If you missed out on Day 3, you can read it here: Day 3 – Acclimatization Day At Namche Bazaar

“Do you want to give up and turn back?” Jacqueline asked while I tried to force down the Sherpa Stew served in front of me. I kept quiet, trying to hold back tears of regret that are welling up in my eyes.

Exactly 12 hours ago, we woke up to a temperature of about 4°C and started packing our bags as usual. It’s the normal routine that will repeat for a couple more days. Wake up, pack, head down for breakfast and head out. During breakfast, you would request your guide to fill up the water bottle or water bladder, which he will happily oblige and return with a bag full of water. You will then drop in a purification tablet and let it settle for an hour before drinking the water. This is done to prevent diarrhea and other stomach related complications. And neglecting that was a costly mistake that I did on day 4.

After dropping the purification pills in, I kept my water bladder and moved outside to meet the guide as usual. “Today, we will trek for 6 hours before reaching the next destination, Tengboche. If we make it in time, we will visit the temple for the daily prayers,” Deepak dutifully explained before we took our first step of the day.

Heading out of Namche town requires you to go up really steep steps and for about 20 minutes before reaching the flat land. It was because of that that I decided that I will get a sip of drink despite the fact that it wasn’t a full hour after dropping in the purification tablet. Costly mistake.

namche steps
The route out from Namche consist of steep steps, very steep steps

The first three hour of the trek was on narrow flatlands with a gradual incline. The flat and easy trail leads towards the view of Mt. Everest, then descends deep into the Dudh Kosi Valley at Phorche Thanga, where we will stop for lunch. It was during lunch that my complications started. A quick visit to the toilet confirmed that I had diarrhea. It might sound like something non-threatening while you are in town but while you are trekking, losing all the water in your body is not something you would want happening.

I forced down as much Chowmien that I can for lunch for the sake of energy. By now, the wind outside is getting stronger and it seems that a storm is brewing. After a 10 minutes nap, we continued our journey from Phorche Thanga, with me being dehydrated and trying to stay strong.

dhud khosi river
The route before Phorche Tenga consists mostly of flat lands along the Dudh Khosi river

The next part of the trek happens to be one of the toughest day of the Everest Base Camp trail. The climb is long and steep. For the next 3 hours, we had to endure an almost 70 degrees climb on a dry sandy trail. The sand kicked up by crossing donkeys and horses did not make it any better for me. I literally had to stop every 10 minutes due to my weakening body. I tried to consume as much water as I can and took a charcoal pill for good measures. And then it happened.

90 minutes away from Tengbongche, it started snowing. It was the first time in my life that I witnessed snow and I guess we did not meet on the best grounds. The temperature dropped rapidly and strong wind made it hard for us to stay warm. We had our fleece and windbreaker on but it only helped so much. The cold can still be felt and it basically numbs your face. The only way we could keep our body warm is by not stopping at all. After what seems like the millionth curve, we were facing a stone steps that led to Tengboche. We arrived at Tengboche at 3pm, where we immediately warmed up in the living hall after that long arduous hike.

Note: Tea houses usually don’t start their warmer before 5pm.

It was cold in the teahouse and the snow is not showing any sign of stopping. At about 5pm, they started burning debris in the heater and that was when I made my second mistake of the day. Trying to get warm quickly, I stood very close to the heater. It provided me with immediate warmth (of course) but the sudden fall and then rise of my body temperature sent my body into overdrive and I was down with fever. As if diarrhea is not bad enough, I had to endure a fever.

After a short rest in the room where we are not encouraged to sleep (as per advised by the guide), we went down for dinner and I tasted nothing at all. I was dehydrated, tired and down with fever at that time. It was my worst day during the trek and the thought of giving up was looming in my head.

“Do you want to give up and turn back?” Jacqueline asked while I tried to force down the Sherpa Stew served in front of me. I kept quiet, trying to hold back tears of regret that are welling up in my eyes.

“No.. it’s too early. We’re half way there. No. I don’t want to give up,” my stubbornness spoke on my behalf. We told the guide what happened and he gave me some pills which will help with the fever and diarrhea. Always remember to be honest with your guide while you are trekking. As much as a hard head that I am, I told him that I had fever and asked for his opinion. He knows the trek and he knows what’s the best options. “Take this and we will see if you get better tomorrow. Time to rest”

That night, I didn’t get much sleep. Weird dreams and toilet visits kept me up all night. I know very well that it’s going to be a long night for me but giving up is the last thing that I want to do. I’ll not give up. Tomorrow, I will wake up and make my way to Dingbongche.


Disclaimer: Sorry I did not take that much photos on day 4. It was a really hard day and I didn’t think so much of taking photos.

Did I make it through the night to continue to Dingboche? Read all about it in: Day 5 [Everest Base Camp] Tengboche to Dingboche


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5 thoughts on “Day 4 [ Everest Base Camp ] – Namche Bazaar To Tengboche

  1. Kelly says:

    Oh dear, sorry that you had to endure that. I can imagine the agony. I’ve been to a trek in Nepal half of EBC’s intensity and I still remember how tough it was. To endure diarrhoea & fever on top of that is really no joke. I’m sure you got through strongly…looking forward to Day 5 ?

    • Mike Chu says:

      I’ll tell more about it in Day 5. 🙂 Stay tuned. But yea, it was painful and its mentally challenging as well.

      – Mike

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