Updated by Linda McMillan
April 14, 2006
Today is Good Friday in the Christian calendar, and is certainly a day of reflection for our team as we ponder how we will possibly get the needed 4-season tents for our Advanced Base Camp (ABC).
Tom and I are remaining in Tingri for a few more days to receive the needed tents. The ones originally supplied by our expedition facilitator, Mr. Guo Jin Wei are completely inappropriate for ABC. All of the zippers on all of the interior doors of these tents have failed. The fabric is also very cheap and lightweight. These tents will not be warm or strong enough for use at Advanced Base Camp.
The staff and family that runs the Everest View Lodge have been very hospitable to us and and have drawn us into their activities. What a wonderful and patient group of people they are! This shabby hotel is the stopover choice for all expeditions arriving from Nepal and Lhasa. Luckily, the cooks here are very talented, and the food is tasty and varied. Over the past few days we have met expeditions from all over the world--Korean, Belorussian, International, Brazilian, Austrian, Latin American, etc. They are headed to the high peaks on this side of the Himalaya, the north side of Everest, Cho Oyu, and Shishapangma.
One of the members of another Cho Oyu expedition showed up at dinner with a bottle of red wine he had brought from his native country of Austria. About 10 of us shared tiny sips of the tasty wine, and saluted each others' health and best wishes for success on Cho Oyu.
Saturday, April 15,
Tom and I spent another day at the Everest View Lodge in Tingri waiting for our crucially-needed high altitude tents. No word yet from our expedition facilitator, on how he will replace the broken tents. Meanwhile, Tom tries to recover from his sinus infection by using thermoses of steaming water and some local Tibetan medicine.
Easter Sunday, April
We are marking Easter Sunday still here at Tingri by morosely munching on the small chocolate "eggs" I brought from the US. When I purchased them, I envisioned our team would be high on Cho Oyu by now, and I would be enjoying the stunning scenery at Advanced Base Camp. HOWEVER, Tom and I are still far from the mountain, waiting for our team's replacement tents. Tom is recovering slowly from his sinus infection. Things have become quite crowded here at the Everest View Lodge, as about 45 more people from expeditions around the world have arrived today. They will spend a couple of days here acclimatizing before heading off to either Qomolungma (Mount Everest) or Cho Oyu. I celebrate Easter by sharing the chocolate eggs with members of the other expeditions stuck here today, hoping to at least create some joy from them.
Monday, April 17,
Today Tom is feeling better and we have explored a little of the area beyond the town of Tingri. We walked north of town to hike up some small hills that give a good view of Mt. Everest and Cho Oyu. The weather is not favorable for good photos because of the clouds and blowing dust. It looks like a huge snowstorm is brewing in the mountains. We saw an encampment of Tibetan nomads with their horses and wagons alongside the road that runs through town. For the lives of these hardy people, very little has changed in over a hundred years. They still use ancient-looking cloth tents for their mobile sleeping quarters, and tiny but amazingly strong horses and carts for transportation. The world has changed dramatically, but they have retained their unique sense of identity against terribly harsh and difficult conditions. Whenever I start to bemoan our bad luck with Tom's illness and logistic woes, all I have to do is look at the irrepressible Tibetan nomads to realize how easy life really is for us. How can we complain?
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