We started comparatively early today – got up at 6:30, packed and had breakfast at 7. By 7:30 we were on our way. After a short, steep, ascent over a hill, most of the day was reasonably flat with only a slight upwards incline. Kempys shoulder started to bother him a bit so we stopped a couple of times to let him stretch it out. Both the guide and I offered to take his bag, but he insisted it would make no difference. After about an hour of strolling along, we hit the hard part – Tokla pass. It’s only about 350m high, but the path is rubble and it’s at about a 45-60 degree incline. It was /hard/. At the top there is a space dedicated to memorials of people who have died on/around Everest during an ascent. The rest of the days hike was quite plesant, and mostly flat. Eventually we arrived at Lobuche, which is probably the roughest town we’ve stayed in so far… Ah well, it’s only for the night. It’s got a bit of a shanty-town feel, everything seems to be made of plywood. After lunch we went for a bit of a hike where we got to see Kala Patthar and the Itallian research station (aka the pyramid) all be it in the distance. I’m only one day away from having carried my own bag all the way up. After Gorakshep it’s only a daypack for kala-pathar and base camp. And after those two it’s back down the mountain. I’m really looking forward to a real shower when I get back!!! As we waited for dinner, we got to see quite the spectacle unfold out of our rooms window. A chinese tourist succumbed to altitude sickness and was carried (on a stretcher) to the local medic tent. Our Guides older brother is a helicopter pilot with a local tour organizer. He tried desperately to get the man an evac, but without success. Apparently he’s in a stable condition after getting some oxygen and rest. Still a bit scary, it’s easy to forget just how dangerous this mountain can be. Kempy and I are playing it fairly safe the next few days anyway, and taking preventative doses of Diamox. It’s also bloody freezing here. I’m sitting in the common room wearing two layers of socks and pants, a t-shirt and two jumpers as well as a beanie. And it’s still chilly! I have a little bit of a headache tonight, but I’m pretty sure it’s from the cold and slight dehydration. Seems I don’t drink enough when it’s cold. Being extra conscious of this fact in the next few days should fix that though! I also noticed that I’ve become desensitized to the local toilets. Still don’t like them, but they don’t bother me anymore either. Though putting toilet paper in a bin is still weird, and hand sanitizer has become my best friend.