Day 5: Cruising

November 8, 2022
Start: Dole 4100m (13,448ft)
Stop: Machhermo 4470m (14,662ft)
Distance: 8km (5 miles)

Today is a shorter day for us so we get to sleep in for an extra hour. I got up twice last night to pee but slept really well. I was warm and toasty in my sleeping bag but my feet were a bit cold. After breakfast we climb steeply out of Dole (doe-lay). The view behind us is stunning as the clouds seem to sweep across the mountain tops.

The trail levels out and climbs gradually. I’m loving this trail and I’m able to move with ease and without labored breath. The sun warms us as we enjoy views in every direction. We arrive in Machhermo by 11:20am having hiked for less than three hours.

Veggie chow mein for lunch and then Caspar helps me wash my snotty handkerchief and pee rag. While Caspar and Clearance go looking for network, I write in my journal for a few hours in the dining room. A helicopter flies in and lands on the other side of the little creek. It leaves as quickly as it arrives. Silke chats with a lady who is also from the Netherlands, and finds out that she’s not doing well with the altitude. Her other group member has gone ahead and the guide has done nothing to help her. Silke enlists Sophie to see if she can help this lady. Once Caspar returns he also helps check the ladies vitals and gives her some medication for altitude sickness and pain. Our group member Sue had a really tough day and arrived at Machhermo hours after us. Sophie and Caspar check Sue’s pulse ox and help her with her altitude symptoms. The guides in general don’t seem to take an active roll in helping clients with their medical symptoms. No one has any oxygen either.

A fire is started in the stove and the fuel source is yak dung. The stove makes it smokey in the dining room and it pumps out so much heat that it becomes too hot. After playing a group card game dinner starts to arrive. My dinner is veggie chow mein but it comes with pasta sauce. The canned tomato smell hits my nose and I can’t eat it. I send it back and they make a new one. I think they must have had some left over spaghetti which they tried to convert to chow mein because the chow mein here is made with spaghetti noodles. Sue is feeling better by dinner time and comes into the dining room for some tea and tomato soup. The lady from the Netherlands is also feeling better and is happy to eat her whole dinner. We find out that Sue is going to take a helicopter back to Lukla in the morning. Her symptoms have improved slightly but she’s not feeling well enough to proceed higher. We sit around a bit after dinner before heading to bed by 8pm.