Yesterday we walked down a bit from Gorak Shep (Everest Base Camp) before turning off the main trail towards Cho La. The number of trekkers per day immediately dropped from about 300 to about 50.
The trail to Dzongla, at the base of the Cho La, was gorgeous, with impressive peaks and a large, emerald green glacial lake.
Dzongla itself was charming, with excellent views and perhaps eight relaxed lodges. The guesthouse where we stayed was our best so far on the trek. We were able to have a hot shower and do some laundry, both way overdue. The shower cost about CAD12, but the gas to heat the water would have spent many days on a yak’s back before placed at our service.
Today we crossed the Cho La, the second of the three high passes we will traverse on this trip. It was not as difficult as the Kongma La, but after 7 hours of walking we were quite tired. There were several steep sections, some provided with fixed cables. We were also on a glacier for about half a kilometre, finally justifying our purchase of glacier glasses and YakTrax, MicroSpikes or instep crampons.
We are still running out of energy on the long, challenging days, particularly Bruce and I. I have a theory that we are just not eating enough, due to the altitude. In the future we are going to stop midday for 30 minutes and force down a Cliff bar or other snack. Other than at dinner time food remains almost repellent to us. We generally force ourselves to eat something for breakfast and eat nothing until dinner. No doubt we are losing lots of weight, a North American dream, but at the cost of lacking the energy to complete our walks in a comfortable manner.