used their solar panels and the sunny afternoon to charge up their variety of gadgets.
Pheriche is home to the Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA), a non-governmental organization that provides essential medical assistance related to altitude related issues. The HRA is staffed by volunteer physicians from all over the world. Each day during the trekking season the HRA provides a daily lecture on altitude related illnesses, the early symptoms and how to provide the immediate assistance needed to help the trekker. The HRA staff provided a tour of their clinic, which consists of a couple exam rooms and residents quarters for the volunteer physicians. The HRA also has a Gamow Bag, which is used for people who are suffering from altitude related illnesses and need immediate changes in the atmospheric pressure. In a matter of minutes, the bag provides the similar effects of getting the patient to the lower levels of altitude. The group had a test of the Gamow Bag by putting Diana in the bag and changing the pressure as it is at 2200 meters (essentially going back down the trail for about 3 days). Before being released from the bag the pressure was brought back up to the level at Pheriche.
April 1 is Greg’s birthday so after dinner there was a surprise birthday cake and a dining room full birthday singing session. It was a fluffy chocolate , which is something to consider at our altitude. Happy birthday Greg!