So…after acclimating to the altitude for a couple of days, it was time to pack “day packs” (for the ponies to take) and head off on our Trek .
Now, this part of the trip had many of us anxious. We had been hearing (and reading) A LOT about AMC (Acute Mountain Sickness) AND it’s (potentially life-threatening)complications…HACE (high altitude cerebral edema) and HAPE (high altitude pulmonary edema)
Yes…serious stuff. It did not help that at dinner the night before one of our troupe “knew a guy who did this trip and ended up in a coma for a month”
HELLO! Can we NOT discuss this at dinner?? We had done everything we could to NOT have this happen…but JUST in case, I ordered portable oxygen to be carried by the ponies. This seemed to calm the crowds down…but I really think it got to the point where we were freaking ourselves (and each other!) out!
We took our bus for about an hour, then transferred to small cars (4 or 5 to a car) to get to our starting point. MY driver decided to turn off of the NOT paved road…realized he was in the wrong place…then tried to back down the mountain to turn the car around.
EVERYONE OUT. This maneuver alone had headlines written all over it (4 TOURISTS KILLED IN CAR SLIDE). We made it to our spot, where we had lunch at a local Naxi Family Guesthouse.
What was on the menu you ask? Wait for it….Broccoli and carrots, potatoes, corn, Kung Pao Chicken, Pork…Rice…ALL things we had eaten before…sigh.
Here is their corn drying!
Off we go…First we had to HIKE to our starting point…the “infamous” “28 bends”…We got to the starting point …and I say “Bend One” NOT knowing we had not even started yet! The guide laughed (at me, not with me)
Part way up:
Here I am at the top of the Bends. Some layers back on…it was WINDY!
Needless to say…the views were SPECTACULAR!
The entire trek was 11K, but with the altitude, it felt tougher to me…or was I suffering from CAS (Clean Air Syndrome?)
The Gorge below us was Tiger Leaping Gorge. (Yes, a tiger is said to have leapt from the side, to a rock, to the other side…we would see THAT spot tomorrow)
Soon enough we made our way to the Halfway House where we would stay for the night. Much earned beers and high fives for us as we finished (one of our group met us as we came in…since we all finished at different times)
Here is the Halfway House. No heat…but snuggly electric blankets and yes…real toilets!
We took showers (yes, hot water) and met for dinner.
Where…we had….well, I don’t need to tell you…it was more of the same.
It was here my appetite was lost…which I did not realized until 24 hours later was a symptom of slight altitude illness…but that’s all that happened…The next morning we would trek out!