The morning after EBC day, Ram hammered on our doors for a 4.30am wakeup. It was Kala Patthar time. 

Kala Patthar is not actually a mountain in itself; rather, it’s a more steep hill but is immensely popular with trekkers as it provides the most accessible point to view the old Mt Everest (this is unable to be seen from EBC due to the summit and peak structure). At an altitude of 5645m, it would be the highest ascent we would undertake. 

EBC was the ultimate goal for the tour, with Kala Patthar a more optional extra. The night before I was unsure whether I would JI; I was feeling pretty bloody knackered, I hadn’t written at all and I rather fancied the idea of staying back, jamming out an hour or two of yoga and then putting pen to paper (or finger to phone – I cannot express how joyous I shall be on reuniting with my Lappy). Josh was astounded at my possible pull out. “It’s the best view of Everest you’ll get,” he stressed and propounded. Was it this tempting treat or the fact it meant so much to him that had me pulling on my boots at 4.45? 

We met in the kitchen where Ram apologetically announced it was cloudy out. Meaning? Everest may be unable to be seen. There was also a heavy cladding of snow all around. Did we still want to go? 

Bloody oath. Off we set. 
Unfortunately, the dreary day wasn’t the only thing under the weather; I was myself. A dull ache in the lower recesses of my head grew as I gained altitude. I was all clumsy and falling about in the deep snowfall and I was feeling a bit sorry for myself.

Ram noted my disorientation, and when I grudgingly admitted I had a slight headache he warned me, “It’s only going to get worse the higher you go.” I obdurated I was swell (well, it wasn’t a lie – my brain sure was) and carried on. But my heart wasn’t in it, my body wasn’t overly cheerful with me, so next pit stop when Ram looked at me questioningly I admitted defeat and descended. 

I felt like shit. I hate (justified) giving up on things; I feel so weak, lazy and incapacitated. I made my way through the sodding snow with my head hung low. The Coconut Crunchies bikkies I’d bought to share out at the top of the trot called to me from the confines of my backpack. Eat us, they enticed. When you get back get a hot mango tea, dunk us in and demolish us as you read your book. 

To anyone else this may sound a lovely plan. However to pogo Poppy, such a recipe could only end in dismal devastation. But in my low frame of mind I decided to do just that. 

But fate intervened. Or in this case, a ruckus of friendly Aussies. 

On my walk of trudgery back to the lodging, I can across newly engaged Kerry and Crystal, and two more stallions Laura and David. I stood and yarned for awhile, then they invited me to go to the top of the rocks and watch the sunrise. 

So I did. 

When we were frosted and freezing we congregated inside where we sat around the shit-fuelled fire for a few hours and had tea. I shared out the CC biscuits and we all dunked together. 
How much nicer is it to share with a group and have two for yourself, rather than hoard on your own in your room, smash back the pack and lie there hating yourself? 

It was honestly one of my main highlights from the trip. I really, really enjoyed it. Good chat, company and Coconut Crunchies. 

The others from my group returned and Josh was fuming. Everest hadn’t peered out of the gloom, his shoes were wet and feet were frozen, and everything was “shit”. I felt for him, but I smugly applauded myself for listening to my body and turning back to base. 

I’m learning. I’m going against Ed’s grain. Listening to myself and my needs, going against plans set out in my mind and being a bit spontaneous, and telling Ed to get fucked. Slowly, slowly, but I am. 


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