Sleeping at the bottom of mountains

Trip Start Aug 15, 2006
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155
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Trip End May 27, 2008


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Where I stayed
Dream Lodge

Flag of Nepal  , Himalayan Region,
Monday, May 5, 2008

I met Simon and his friend at 7 but they weren't ready so I set off ahead into the avalanche area which was pretty scary although this time of year I think it's OK since there's not much snow.  Still, I took the detour since all the porters were doing the same.  Again, leaving that early I saw some kind of animal that was like a rabbit but with more mouse ears and lots of beautiful birds. 

Simon and his friend caught me up and went ahead but I met them at Machhapuchaye basecamp and they gave me some hot lemon which tasted so good.  I decided not to go to their basecamp to get the sunglasses since I'd then have to come back down alone and it's not a main route so I pressed on towards the main Annapurna basecamp where I was caught up by Dimitri the Russian.  The weather was very bleak and cold and I couldn't even see basecamp mfpr all the mist but finally I arrived and got a room for 50r in Dream Lodge.  No running water in the lodges so no shower today! 

I wandered around outside and got chatting to a guy who was the cameraman for an expedition up Annapurna.  He told me about the team and some of them are from the Altitude Research centre in Colorado so I was very interested to talk to them.  They were physiologists and I mentioned it was my line of work too although they still seemed to speak to me as if I didn't know anything and even asked me if I knew what a pulse ox is (!).  I got quite excited they had one and asked to check myself and it was no suprise that my heart rate was over around 90 and my oxygen saturation level was around 91%.  It was good to know that I was still passionate about sports science.....  All I know is that a couple of the guiys were called 'Okky' and 'Don' and apparently were physiological freaks of nature, having a heart rate of 60bpm with an oxygen saturation level of only 62% at an altitude of 6000m. I asked them if they knew anything about the 'ACE' gene since I'd heard something about that a while ago but it wasn't concrete evidence and they knew nothing about it.  They asked me if I knew the Swiss guy Simon which wasd odd but apparently he'd told them there was an English girl on hger way up to basecamp.  They also knew of the Everest West Ridge 2006 expedition that I'd worked on which was nice to chat about. 

It was pretty cold so after chatting and watching the guys play volleyball (there's a court up there) I went inside but after a while I was drawn outside again by the view of the sunset which had managed to move the clouds and show the mountains in their full glory.  I walked about again and saw a memorial to the lost climbers on Annapurna, which I found out is the toughest mountain due to the technical skills required and many people don't make it. 

The Russians all ended up in my lodge which was great as I had some company and split the cost of a pizza with Irene and Dimitri.  We all sat in our sleeping bags as we were so cold but luckily the owners were cold enough to use the gas heater so we didn't have to pay for the privilege. 
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