The morning of our day hike Ang tells us at breakfast that Mike’s sick and he’s not joining us. Bummer 😦
I was also feeling a bit of a sore throat but did a really great job of convincing myself it was just from the dust though, and that I was NOT getting sick. (Spoiler alert: I was getting sick.)
The van arrived at the hotel to pick us all up and we were on our way. We got to the starting point for our hike and Santosh, our guide, tells us that in his language “jam jam” means “let’s go!”. We all adopted that very quickly and used it regularly for the rest of our trip. I’m certain I’ll actually end up using it the rest of my life. Anyway, with a “jam jam!” from Santosh we started our day hike.
Now, when he first showed up at the hotel I was confused by what he was wearing. It was a hot day so I’m wearing a tank top and capri’s, I have my camelback filled with water and snacks, and my hiking boots on. Ang and PJ are basically dressed the same as me. We’re ready to hike.
Santosh showed up though and I started thinking “Oh, maybe we’re just meeting him today and someone else is taking us on the hike?” But then he got in the car with us so I started thinking “Maybe he’s going to change in to other clothes once we get there?” Erroneous on all accounts.
Santosh proceeded to take us on our 3-4 hour hike, on a blistering hot day, while wearing jeans, a t-shirt, sneakers, and a fucking leather coat. Yeah. A leather coat. And he had his hand in his pocket the whole time like it was a leisurely Sunday stroll.
I’m in pretty decent shape, and this was no Sunday stroll for me. I kept thinking, and occasionally saying out loud, “HOW IS HE DOING THIS?! He’s not human.” Except he IS human. In fact he’s become one of my favorite humans, family even. 🙂 And, I still don’t understand how he fucking did that.
Here are a few pictures from our day excursion.
Nepal has a similar stray dog issue to Bali, except the dogs seem a bit friendlier and more socialized. They’ll come and sit with you and sometimes even give kisses. I loved them for it.
And the children! They were adorable, and smart. There was one item they knew 99% of trekkers would have on them. So they’d come up to you and say “Namaste!” and then you’d say it back and then they’d immediately say “Chocolate?!?” It worked (on me at least…). 🙂
We stopped for a break and at this point my head is starting to hurt and feel congested, and I’m accepting the fact that my sore throat isn’t just from the dust. I’m getting sick and feeling quite crappy.
We finally reached a village and stopped to get lunch. We were talking about the trek and how excited we were, and Santosh did a great job answering our one million questions about altitude sickness and helicopter evacuations. Then Ang asks how many times people get evacuated out. His reply was “too many to count.”
…well that’s news to me.
Let me explain. In order to go on this trek we were required to purchase travel health insurance that would cover an emergency medical helicopter evacuation, which I assumed was required simply as a precaution… not because it ever actually happens!
You see, I have this habit of saying yes to things when I don’t actually have a clue what I’m getting myself in to, and suddenly this is feeling like one of those times.
Maybe he means too many times in one season to count?
Nope. Too many emergency helicopter evacuations IN ONE DAY to count. There was part of me that wanted to believe he was exaggerating. Most of me realized he wasn’t.
Not to mention the fact that I also assumed that once you made it to base camp and started to descend, you’re no longer at risk of the affects of altitude sickness. Wrong again! Double yikes.
I decided not to focus on what COULD happen though, and to just take things as they come. I also decided that if I’ve made it to base camp already, a helicopter evac on the way back down would be alright with me, could be a fun story later.
I’ll fully explain altitude sickness and what I learned about it in a later post – at this point in the journey I know next to nothing about it though, so I’m not telling any of you yet either! 😛
After lunch we continue our hike just a few more minutes up to the top of this lookout spot that has some great views.
Once we got to the lookout point PJ and I somehow got separated from Santosh and Ang and didn’t know where they went. Or where we were. For a good 15 minutes. I think this is worth mentioning because it means I’ve managed to maintain my flawless record of always getting lost on hikes (literally every time). This time was especially impressive because I had a guide… whoops!
Back at the hotel after our hike we found that Mike’s condition had gotten worse and things are looking a bit serious. He developed a fever and so Ang called to have a doctor come to the hotel and check things out.
I was doing my best to stay positive about the situation, but my heart sunk into my stomach at the thought of Mike not being able to come on this trek with us.
The doctor informed us that he had an upper respiratory infection and he gave Mike a prescription for antibiotics.
I bet you all thought it was ME that gets horribly sick didn’t you?! Fooled ya! I only get a little sick. Mike felt like death.
Anyway, the doc said that with the medication his fever would most likely be gone the next day, so he could still do the trek if he was feeling up to it. Mike decided he’d reassess his situation the next day and in the meantime, we went to fill his prescription.
At the pharmacist is where I learned that in less developed and therefore less regulated countries, you don’t really need a prescription for anything. Since Mike is sick they willingly give all four of us the same prescription of antibiotics just in case, and we all got some throat drops.
Since I had a cold I ask for some sinus medicine and a pain killer as well. They offered my codeine. Me: “Oh god no! It’s just a headache… got any acetaminophen?“ I don’t actually like codeine so unless I feel like I’m actually dying, I’m not taking it. And I’m stunned that it was just offered to me like that.
We went back to the hotel with all of our newly acquired drugs, took whichever ones we respectively require, and went to bed. We had another day of guided site seeing in Kathmandu the next day that, due to my cold, I honestly wasn’t looking forward to at all.