Yak cheese and buffalo salami!
We took two planes to Phaplu. They were both twin propellor planes and, although we suffered a bit of turbulence, it was nothing too scary.
When we arrived we went for a walk around the village to buy crisps and sweets at the local shop ready for our trip, and spent the night in our tents behind a little tea room to get us into practice. The only problem is the local dogs who kept barking to each other for most of the night. Ear plugs helped to block it out, so it was all ok.
Our first day’s walk was really long and uphill all the way, but we are all in good spirits and have our minds set on reaching the school tomorrow. We trekked for nine hours and reached a height of 3,350 metres, which is the highest we will go, walking up into the clouds to arrive at our camp….. in the dark!
The views were amazing and we were treated to lunch by our chef Mila who prepared Tibetan bread, noodle soup, yak cheese, which looked like swiss cheese with holes in but tasted more like cheddar. We also had buffalo salami which was delicious.
We have two chefs and 15 kitchen hands with us who are preparing all our meals and drinks. Village porters are also helping us with carrying supplies such as medical equipment and our tents, and they are using eight mules to do this, but we are carrying all our own luggage in rucksacks ourselves.
Our lead Sherpa is Dawa Geljen and he is a sixth generation Sherpa who has been leading treks and expeditions in Nepal for over 26 years. He has many successful ascents of large Himalayan peaks to his name, so we are in safe hands.
Also amongst our team is Dr Jason Van Der Velde. He is a hospital emergency and trauma doctor and a volunteer with the West Cork Rapid Response Unit, so again we will be well looked after medically……but we hope we won’t need Jason’s help on this trip!
The time in Nepal is currently about 7pm, which is just after 1pm in the UK and we are waiting for our tea which the chefs are currently preparing. We are sitting in a mess tent in our duck down coats and wearing thermals and are clutching hot water bottles to help keep us warm, as the temperature is currently around 6 degrees outside. We are playing eye spy and snap to help pass the time until we eat.
Tomorrow we have a 4-6 hour trek, all downhill, to the village. Some would think that it is better going down hill, but this is not the case in Nepal!!!
See you all when we reach base, and the school, tomorrow.