Sleeping here is a small project. The rooms are very cold, and the dining hall steaming. We heat our sleeping bags with hot water bottles – feels great after 20 minutes. However, the head and the tip of the nose can get very cold since we have 0 degrees centigrade in the room at night. Tendi advised us to use a cap or the hood of the sleeping bag. The altitude has caused many of us to get a slight “hangover” headache in the morning, a mild form of altitude sickness.
This morning our windows were covered with a THICK layer of ice. Many of us took a morning stroll and admired the views in the valley, cameras clicking all the time.
This day was for acclimatization, so we took a walk up and down the hillside from Periche, 4280 m, to 4660 m. Great views of Dengboche, a village where they actually grow wheat, and Island Peak at a distance.
During the rare afternoon rest, we could hear the sounds of the river, a huge contrast to Kathmandu with its myriads of signaling cars and motorcycles, music bars and vendors, and the complete silence in Tengboche. Our hotel features Buddhist meditation music in the morning and rock music in the evenings.
In the afternoon, we heard a very informative speech on altitude sickness, and could then go to the next house and have our blood oxygenation checked. It ranged from 80 to 90 percent in the group. This would have caused immediate intensive care at sea level. Nevertheless, people in the clinic (Dr. Lisikiewic from Poland, and Gobi Bashyal, a very experienced health worker from Himalayan Rescue Association) seemed not to worry. A few bought Azetazolamide, as prophylaxis against mountain sickness, or treatment for existing problems.
Tomorrow we have to leave this nice hotel, with no rats in the walls, with hot damp towels before dinner, and the quickest laundry service we ever saw. We checked if the garments on the line were wet. They were, so they had been washed.