The Day started early ~ I had set my alarm clock for 5 am, but there was a gentle knock on the door at 4:55am. So I turned off my alarm and woke Kempy. He wasn’t feeling well at all, he blamed a cold but I’m pretty sure it’s also related to the altitude. Either way I made him have some Diamox before I left onto the Kala Patthar track with the guide but without Kempy. It was a hard trek. It was light enough not to need a head lamp, but still freezing. By the first 1/4 of the way up, the down jacket gloves and hiking sticks got put away. At 100m below the peak I was ready to give up. I didn’t though. Even though Everest was mostly in the clouds, ‘just’ a sunrise surrounded by snow covered mountain peaks was /amazing/!! The peak of Kala patthar is at 5550m, which is the highest point I’ve ever been to, and physically the high-point of this trip. It was also small and crowded with around 30-50 people. I climbed as high as I dared and posed for some photos, but I was sweating with fear through my grin. It’ll be interesting to see how those photos turned out. 10 cm to my right was a sheer drop of about 500m. 10 cm to my left was people crawling past me. The angle at the top is about 60-75 degrees, so it’s steep enough to feel like you need to climb a bit. Unsurprisingly the trip down was easier, but hard on my knees. When we returned, Kempy had just got up and we had some breakfast. I also gave him some imbuprofen to get him through the morning. We re-packed to have nothing in his bag bar the essentials – Water, spare jacket, cash and hiking sticks. The rest was put into the porters bag and my own backpack. Then we slowly mozied away from Gorakshep. The first part of that walk is quite intense, but Kempy found a rather quick pace and stuck to it. At Lobuche pass we dropped about 150m and I could tell he was starting to feel better. By his pace if nothing else 😛 I vetoed an early lunch at lobuche, and so we pushed on past Thokla pass (dropping another 200 ish meters there) and had lunch at Thokla/Dhougla Tea house. We only stopped for about 30-40 minutes in total before pushing onto Pheriche (4240m). By then it was about 13:30, and our guide offered us a choice: Push onto the known comforts of Pengbuche (about 2 hours walk with some strenuous up parts) or spend the night here and walk further tomorrow. After some discussion, we pushed ahead to Pengbuche. By now my shoulders and hips were sore from carrying a heavy backpack all day, but I felt so energised that I didn’t want to stop. I’m guessing that’s the effect of coming into an area with more Oxygen in the air! 😛 Back at pengbuche we stopped at the shop where I bought the bracelet last time, only to find they didn’t have another. (Did I mention I lost it the day after buying it?) I guess if I can’t find one before, I’ll have a look around for a replacement in our days at Kathmandu. Oh! During the walk today I finally managed to take a snapshot of a bumblebee! They seem to operate at all heights ~ they’re all over the mountain. We’ve managed to get well ahead of schedule, and we have 2 days up our sleeves now. The guide suggested we’ll probably take an extra day in Namche Bazar to rest. Side note: There’s been some pretty funny engrish things and signs around, but my favourite so was was at Gorakshep. On the menu: “Private Roo: 2500R”