Yak Kharka, 4050m, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal.
I woke up with a serious headache after a breathless night. I had seen every half hour. Waking up breathless, after every move I made in my bed. As if moving from my right shoulder to my left, equalled sprinting for some distance.
Our guesthouse hosts where kind enough to let the fire burn during breakfast, but I was still feeling very tired and weak that morning. Luckily the sun stood already at the sky, when we started hiking an hour later. The breaktaking mountain views, combined with the sunlight, gave me some energy again.
However, climbing the path to 400 meters higher, was still very difficult for me. We had to walk very slow and take lots of breaks. Feeling so feeble and having a headache, didn’t made me feel safer on the last part of the trail towards Thorong Phedi Base Camp. A narrow path was embedded in the cliffs. And it looked like a long way down.
We arrived around 14 o’clock, in time for a late lunch. Feeling a bit nauseous, I only ate a bit of garlic soup, something that was supposed to help with the altitude sickness. However, I was not alone. More than half of the hikers at Base Camp, was looking sick.
Although feeling sick didn’t made me less grateful and in awe of where we were. Shadowed by the great Annapurna mountains, I looked at the Buddhist flags, playing in the cold wind, while I let an immense feeling of humbleness flood over me.
Don’t believe the myth of garlic soup. It does not help you to battle the symptoms of altitude sickness. The only thing I got from it, is a probably life-long aversion of that decoction.
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