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  Everest 2006: N. Ireland and England Everest 2006 Expedition: Base camp life seems to roll from one day into another


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Update: Base camp life seems to roll from one day into another, it is not the most interesting place in the world and the routine goes as such, get up around 08:30 have a wash, have breakfast from 09:00 to 10:00 then you are free until lunch time.

Breakfast normally consists of porridge etc, now today Pemba the cook excelled himself and for some reason accidentally thought lunch was breakfast, curried potatoes, semolina and mixture of rotten vegetables for breakfast? I have no idea what he was thinking? But needless to say everyone dived into the Weetabix and Cornflakes boxes and left the locals to eat the lunch-breakfast meal that Pemba had prepared. Now one team member young Alan McDowell decided that he was not a team player and that he would selfishly eat a boil in the bag meal that he has been carrying for the last month, a few or the others turned green with envy, but I was ok as I do not like beans and bacon!

So back to this free time, well this is normally spent drinking Tea and slagging each other off, we haven’t ran out of detail yet! However today was some what different in that Adrian, Alan and I decided that we would go and see the Indian team, they had a very sick climber on the North Col a few days ago suffering from HACE and he had to be lowered down the North Col and carried on the back to Base camp on the back of a sherpa! Now this was an amazing feat, not the lowering bit as there were 30 plus climbers available and willing to help, but the carrying, can you imagine a man or woman carrying another person on their back for 22km! Amazing, now the good news is that the climber was taken to Kathmandu yesterday and is fine, that’s the nature of Altitude related illness the simple cure is descent, and the oxygen rich air cures almost all problems instantaneously. Anyway the Indians we called to see were out and all we got was a Indian who could only speak a few words of English, mind you his English was better than our Indian!

After this we called over to see the Everest max guys, they were just down from the North Col and full of beans with their achievement, they offered us the full box set of James Bond movies, but we had to decline as some of the team may have gotten carried away, we have enough James Bond wannabes in the team!

We then returned to our tent to discover that some of team had resorted to child labour, unbelievable, I have heard of “when in Rome” but this has been an all time low, imagine employing kids to wash and dry your clothes! Steve Hodge and Raymond Hassard you should hang your heads in shame! (Can I just say that the child labour Neill refers to is not strictly true- the girl was at least 14. A side from which I fully support anyone who is prepared to wash Raymond’ now stiff socks, not to mention the rest of his underwear. –K)

So back to the normal base camp day, Lunch comes along at 12.30 every day and consists of a three course meal, now the fresh vegetables seem to have run out a while back? And the food is getting worse by the day, that’s my opinion but there are others grumbling as well about the slipping standards, I just hope things do not get any worse!

After lunch the afternoon is your own, so you can read, listen to music well if your die pod worked! Or wander about base camp. Now today we went down to the village close by base camp and sampled Tibetan tea, disgusting is all I can say! I have no idea what it tastes like, in fact I could not describe it only to say there is a generous helping of both salt and butter in it! Not for me or anyone else from the west, but the locals love it.-N

So after copious amount of tea we returned to our base camp tents. (I think that the lads actually drank coke and listened to a rendition of the local Base Camp talent on a Tibetan stringed instrument). I am assured that it was hardly Robbie Williams in concert, but it kept people happy and gave them something to do for the afternoon. In fact one of our Sherpas is still missing and was last seen in search of more butter tea! Judging by breakfast, goodness knows what culinary delights await us tonight????- K

Stop Press

After all the complaints made today about the food, Pemba and his staff have total surprised us with a culinary delight fit for a King! Chicken, roasted potatoes, rice and vegetables, quite an unbelievable meal, and to top it all this was followed by a cake (baked at base camp) for the team members who are leaving us tomorrow to return home. Thank you, Pemba.

Dispatches

 

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