After a relaxing night we prepared to leave Lobuche. We had breakfast at the Eco Lodge and made a few more SAT phone calls. Pemba, Chet and I started our hike back to base camp. Anna continued on down the Khumbu valley to Pheriche.
On our way back to base camp we had helicopter flights low overhead on their way to and from base camp. In such a remote area it seems strange to have military helicopters flying by. We found out after getting back to base camp that these flights were for various Nepal ministers and secretaries of state. The Chinese ambassador was also on one of the flights. They were all dropped off for short inspections to insure that no one was going to interrupt the Chinese efforts to put the Olympic torch on the summit of Everest. With no one allowed above camp two and no route above camp two established it all seems so silly. We are nearly 8,000 feet from the summit on the Nepal side when at our highest point – camp two. Besides the Chinese continue their aerial surveillance every day, so they should know where everyone is.