What happens when you travel internationally for a trek through snow clad mountains and fall so seriously ill that you feel you would never see the light of day? Well, you start believing in miracles, become a professional traveller and start your own blog ofcourse!
Heres the story of Dave, of how he survived the wrath of the Himalayas and yet fell in love with its harsh beauty, of how he made friends for life and of how this journey of his turned out to be a trip of a lifetime.
Daves journey started at Kathmandu airport from where he and his team mates boarded a flight to the tiny little town of Lucla. Nestled in the lap of the Himalayas, Lucla was the starting point of their trek to the Everest Base Camp. On day one itself they had to battle a climate temperature of 20F (-6.6 C) throughout the night! Having survived this, the next day, they headed off to the Sagarmatha National Park. They faced a casualty when a team mate of theirs got so weak during the trek that she had to be carried the rest of the way. The next stop on their route was Namche Bazaar. Horse shoe shaped, the town made Dave feel accomplished. From the highest point, one could see Mount Everest and Dave was awestruck. In only four days he would be standing at the base of the mighty mountain. Little did he know what was in store for him!
Day three took him on a spiritual journey. On the way to the next town, Dave visited Tengboche Monastery. So lost was he in the serenity that some of his team mates had to search the length and breadth of the monastery to find him! Till this time, Dave was fit and fine. However, somewhere on the trek route, he started feeling dizzy, nauseous and got excruciatingly painful headaches. This was his first brush with High Altitude Sickness. The guide started discussing about splitting the group so that the ones feeling sick could rest and the ones fit enough could complete their summit of Kala Pathar. Dave really wanted to finish the summit with his team mates and so, that night, Dave prayed. Prayed for a miraculous recovery. And, lo and behold! Dave did wake up the next morning feeling refreshed!
This was the second last lap of their trek. And one of the toughest ones for Dave. To reach an altitude of 15100 feet with borderline high altitude sickness was a feat in itself and Dave managed to complete the trek with great difficulty. And the joy he felt of achieving something against all odds was beyond compare! However, he had a sleepless night. And the thought of conquering Kala Pathar in the next couple of days kept troubling him!
The next day, he along with his mates climbed up the hill of hell (as they dubbed it!) to Lobuche. To say that the journey was tiring and patience testing would be an understatement! During the journey, Dave felt very tired and the high altitude sickness got to him. Although he tried hard to stay focused and on track, by the end of the trek, his headache was back and then his heart started throbbing erratically! He couldnt breathe and finally collapsed on the ground motionless! Luckily for him, some of his team mates were just behind him and he got immediate medical attention. Finally, at dusk, the team reached Lobuche. This was the last stop of their trek and from here, they could see both, their mission summit of Kala Pathar and the magnificent Mount Everest in the distance.
The next day was their day of summit and Dave and one his friends decided that they would leave early in the morning, by 3.30 a.m. so that they would not lag behind. However, that night, Dave started vomiting violently and his headaches got worse and his health got progressively weaker. The guide decided that it would be better if Dave skipped the trek up to Kala Pathar and Dave finally agreed. It was also decided that Dave needed to be taken down to a lower altitude. Since he was so weak, he had to be carried down to a lower altitude, literally! The guide along with the help of a lady took him down to a nearby village. Over here, they halted for a nights cap. Finally, Daves vomiting spell subsided and he could sleep for a few hours. The guide had to rush back to Lobuche as he was required to help out the rest of the team mates with their trek up Kala Pathar.
After a good nights sleep, Dave woke up feeble but refreshed. The lady made him eat some breakfast and cola and then she again supported most of his weight on their way down to Pheriche town where medical facility was available. Mid way, he met a porter he had hired during the trip. The porter along with the lady carried Dave down to the town and then further to Lucla.
There isnt much after this. From Lucla, Dave boarded a flight back to Kathmandu. Although he could not finish his summit to Kala Pathar, the trek in the mighty Himalayas gave him a lifetime of memories. Throughout the journey Dave met inspiring people. People who did everything in their control to keep Dave alive and comfortable. This is one journey he can never forget. One that inspired Dave to start up his own travel blog Daves Travel Corner.
As a saying goes, Travelling- it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.
Story By Dave
As told to,